Internet


What is Auction Fraud?

Auction fraud happens when the purported seller misrepresents material facts to the buyer. For example, the seller may defraud the buyer by not disclosing the truth about the product’s description, price, delivery date, or other material fact related to the transaction.

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What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communication technology that can be used to interconnect with electronic devices. The IEEE has standardized this technology as IEEE 802.15.1. Now, it is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.

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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing makes use of remote servers for processing and storage needs that individuals or companies may have as opposed to using local servers. The advantages of using cloud computing, include, data protection from local hardware failures, lower costs for data storage and management, and the ability to access files from anywhere.

There are few disadvantages associated with cloud computing, such as, limits on bandwidth which can be problematic when using the cloud for video and audio. The security of any data stored in these remote servers is in the hands of the service provider, which poses a major concern because sensitive information is unlawfully accessed more frequently these days.

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What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection provided under 17 U.S.C. Sections 101, et seq. to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. This protection is available to published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the Copyright Act generally gives the copyright owner the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do the following:

  1. To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  2. To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  3. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  4. To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  5. To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
  6. In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description. It would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by copyright laws. However, these rights are not unlimited in scope. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the "Fair Use Doctrine" which carves out an exception to the rules. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a "compulsory license" under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions.

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What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way of obtaining funds from other individuals, without going through accredited investors. This can be achieved through equity crowdfunding or non-equity crowdfunding.

Equity crowdfunding is a new form of crowdfunding approved by the JOBS Act. It allows an entity to sell equity (e.g., corporate shares) to others. The JOBS Act then would allow unaccredited investors with lower income to invest a small percentage of their income in private companies. It also caps funding at one million dollars per year.

Non-equity crowdfunding is a form of crowdfunding where no equity in a company is given, but instead there are gifts or other non-monetary rewards for funding. This is commonly seen on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

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What is Cyber law?

Cyber law is a term that encapsulates the legal issues related to use of communicative, transactional, and distributive aspects of networked information devices and technologies. It is less a distinct field of law in the way that property or contract are, as it is a domain covering many areas of law and regulation. Some leading topics include intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction.

Our firm's expertise and accomplishments in these fields include:

  • Preparing royalty agreements for companies engaged in online training to establish the standards by which online content providers can assure ownership, distribution rights, copyrights, and trademark and copyrights to content.
  • Negotiating strategic marketing agreements with America Online for the provision of online impressions and cooperative cross-marketing of goods and services over the Internet and the parties' Web sites. This agreement addressed Internet-specific issues such as the creation, maintenance and ownership of Web site content, hyperlinks, Web site aesthetics and functionality; online advertising issues such as quantity, quality and placement of online impressions; brand names; consumer privacy; government regulation, and standard financial and legal terms and conditions.
  • Working with website developers, Internet service providers, and entrepreneurs so to obtain and protect domain names and website content.
  • Providing information about recently enacted Domain Name Dispute Policies and the Rules adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") for the implementation and enforcement of policies.
  • Providing information as to the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”). ACPA is also known as the Trademark Cyberpiracy Prevention Act and is codified under Title 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). It relates to trademark infringement and Lanham Act violations.
  • Preparing Website disclaimers and "click-wrap" licenses to assist clients to protect their intellectual property and avoid costly disputes.

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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying takes place when the victim, who is usually a minor, is targeted by known or unknown individuals on the internet. For example, the culprits may create a website under their victim’s name and post embarrassing comments or pictures. They may also send embarrassing emails to third parties and include their victim in those messages.

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What is Cybercrime?

A cybercrime takes place when an individual, or a group of individuals, use the internet, and related technologies, to instigate a crime. The criminals may initiate their actions in order to seek money from a third party. For example, they make steal the victim’s identity to open bank accounts or obtain loans.

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What is Cyberextortion?

Cyberextortion happens when the culprit communicates with the victim by using the internet and makes a threat against the victim unless money is paid beforehand.

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What is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking happens by using the internet to stalk, harass, or threaten the victim. It usually takes place by transmitting emails, text messages, or online posts. In some cases, the culprit creates a website to annoy, harass, intimidate, torment the victim.

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What is Cyberterrorism?

Cyberterrorism usually takes place for political, religious, or ideological reasons. The culprit uses computers, including, but not limited to, special software programs to target critical infrastructures in order to intimidate the government. In some cases, the culprit may cause financial damages to persuade a group (or state agency) to change its policies.

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What is Cyberwarfare?

Cyberwarfare takes place between state-sponsored groups in order to cause network disruption or other similar problems. The involved parties are usually government agents that use the internet to cause financial damages to other government agencies. In most cases, there is also an armed attack between the parties which includes physical attacks.

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What is Denial-of-Service?

A denial-of-service (also referred to as “DoS”) takes place when the culprit prevents the users from accessing a specific service. The attack is initiated by sending a significant amount of authentication requests which overwhelms the network resources and causes a disruption. Ultimately, the disruption prevents legitimate requests to come through the network system.

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What is Digital Currency?

A digital currency (also referred to as “cryptocurrency” or “virtual currency”) is a digital form of currency that has no physical form. It can be used as fiat currency to purchase products and services on the internet. A digital currency is unique and usually impossible to double spend it.

It is usually stored on a digital currency wallet and can be transferred between individuals by using special software. The digital currency wallets are special software programs that can securely store digital currencies for an indefinite period. A digital currency is created through mining in the blockchain system which is an automated public ledger of the transactions.

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What is a Digital Signature?

