The Internet is a truly international creation, reaching every (or nearly every) country on the planet.
However, with that broad reach comes some very difficult legal questions. Each of those countries have their own set of laws that govern many of the legal issues on the Web including copyright, defamation, contract law, privacy and trademark and so forth.
These countries, historically, have had a great deal of autonomy to set those laws and enforce them as they see fit. However, online, legal problems routinely involve multiple nations. For example, a person in Australia can use a site hosted in Canada to infringe the copyright of someone in Germany.
This is a big part of why it’s important to not just be aware of your nation’s laws, but of other nations as well (within reason). Unfortunately though, it’s completely impractical for someone to learn even the basics of all the relevant legal areas on every country, much less keep up with the changes.
But there is one country that every blogger should study the laws of: The United States.
The reason isn’t a misguided sense of national pride or importance, but because of the practical realities of the Web. Whether you like it or not, your site’s activities are governed in large part by U.S. law and, even if you’re not a citizen or have never even visited the country, it’s laws can come back to bite you.
On that note, here are just four reasons why U.S. law is important to all bloggers, regardless of where they are located. Read More
If you’ve been on the Web long enough, you would’ve probably heard about domain squatting, which is basically a third party registering the domain of some entity with legal rights to that name or trademark. The intent is to either resell the name at exorbitant prices, or put up malicious websites or sites that are commercial in nature (but not owned by the trademark owner).
Domain squatting or cybersquatting is big business, and the legal implications are not always as simple as black and white. There are intellectual property laws that apply, or even dispute resolution policies, but jurisdiction is not always clear. So it’s usually common sense for businesses, trademark name owners and even individuals to register ahead their desired domain names, to avoid potential conflict.
Now, with URL redirection services becoming popular (such as with Twitter and other microblogging services, which allow only limited characters per post), redirection URL squatting can also be a problem. While previously tinyurl and most other redirection services only offered random or sequential extensions, nowadays you can customize the few characters that come after tinyurl.com/ . And with such customization comes the potential for abuse.
LouisGray.com reports of URL redirection abuse. tinyurl.com/dell has been redirected to a porn site. tinyurl.com/amazon, meanwhile has been redirected to an affiliate site, with the intent of the owner earning affiliate commissions from Amazon sales. Sure, the latter may be a grey area bordering on the legitimate, but the use of the /amazon extension might be questionable.
So if you intend to protect your tinyurl “name” then now’s the time to register.