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What Legal Issues Are Involved with E-Commerce or the Internet?

Whether you are a user, a content provider or a fully online business, the internet involves as many legal issues online as the offline business world does. In fact, all the same issues as in the online world apply but there are several extra factors which can have far-reaching consequences.

For example, it is likely that you will be bound not only by your own country's laws, but also by those of other countries exposed to your website - even where those laws are vastly different from those in your own country - you may have to comply with both to the extent that is possible.

If you use the internet as a marketing tool or use electronic commerce as a tool in business, and especially if the bulk of your business is online, your legal exposure suddenly extends no longer to just where you are physically based, but also to any country and state you deal with in any capacity and possibly to some where you have no dealings at all.

For example, if you market your services online and appear to target specific countries, you may be required to comply with all relevant laws in those countries even if you are based elsewhere. Similarly, if you publish something online that can be downloaded from a country where what you published is defamatory, you can still be liable under the laws of that country even though you are not in that country, did not upload it the material there and even where you had no intention of the material being able to be downloaded from there.

If you decide to move some of your business online or to have an online presence, then you will need to acquaint yourself with the new environment and risks inherent in it. For example, you may have had a trademark of your business name for many years in your country but someone else might have registered a domain name just the same as your trademark. Your trademark may well be of assistance in the event of a dispute with that party, but in many circumstances it may not have any bearing at all upon their right to retain and use that domain name, even though their website might confuse your customers into thinking that there is some connection between them and you.

How Can We Help?

We have very broad experience assisting clients both small and large across the wide spectrum of legal issues involved in the world of e-commerce and the internet.

We can assist you to minimise your online risks, resolve online disputes, protect your rights online, draft and review associated documents and paperwork and generally advise you as to any aspects of your online legal issues with which you may seek assistance.