Digital signatures are more complex e-signatures, relying on a form of encryption to ensure that the individual signing the contract is indeed that individual. It does so by creating two “encrypted keys,” one for the individual signing, and another for all other individuals.

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What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is a federal statute that includes five separate titles and imposes the following: It imposes rules prohibiting the circumvention of technological protection measures. It limits copyright infringement liability for online service providers. It expands an existing exemption for making copies of computer programs. It updates the rules and procedures for archival preservation. It mandates a study of distance education activities in networked environments. In addition, it mandates a study of the effects of anti-circumvention protection rules on the First Sale Doctrine.

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What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the address of a web site that is intended to be easily identifiable and easy to remember, such as atrizadeh.com, copyright.gov or uspto.gov. These user-friendly addresses for websites help connect computers - and people - on the Internet. Because they are easy to remember and use, domain names have become business identifiers and, increasingly, even trademarks themselves, such as amazon.com. By using existing trademarks for domain names - sony.com, for example - businesses attract potential customers to their websites. (See www.wipo.int).

Domain name disputes arise largely from the practice of cybersquatting, which involves the pre-emptive registration of trademarks by third parties as domain names. Cybersquatters exploit the first-come, first-served nature of the domain name registration system to register names of trademarks, famous people or businesses with which they have no connection. Since registration of domain names is relatively simple and inexpensive - less than $100 in most cases - cybersquatters often register hundreds of such names as domain names.

As the holders of these registrations, cybersquatters often then put the domain names up for auction, or offer them for sale directly to the company or person involved, at prices far beyond the cost of registration. Alternatively, they often keep the registration and use the good name of the person or business associated with that domain name to attract business for their own sites.

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Why so many disputes?

There is no agreement within the Internet community that would allow organizations that register domain names to pre-screen the filing of potentially problematic names. The reasons vary, ranging from allowing easy registrations to stimulate business, to the practical difficulties involved in determining who holds the rights to a name, to the principle of freedom of expression. Furthermore, the increasing business value of domain names on the Internet has led to more cybersquatting, which results in more disputes and litigation between the cybersquatters and the businesses or individuals whose names have been registered in bad faith.

For more information please visit the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website at http://www.wipo.int/.

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What is E-commerce?

E-commerce is described in the American Heritage Dictionary, as “Commerce that is transacted electronically, as over the Internet.” Simply put, e-commerce is the online transaction of business, featuring linked computer systems of the vendor, host, and buyer. Electronic transactions involve the transfer of ownership or rights to use a good or service. Most people are familiar with business-to-consumer electronic business (B2C). Common illustrations include Amazon.com, llbean.com, CompUSA.com, travelocity.com, and hotels.com.

E-commerce can be divided into:

  • E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"
  • The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data e-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
  • Business-to-business buying and selling (B2B)

E-commerce Disputes

Disputes are inevitable in the course of the life of a business, whether online or offline. The business disputes which the enterprise may encounter include the following:

A) Contractual disputes

  • Disputes between the enterprise and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or web-hosting services provider, including disagreements over interruptions in service, breach in data security etc.
  • Business-to-business (B2B) disputes between the enterprise and its suppliers such as non-performance of contractual obligations, misrepresentations, and complaints from customers regarding services provided by suppliers.
  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) disputes between the enterprise and its customers such as non-payment for goods or services, non-performance of contractual obligations, poor performance of contract, misrepresentations, breach of the privacy policy, and breach of security of confidential information. It is between the enterprise and its customers that lies the greatest possible scope for disputes.

B) Non-contractual disputes

These are the common kinds of non-contractual disputes that may arise in an online enterprise.

  • Copyright - The enterprise might be liable for copyright infringement if it uses copyrighted material in excess of fair use, and without permission.
  • Data protection - The enterprise may be liable for sharing or revealing confidential data on customers, as discussed in the segment on Privacy.
  • Right of free expression - The enterprise may be subject to defamation suits for defamatory material posted online.
  • Competition law, Domain name disputes - The enterprise may be subject to trademark infringement suits if it infringes a registered or otherwise legally recognized trademark. If the enterprise has registered a domain name which corresponds to a registered or common law trademark, it may be subject to a complaint under ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), or the U.S. federal Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Sites Where Dissatisfied Consumers May Report Internet Fraud

  • United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov for international e-commerce disputes. Consumers from any jurisdiction may file complaints involving fraud and similar activities involving online transactions with foreign companies.
  • United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at www.sec.gov.

    See "Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams" (October 1998) at http://www.sec.gov/consumer/cyberfr.htm.

    An online complaint form is provided for online securities fraud. Go to http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/cyberfraud/tellus.htm

  • National Fraud Information Center, Internet Fraud Watch of the National Consumers League. A U.S. nationwide toll-free hotline for advice on telephone solicitations and how to report telemarketing fraud. The Internet Fraud Watch section provides tips and information on how to avoid fraud, protect privacy, and surf the Internet safely at http://www.fraud.org

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What is an E-Signature?

Electronic signatures, or e-Signatures, are signatures for contracts you may execute on the web in order to indicate assent to a contract. This may be accomplished by using a check box or requiring an individual to type his/her name.

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What is Economic Espionage?

Economic espionage takes place when the culprit steals trade secrets (e.g., confidential or proprietary information) from a commercial enterprise for the benefit of a foreign government, instrumentality, or agent. So, it is usually conducted by foreign governments, or their agents, to obtain valuable information such as manufacturing techniques, or research and development secrets. These violations may take place by using special tools and resources like malware or other specialized software programs to infiltrate the victim’s computer network.

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