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E Business Legal, Ethical, And Regulatory Issues

1415 words - 6 pages

As acceptance of the Internet has become more widespread, online users have found the Internet to be an indispensable source of information. Information about products, places, people, and ideas is freely available online. Media is digitized, making it easier to copy and share creative works such as literature, music and video recordings. Improved communications have paved the way for people to do business without the ties of geography or time. In short, the Internet allows people to participate in many activities that would otherwise be unavailable. But with any new technology arises the question: "just because I can, does this mean I should?" This paper will concentrate on the subject of intellectual property and special considerations with respect to the Internet.Intellectual PropertyIntellectual property is a term used to describe anything, created with the use of human intellect that has a commercial value. Intellectual property can be ideas, or the physical representation of ideas, and often takes the form of literary works (books, novels, screenplays), movies, photographs, musical recordings, works of art, computer software and inventions. Intellectual property, according to modern law, has an owner and can be bought, leased or sold. (Fishman, 1994). Establishing ownership of intellectual property is key, because the laws hold that the owner has the right to control the use of and monetary rewards arising from this property.Copyrights, Trademarks and PatentsCopyright gives the author of an intellectual work the right to control how the work is used or distributed. The law provides for compensation to the author if the property is used without the permission of the author. Copyright ownership can be established simply by including a copyright symbol Ó with the publication date and copyright owner's name. Note that most web sites have a copyright notice at the bottom of each page.A trademark is any visual symbol that accompanies a product or service, and serves to identify the owner as unique or distinct from other makers of the product. Once properly registered at the federal or state level, a trademark may be used only by the owner, unless permitted by the owner. It is up to the owner to take steps to prevent unauthorized use of a trademark. A patent applies to inventions, and gives the inventor property rights to that patent. The patent gives the inventor the right to prevent others from using, selling, or otherwise profiting from the invention. (2004, USPTO.GOV)Copyrights, trademarks and patents have long been sought by owners, and used successfully to protect the value of intellectual property. Awareness of the legal requirements of copyrights prevents many people from sharing or copying information illegally. Others will ignore the laws, but they have often been deterred or limited by the cost of copying, and the likelihood of detection and resulting penalties.Internet as a medium for infringementThe Internet has made...

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