The Top Internet Law Cases of 2019
By Space Coast Daily // February 27, 2020
Businesses leverage advancements in modern technology to ensure that they have a strong online presence.
This is because more and more people find it more convenient to perform several transactions online, such as acquiring services, as well as making payments.
However, the modernization of the digital world came about several challenges specifically with data privacy or copyright and trademarks, with some issues even reaching a legal battle.
It is, therefore, worthwhile to take a look into some of the top internet law cases of the previous year and learn from it.
High Internet Speed Lawsuit
One of the most popular internet law cases of 2019 was the high internet speed lawsuit filed by the music industry against one internet provider.
In this case, the internet provider simply offers several packages of high internet speed to its clients. However, representatives from the music industry claim that this contributes to piracy because, with higher internet speed, people will be able to illegally download copyrighted songs more conveniently.
The ruling granted was in favor of the representatives of the music industry because the law doesn’t always protect internet access providers or IAPs from liability for user-caused copyright infringement.
Data Privacy Law Battles
Some of the most trending internet law cases of the previous year involved data privacy law battles. For instance, the social media giant Facebook was fined for breaches regarding the collection and sale of personal data and sensitive information.
This is because there are particular internet law legislations encompassing websites and online content and it is best to be aware of these laws.
An Internet lawyer usually has extensive experience in protecting against data breach liability, which is why it is best to consult with one to avoid any penalties or fines, especially if you are running your own blog or online business.
More often than not, they are the people who are equipped with the proper knowledge to help formulate responses to data breaches or protect and advise companies that have been a victim of a data breach.
There are several cases filed in the previous year for cybersquatting, which is the act of purchasing a domain with the goal of generating revenue from a trademarked name.
For instance, if elegant-wear.com is a popular clothing and retail site, someone may register ElegantWearClothing.com, hoping to rank higher in search engine results when people key in ‘elegant wear’.
There is a thin line that distinguishes between cybersquatting and proper domain name registration and use. If proven guilty with the act, the penalties for cybersquatting includes settling the amount of three times the value of the damage done, the profits gained from cybersquatting, court costs, as well as legal fees.
ADA Website Compliance
The American Disabilities Act is a set of compliance standards that require websites and online content creators to design their pages to cater to people who struggle with disabilities.
In the past year, several companies have been sued over noncompliance with the standards imposed by this act. To name one, Mary Connor, who is visually impaired, filed a lawsuit against Beyoncé, one of the most famous pop stars of her time.
This is because the former was not able to access key features because the latter’s website did not conform to WCAG 2.0 AA standards. WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and AA is the second accessibility level, indicating that it is a standard. The other accessibility levels are A for below acceptable and AAA for exceptional.
Another noteworthy case in line with the ADA website compliance is the lawsuit faced by both Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the lawsuit, it appears that both websites failed to cater to the needs of deaf people. In this case, it was the National Association of the Deaf who filed a lawsuit for alleged discrimination against deaf people.
There were also several cases filed in the previous year encompassing user-generated content. One popular case is that faced by YouTube wherein it came to a point that the video content giant temporarily ceased the ability of its users to upload new content in their channels.
This was after a shooting incident was live-streamed, which was allowed because it proved to have newsworthy content value. However, several governments globally took a stand that the video should be considered as categorically illegal and should be banned from any platform.
This implies that internet services can be held liable for failing to control user-generated content that may be deemed as disturbing or lawful, but awful.
Several other notable cases under user-generated content involve cases against social media platforms for terrorist content. However, most of these cases have resulted in defense wins because of a lack of proximate causation, as well as failure to present substantial evidence.
There are also cases of politicians banning their constituents on social media on the grounds of censorship. However, several courts ruled this out as unconstitutional, requiring politicians to review their social media blocks.
Another one of the top internet law cases of 2019 was regarding the protection of online marketplaces from liabilities concerning marketplace goods.
It seems that online marketplaces no longer have unlimited protection from the liabilities they cause their patrons. Online customers and consumers now have the protection to ensure that the goods they purchase online are authentic, and the services they enlist are delivered with quality.
This encompasses the entire sale process which begins with the user making a purchase until the product is delivered and proven to be in good condition.
The digital world is thriving because of the limitless possibilities it offers not only to businesses and enterprises but also to individuals who are budding artists or bloggers.
The continuous development of the virtual world entails the need for certain laws and regulations to be put into place to ensure that the rights of individuals and businesses are protected.
In parallel, rules are meant to guarantee that those who take advantage of others, even in the online world, will be held accountable.
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