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Don’t Be Caught Surprised: Internet Law Now Touches Every Aspect of Businesses

What is Internet law?

I get that question a lot.  When you think of it, the Internet and the law the governs has pervaded society over the last ten years and its expansion and this integration will continue.  This will be especially true for businesses – hence the name for this blog.  Below the jump are some examples of common trends and issues:

  • Copyright Infringement: more and more competitor websites are copying text, images, and graphics as a way to keep even with you (the competition).  Luckily, there is an easy way to deal with this that does not involve filing a lawsuit – a DMCA Takedown Notice.  Because DMCA Takedown Notices have specific statutory requirements to be effective, it is important to do your own research or to hire an Internet lawyer well versed in them.  In the circumstances when a Takedown Notice is not effective, a lawsuit may be necessary.  Issues also arise in this area for affiliate marketers.  Affiliates should check their agreements and see what words and images hey can use in the promotion of products and services.
  • Trademark Infringement: trademarks are more exposed on the Internet than with traditional advertising.  Competitors can purchase your trademarked name as a .com or .net domain if you do not already own it, embed your trademark in their website or key their Google AdWords to your trademark.
  • Defamation: this is probably the most common issue we see.  An Internet defamation campaign can ruin a business.  The source of these complaints and remarks are often competitors, former employees, and customers who had a bad experience with your product or service.  Sometimes they create their own anonymous websites or turn to a complaint website or comment on related stories on highly ranked websites.
  • Cyber security: our firm is also active in government contracts law and the new regulations aimed at making the nation’s digital infrastructure has had a large impact on companies in that space.  As you will see from some upcoming blog posts already in the works, this is an issue which will continue to grow.  Does your company have a cyber security plan?  Do you have a plan in the event there is a breach?

If you own a business keep a lookout for these common issues.  If you encounter one, be sure and engage an Internet lawyer.

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