The term cyber law has been used in a number of different ways and covers an area of the law that may not be all that clear. It has been described over the years as laws pertaining to computers, internet, e-commerce, and other various entities that have to do with digital products. However, cyber law itself is a bit more complex and encompasses a wide range of issues that are all connected by Information Technology (IT).
Interestingly enough, cyber law includes a number of legal ramifications that actually predate the rise of the internet. However, the internet itself encompasses many different aspects that directly or indirectly are associated with cyber law. It is arguably better to say that cyber or digital law is the environment in which many common aspects of the legal system are played out such as in the following categories.
- Copyright, Trademarks, and Contracts
- Domain Disputes, Patents, and Privacy
- Defamation, Data Retention, and Trade Secrets
However, there are also areas of cyber law that cover access and usage of the internet, freedom of expression, and proper jurisdiction. There is also computer law which is related directly to cyber law that often deals with copyrights and patents of software and technology systems.
There is also employment and other aspects of the law which applies to the digital world. It is arguably better to say that attorneys who specialize in cyber law deal with many issues that exist outside the digital world, but do so in the context of the cyber universe.
How Cyber Law Affects You
Those who need lawyers that specialize in digital or cyber law are generally those who want representation that has to do with the digital world. Copyright infringement for example is something that goes back many decades before the invention of the computer, much less the formation of the internet. Yet many cases of cyber law involve copyright infringement with the property of one individual or organization is being used by another without permission. The same is true for trademark disputes where one party is selling the property of another without written permission. It is here that cyber law comes into play when such violations occur over the internet.
For example, if you develop a software system or app and someone else copies and is selling that system without your permission over the internet, an attorney skilled in cyber law can represent you by filing a cease and desist letter to the offending party. Plus, they will do research, interview potential witnesses, and file the appropriate action in court.
What makes cyber law a little different is the jurisdiction of the potential offense. Unlike a store owner who may sue another store for selling their products without permission at the local court, the offending party in this case may be in another country. Standard actions are not possible to take since the other party may be following a different set of laws. The attorney skilled in cyber law will know where to go to file your case or represent you in defending your actions.