Another term for Internet law is Cyberlaw. Unlike other areas of the law, Internet law cannot be identified as one solid, stable and specific field of practice. Rather, it incorporates and applies principles from several traditional fields, such as privacy law or contract law, that predate the internet.
Internet law can include the following:

• Laws related to the creation of websites;
• Laws governing Internet Service Providers (ISPs);
• Laws related to how trademarks are used online;
• Laws regarding how to resolve conflicts over domain names;
• Laws related to how to link web pages.

Whilst the UK remains committed to a free, open and secure internet the regulator, Ofcom, has a legal duty to pay due regard to innovation and to protect users’ rights online. Nevertheless Ofcom is particularly mindful of not infringing privacy and freedom of expression. This year UK government ministers have announced that the government intends bringing in new legislation to protect children online in the wake of campaigns for a statutory duty of care. Following the introduction of any legislation Ofcom will have powers to impose fines for any breach of regulations and to possibly prosecute.

The government has been swift to introduce best practice guidelines for social media and internet merchants. However, lately the government has had criticisms levelled against it that its strategy could lead to greater censorship. There is always a balance to be struck between unfettered inappropriate internet content and the extreme censorship that exists in the Middle East, China and North Korea.

Audley Chaucer encompasses the spectrum of Internet law services from advice on establishing a website through the many possible legal pitfalls such as laws on copyright, online trading and data protection. To discuss any issue regarding Internet law and online intellectual property security or any associated internet process please contact us today.

Ian Lake

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