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Legal Issues in Digital Publishing, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 986

Essay

Following the advancement of internet and web designing protecting one’s intellectual property has become a tricky issue, because internet has only functioned to complicate issues. The internet over the years has become a hackneyed designer’s one stop shop for never-ending material and resources for those who need. Most companies around the world post and use the content to boost their businesses. Thus, browsing other companies’ websites give prospective company great ideas for theme ideas, colors, graphical styles, as well as layout designs. In the case of Sandra, she should go and pick those design features that she feels will enable the company to attract customers from “Borrow My Doggy”. Sandra wants to register her new company with the name “borrowmy.doggy”. The two names are different because Sandra has just joined the letters “my” with borrow while in the company the word “my” has separated from the other two. In this case, information, ideas, as well as technology (computer software exempted) are not protected by copyright; therefore, should be of little concern to Sandra. Copyrights are not pertinent to be infringed without conscious duplication of copyrightable subject matter. In the case of the website the two names are not copyrightable subject matter and Sandra can go on and develop the website (Weiss, 2009). Sandra should understand that the other company in Ireland can file a patent case to safeguard the original invention. She should research to know if the company registered the name of the company.  Under the Trademark Act 1996, Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) offers a way to resolve a conflict that arises concerning the use of similar domains. The prospective complainant (company in Ireland) must prove that Sandra violated the three elements of UDRP. This is because the two names are similar; therefore, Sandra what legal actions the other company can initiate to stop her from using similar domain. In addition, it will right for Sandra to ‘stretch the truth’ in her promotion campaigns in order to attract more customers. The Consumer Act 2007 under the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) Code demands adverts that are truthful in order to protect the consumer from any deceptive advertisement. Sandra should be careful in designing the ads to avoid legal issues arising if she decides to “stretch the truth”.

Distance selling entails selling and purchasing goods and services through website without face-to-face. Sandra wants to develop a website that she will use to reach its potential customers, which means that she will be engaging with distance selling. European Union Regulation 2013 (Consumer Information, Cancellation and other rights) regulate those contracts undertaken between “consumer” and “trader” through distance selling.  The law defines distant contract as contracts that are settled under planned distance sales demands that the trader and consumer should not present physically. In this regulation the agreement should be undertaken by exclusive utilization of one or more avenues of distance communication up to, as well as the time the contract was settled.

In this case, Sandra has an obligation to establish the website and sells her products through the website routinely in order for the law to cover the consumers. Based on the law, Sandra should provide valid and up-to-date information regarding products or services offered, which is pre-contract information. She should also offer information regarding the services offered, contact information, and names of the company, especially geographical location. The company through the website should give the consumer contract information after the transaction. The regulation demands that the seller should provide the price of goods or services, as well as delivery and cancellation rights of the order. In addition, under the law on distance selling Sandra should under that delivery of goods or services should be based on agreed period that is not later than 30 days from the time the order was placed. The contract allows Sandra to deliver the order after the agreed has elapsed, but within agreed additional period (if any). If this is violated, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract (Gangopadhyay, 2002).

Reprisal in opposition to bad reviews is mounting, as the Internet becomes a more and more vital instrument of business. In the case, those customers that post negative reviews would not face legal actions because there is no single law that covers posting reviews. Sandra should proceed and develop a discussion forum where the community will post their reviews. It will be unlawful for companies to introduce non-disparagement clauses in the business contacts, which forbid customers from posting negative reviews in online platform. Therefore, Sandra should not review customer’s reviews because there is no law that governs that. The reviews by customers are an expression of free speech; hence, under the law, customers are protected to post their honest writings. However, Sandra should be aware of the Defamation Act 2009 that defines defamation as the statement that tends to damage a person’s repute in the eyes of the rational members of the society. Failure to moderate the reviews and to give the right respond to dog walkers can attract a legal action based on the Defamation Act 2009. Punishing customers that post negative reviews will amount to violation of Fourth Amendment that allows freedom of speech, which will amount to breaching the customer’s right to express him/her. In this regard, it is apparent that Sandra will not face any legal action by not moderating customer’s review concerning her business (Tittle, 2000). The dog walkers will not have any justifiable ground to open a legal action against Sandra’s company. The dog walkers will not have any legal authority to sue customers because they are protected under the Fourth Amendment that safeguards the right of free speech.

References

Gangopadhyay, A. (2002). Managing business with electronic commerce: Issues and trends. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Pub.

Tittle, P. (2000). Ethical issues in business: Inquiries, cases, and readings. Peterborough,Ont: Broadview Press.

Weiss, J. W. (2009). Business ethics: A stakeholders and issues management approach. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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