Ten Laws Internet Businesses Should Consider Part I


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This Part 1 of a 2-part presentation surveys several five laws that may be applicable to those who transact or conduct a lot of business online. In Part 1, the Communications Decency Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, Federal Trade Commission Act Section 5, and CAN-SPAM Act are reviewed.

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Ten Laws Internet Businesses Should Consider Part I

  1. 1. PART I: Laws 1 – 5 Presented by Ryan K. Hew, Attorney at Law, LLLC A Hawaii Limited Liability Law Company Last updated: October 22, 2013
  2. 2. DISCLAIMER The information provided in this presentation is provided as non-specific general legal information, and should not be construed as legal advice for any particular situation. The information provided here should not be relied on for any action or omission by the user.  If you are in need of legal advice or assistance please seek an attorney in your relevant jurisdiction to help you with your specific matter. 
  3. 3. Purpose This presentation is mainly to provide information on laws that may be relevant or applicable to a business that conducts interactions online.  Consider this only a starting point if you are web retailer, a social media marketer/consultant, and/or online service provider. 
  4. 4. Limitations on the Purpose The presentation is only a survey, as every business is unique, and there may be further laws and/or regulations that apply.  This presentation makes no comment about applicability to a law to your specific situation.  Consult an attorney or specialist for implementation/compliance purposes. 
  5. 5. Outline   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Each law will be covered briefly on: (a) what is the law; and (b) an example of its use/applies or steps to comply. The Ten Laws: Communications Decency Act (CDA) Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act CAN-SPAM Act Stored Communications Act (SCA) Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) State Laws on Security Breach Notification Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign)
  6. 6. Communications Decency Act (CDA)  The CDA, 47 U.S.C. § 230, is meant for internet service providers (ISPs), hosting providers, and other intermediaries by affording them protection against liability when content is created/supplied by 3rd party users on their service.
  7. 7. Communications Decency Act (CDA)  A review site that allows its users to share their reviews of businesses in an online forum is unlikely to be found to be liable for use of trademark by the detractors due to the CDA; defense to trademark infringement.
  8. 8. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)  The notice-and-take down feature for copyrighted material of DMCA, 17 U.S.C. § 512 provides online service providers protection from liability by allowing a process for copyright holders to notify the provide of infringing copyrighted material.
  9. 9. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)  If a video hosting site allows users to upload videos, and those videos contain unauthorized copies of music, images, movies, etc . . . the copyright holder may issue a notice and takedown request to the hosting site, so long as the hosting site promptly removes or disables access to the infringing copyrighted material.
  10. 10. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) COPPA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-05, is meant to protect children by placing regulations on the way their personal information is collected online.  If you are a website that collects information from children 13 and under there are certain operational procedures you must take to comply. 
  11. 11. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. If COPPA applies to a website, the operator must: Post notice of info practices; Reasonable efforts to obtain “verifiable parental consent” before getting child’s information; Give parent the opportunity to review and ability to delete that information; Cannot collect more information from child than necessary; and Reasonable procedures to prevent unauthorized access to collected info.
  12. 12. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act Section 5 of the FTCA, in conjunction with state unfair and deceptive acts law, work to prevent false advertising, deception, fraud, unfairness, and other practices by businesses that are harmful to consumers.  A very, basic gist is do NOT lie or misdirect consumers of what you are selling them online. 
  13. 13. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act The FTC has been active in trying to prevent online transactions that are deemed unfair or deceptive.  Often times this is against businesses that do not provide protection for consumers’ credit card numbers, financial information, etc . . . or to those that do not follow their own website policies. 
  14. 14. CAN-SPAM Act  The CAN-SPAM Act is meant to prevent SPAM, the unsolicited commercial emails you get, not the canned meat (Hawaii humor). Under 15 U.S.C. §§ 7701-13 and 18 U.S.C. § 1037 a seller has certain obligations when using email as a marketing tool.
  15. 15. CAN-SPAM Act 1. 2. 3. Certain acts and messaging are prohibited, such as misleading headers or subject lines, unauthorized relaying of spam thru a 3rd party server, and assisting violators of the law. You MUST include in the message the sender’s physical mailing address, an online opt-out (“unsubscribe”), and that the message is an “advertisement” or “solicitation”. CAN-SPAM Act preempts state law, so you are likely looking at Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement. Individuals cannot bring a suit under this law.
  16. 16. END OF PART I PART II of this Presentation contains the following laws: 1. Stored Communications Act (SCA) 2. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) 3. State Laws on Security Breach Notification 4. Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) 5. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign)
  17. 17. Further Resources My website: www.hawaiiesquire.com contains further information on some of the laws listed in this presentation.  CAN-SPAM Act infographic: http://bit.ly/1ibgr2Q  What is a Copyright? One-sheet: http://bit.ly/1ibgueZ  Policies and Contracts Presentation: http://slidesha.re/1ibgjjM 
  18. 18. THE END Mahalo for viewing my presentation. If you have questions or comments please email me at ryankhew@hawaiiesquire.com Like this presentation? Connect with me: Twitter: @Rkhewesq; Instagram: Rkhewesq Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyanKHewEsq LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/hawaiiesquire My website & blog: www.hawaiiesquire.com