Cyberspace . . . The New Wild Wild West for Business
It’s tough to picture life today without the Internet. With the launch of the World Wide Web in the early 1990’s, things forever changed. Now, more than a quarter century later, a highly commercialized Internet delivers information, convenience, connectedness and power like never before. Life pre—email, text messages, streaming, “Googling,” social media, online shopping, Yelping, AirBnB’g and way more is a distant memory—or, for Generation Z and perhaps older, can’t even be imagined.
Bottom line? The Internet impacts nearly every aspect of our lives, and continues to evolve. There has never been such a vast amount of shareable ideas and creations available to so many, so easily. Which, in many ways, is fantastic. But, in other ways, poses new threats—especially to businesses. For example, legal disputes can arise concerning things like domain names, online trademark usage, website development and web page linking and internet service provider (ISP) liability.
Because the Internet is so fluid and constantly changing, it’s often difficult to create, let alone enforce, laws to monitor everything that’s happening online. Unlike other areas of commerce, internet law—also known as “cyber law”—can’t look to history as a guide. Which means judges are, in a sense, winging it—doing their best to apply existing commerce law to cyber disputes. Governing conduct and business that occurs in cyberspace is as fluid as the Internet itself. For this reason, your business can benefit greatly when you hire experienced internet attorneys.
Common Issues in Internet Law
As previously mentioned, the Internet and its vast reach affords great opportunity; but it can also afford great risk. For businesses, the downside can center around a variety of issues that sometimes lead to legal disputes. Some of these include: