Figure 1: The Internet isn’t free from the law, so beware if you break it!
Below we shall cover very briefly the types of laws that can affect you and the reasons why you need to know about it. Because law is a complicated subject you’re going to need to research the subject further and if you feel confused or worried about anything, get some proper advice from someone who’s well versed in Internet law. Hopefully the recognition of the below will give you the knowledge you need to get started and perhaps save you a lot of potential hassle in the future!
Of the many areas of law which affect the field of web design and development, arguably the most prominent is intellectual property. In essence, this covers things like copyright, trademarks, patents, cyber squatting (domain disputes) and to a lesser extent, issues such as plagiarism. As a designer or developer, you need to be aware of intellectual property because it governs what you are legally allowed to use in terms of other peoples content and even what denotes fair use in your work.
While the subjects of design and development are things we regularly enjoy talking about, the issue of how law affects us as professionals doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should do. While the web may be a place of free speech, diversity and competition there are a few constant issues which designers and developers alike need to be aware of if only to not do anything which might put them into a dispute. The aim of this article is to simply highlight the issues you may encounter.
Image credit: Maciek Lesniak
Note: For the point of this piece it’s essential that I provide a disclaimer saying that I am not a lawyer or legal professional. I am simply a freelancer offering their insights and nothing I say is to be taken “as-is”. If you do have an issue, I urge you to seek assistance from a qualified legal professional. Leer más “Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle”