Internet law involves various fields of law that are in relation with electronic data transfer. With the increasing significance of electronic media, not only companies are confronted with questions of competition laws, copyright laws and those covering naming rights. Private individuals are also suddenly exposed to problems having their roots in exotic fields such as telecommunications, telemedia and broadcasting laws.
Merely a few years ago, copyright law, for example, was a very specialised field of law that was only of interest to artists, publishers and performing rights societies (e.g. the Society for Musical Perfroming and Mechanical Reproduction Rights die GEMA). The Internet has changed this. Nowadays, many people, who have never had anything to do with a lawyer before, are finding themselves exposed to written warnings based on alleged breaches of copyrights.
Breaches of copyrights by means of file sharing – which even constitute a crime – are merely one example of how the Internet changes legal practice, thus creating new challenges for lawyers. Consumer, data and youth protection on the Internet are also of significance and under constant change.
In times where a significant proportion of all crimes are committed on the Internet, no defence lawyer can afford to regard cyberspace as a “sphere beyond the law”.
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