Researching Internet law

Web journalists need to be aware of the law and how it is applied on the Internet. Consider areas that general books on media law discuss such as: defamation, copyright, privacy and obscenity. Of course the Internet is different to traditional print publishing due to its

A) global nature (countries vary according to how strict their laws are, although there is a degree of agreement amongst the countries of the EU).

B) anonymity of much of the information online.

C) speed of communication and transmission of information.

Some of the issues you could consider: the MP3 debate (music piracy), ‘deep linking’, domain name theft, libel (e.g. on message boards, in chat rooms and MySpace etc), spam and use of cookies. 

When researching the topic you can begin with general books on media law such as Media Law by Peter Carey or The Internet Law and Society by Yaman Akdeniz of These are in the the library.

QuickLinks – news items about legal and regulatory aspects of internet
Defamation and the Internet (
Godfrey v Demon Internet (BBC News)  – an early libel case
Cyber -Rights (website of Yaman Akdeniz)
BBC Webwise – guide to Internet law (very simple/basic guide)
Yahoo! – Technology law links
BUBL Links
Internet Freedom – civil liberty group

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