Cyberlaw 101

Written by June Campbell

You've already discovered thatrepparttar Internet is a great medium for promoting your business. But just as you can userepparttar 119308 Net's various components likerepparttar 119309 web, email, chat and newsgroups to network, to make new contacts and to generate leads, you can easily find yourself in hot water over legal disputes and legal challenges.

Doing business onrepparttar 119310 Net can be fraught with legal perils for those who act unthinkingly or unknowingly. In some situations, laws governing cyber activities are clearly defined and reflectrepparttar 119311 laws that govern our activities inrepparttar 119312 real world. In other cases,repparttar 119313 Internet is still a "gray area", and laws will be established throughrepparttar 119314 outcomes of court cases.

Although situations differ, as do laws in various jurisdictions,repparttar 119315 following tips might help you stay clear of trouble:

1. Registering a domain name doesn't prevent legal challenges to your right to use that domain name. Many a web site owner has been dismayed to hear from a company claiming his or her domain name is a trademark violation. To avoid problems in this area, conduct appropriate searches before registering, and consider registering your own domain name as a trademark. Businesses that register domain names can help you assess your options.

2. You risk copyright violation if you copyrepparttar 119316 content, graphics, layout, name, look or feel of another web site without express permission. Several countries ofrepparttar 119317 world, including Canada, andrepparttar 119318 US, have signed an international copyright convention that protects copyright in member countries. If discovered in violation of copyright, your penalty could be as small as being asked to removerepparttar 119319 offending material to as large a penalty as a court might see fit to award.

3. If your web site contains bulletin boards or chat rooms, you can be held liable for material posted by visitors to your site. To reducerepparttar 119320 potential for problems, check your forums and chats regularly and remove any content that could create trouble. Material to watch for includes anything that could be considered libelous, promotes hate, could be considered adult content (and you do not have an adult site), could be perceived as threatening or harassing to others, or promotes an illegal activity, etc. 4. Avoid advertising statements that would be illegal or prohibited in other media. Be particularly cautious if your site advertises alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, financial services, gambling, contests or adult entertainment.


Written by Les C. Cseh


Did you know thatrepparttar UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) regulations place responsibility for forgery losses partially on bank customers, rather than solely onrepparttar 119307 banks? But in addition to this exposure, there can be significant expenses and lost time investigatingrepparttar 119308 crime, not to mention damage to your credibility and reputation.

Your only defence is to show that you have taken due diligence. One way to demonstrate this is by implementing careful practices regarding your checks. Another is to use checks with well implemented security features.


The problem is so serious thatrepparttar 119309 banks don't like to revealrepparttar 119310 extent ofrepparttar 119311 problem. Estimates range from hundreds of millions to 10 billion dollars annually.

In 1991,repparttar 119312 FBI tracked over 26,000 cases, but this is justrepparttar 119313 tip ofrepparttar 119314 iceberg, becauserepparttar 119315 FBI mostly focuses on cases whererepparttar 119316 amount exceeds $100,000. Just one example comes from The Green Sheet (a publication torepparttar 119317 Financial Services Industry), reporting an incident where a family had allegedly stolen more than $1 million from area merchants since 1993 by writing checks on closed and non-existent accounts at 11 financial institutions in Indiana and Chicago under 25 different names.

In just 4 years, Northern Trust Bank has detected more than 3 million dollars worth of counterfeit checks.


It is an endless list, but here are some ofrepparttar 119318 types of things that someone looking to counterfeit or tamper might look for:

* High volume bank accounts where a fraudulent check can easily slip through. * Checks that are easy to reproduce using a color copier. * Checks that are easy to tamper with. * Easy access to checkbook or check stock.

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