Every business has it’s own unique DNA which makes it special. Intellectual Property protection provides the means by which you can convert your ideas into valuable property, fortifying your strategic vision and key assets like your brand equity.
Whether you are a writer, musician, artist, blogger, film producer, screenwriter, designer or engaged in e-commerce, you would be aware the internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunities and dangers.
The danger and opportunity largely derives from the fact that the regulations and the practical ability to enforce them has fallen behind the pace of technological development. The result is a wild west like environment where online publishers largely act without any regard to the multiplicity of laws which technically govern their operations.
The response to spam, privacy law violations, security threats, cybercrime and intellectual property violations involves an understanding not only of the laws of different jurisdictions, but also the technology and culture of the internet and it’s rapidly evolving nature and norms. It also involves some understanding of the various economic models being adopted to exploit the infrastructure of the internet.
This website has been developed as a very basic information resource to provide information mainly on various areas of intellectual property, but miscellaneous posts on a variety of legal topics. It isn’t intended to be comprehensive and is predominantly a hobby type blog. I am a qualified Solicitor with a Masters in Intellectual Property but am not currently practising and none of the information contained on this blog is written with the intention of providing legal advice.
On the internet there is often a collision of law, terms of service (TOS) and End User Licence Agreements (EULA) of popular web properties with any outstanding issues yet to be resolved definitively by the legal system. There are also Treaties, Memorandums of Understandings, inter-governmental bodies and organisations which have emerged in a panicked attempt to control this mass of threat and digital communications opportunity we know as the internet, or more correctly the world wide web.
The main focus of this website was initially to provide some small insights in the areas of copyright, trademark and other intellectual property related issues.
The internet is a two edged sword, making intellectual property potentially many times more valuable, but also more vulnerable to being stolen on a massive scale. There are a range of ways to protect intellectual property, both technologically and legally. It is important to understand their relative strengths and weaknesses, including their associated costs and limitations in order to decide upon the best combination of measures to use for a particular strategy.
Internet law or cyber law is still in it’s infancy as the various jurisdictions arrive at political and legal solutions to issues such as the potential liability of search engines and other online intermediaries, whether in the field of defamation law, copyright law or trade mark infringement. Within the case law and legislation it becomes apparent that there are important issues at stake involving free speech on the internet. The internet was once hailed as the great equaliser, however in some cases has been used as a tool of censorship. Because of it’s accessibility it has also raised important issues of privacy and reputational damage which need to be balanced against the right to free speech.
Operating on the internet also involves an understanding of aspects of media law, privacy related aspects of telecommunications law and defamation law which all overlap to some degree. These laws are all of relevance to all ecommerce providers, bloggers, advertisers, content hosts, internet service providers and content producers.
Some jurisdictions have developed cyberspecific legislation, but all have to fit their laws together into a structure that functions. Legislation and important precedents in case law cannot be ignored by those operating in an international marketplace.
The Internet has revolutionised the way we interact, how we buy and sell, distribute and exchange information and knowledge. There is no single law that we can turn to resolve internet related intellectual property and other online legal issues such as privacy, cybercrime, censorship and counterfeiting. There are many interests wanting to censor the internet for various reasons, to protect reputations, moral standards, prevent crime and maintain political control. The advent of the internet has given rise to complex concepts and problems in the areas of advertising and marketing law, Australian consumer law and online contracts.
Although this website’s primary focus is on Australian intellectual property law, it is recognised that the backbone of the internet is designed so that it is indifferent to geographical boundaries, and problems aren’t necessarily confined to discrete geographical locations. When disputes do arise there are often difficult questions of which laws apply and which jurisdictions have the ability to hear disputes, which can often be impractical to resolve.
There are many websites offering information and guidance which are written in an accessible and user friendly way so that individuals and businesses can acquaint themselves as to the potential issues which arise when operating on the internet.
It is refreshing to see so many free online sources for Australian legislation, case law, gazettes, secondary sources, law reform and treaties which are available to the general public. This website is neither comprehensive nor maintained in an up to date manner and contains a lot of other articles which aren’t related to intellectual property or legal issues online.
Every attempt will be made to provide links on an ongoing basis to free legal resources of an authoritative nature in addition to blogs and organisations which assist individuals in a number of areas of law by providing fact sheets and information through to booklets, legal advice and assistance.
Disclaimer: This site is intended to operate purely as an informational resource, a general overview of intellectual property and other related legal issues arising online. It isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice from a lawyer certified to provide legal advice in your jurisdiction. Neither is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law varies in each jurisdiction and we do not warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any material you read here.