The Cyber Citizen's Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Internet Law for Your Professional Online Presence


If you actively use the internet to advance your business and professional endeavors, you are a cyber citizen and this book is for you. As a good cyber citizen, you want to stay legal online and protect your online interests. The Cyber Citizen's Guide Through the Legal Jungle addresses legal issues that arise during each step of establishing and maintaining your professional online presence whether you blog, podcast, operate a website, publish an email newsletter, host a fan site, or offer original content on a ...

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If you actively use the internet to advance your business and professional endeavors, you are a cyber citizen and this book is for you. As a good cyber citizen, you want to stay legal online and protect your online interests. The Cyber Citizen's Guide Through the Legal Jungle addresses legal issues that arise during each step of establishing and maintaining your professional online presence whether you blog, podcast, operate a website, publish an email newsletter, host a fan site, or offer original content on a social networking site.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967294025
  • Publisher: Sashay Communications, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/28/2010
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 Establishing Your Online Presence 17

1 Introduction 19

1.1 Are You a Cyber Citizen? 19

1.2 Who Should Read This Book? 20

1.3 How to Use This Book 20

2 Checklist of Legal Issues for the Cyber Citizen 23

Part 2 Knowing Your Online Rights and Responsibilities 29

3 Protecting Your Online Content 31

3.1 Copyright Law Basics 31

3.2 Your Exclusive Rights in Your Copyrighted Work 32

3.3 What Is Not Protected by Copyright? 34

3.4 Who Owns the Copyright in an Online Work? 36

3.5 Copyright Law Formalities 38

3.6 Specific Online Content Protected by Copyright 42

3.7 Other Laws that Protect Your Online Content 49

3.8 Options if Your Online Content Is Used without Your Permission 54

4 Registering the Copyright in Your Online Work 61

4.1 Benefits of Copyright Registration 61

4.2 Necessity of Registering Your Online Work 62

4.3 Copyright Registration Basics 62

4.4 Online Registration 64

4.5 Online Fill-In Form 67

4.6 Group Registration, Generally 68

4.7 Group Registration of Your Online Work as an Automated Database 71

4.8 Group Registration of Your Online Work as a Serial 73

4.9 Preregistration 78

4.10 Available Copyright Registration Methods for Specific Online Works 80

5 Selecting Your Domain Name 83

5.1 What Is a Domain Name? 83

5.2 Your Relationship with Domain Name Registries, Registrars and ICANN 86

5.3 How to Select a Domain Name 87

5.4 Qualifying a Domain Name as a Trademark 90

5.5 Trademark Basics 91

6 Protecting Your Domain Name and Personal Name 103

6.1 How Domain Name Disputes Arise 103

6.2 How to Avoid Domain Name Disputes 104

6.3 Resolving Domain Name Disputes through the UDRP, ACPA and Traditional Trademark Lawsuits 105

6.4 Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) 108

6.5 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) 112

6.6 Traditional Trademark Lawsuits 113

6.7 Bad Faith under the UDRP and ACPA 115

6.8 The Commercial Use Requirement 121

6.9 Protecting Your Personal Name on the Internet 123

6.10 Use of Trademarks and Names in Post Domain and Sub Domain Paths 128

7 Protecting Your Technology 131

7.1 Patent Law Basics 131

7.2 Requirements for Patentability 132

7.3 Business Method Patents 134

7.4 Filing a Patent Application 135

7.5 Protecting Technology through Trade Secrets 140

7.6 Protecting Technology through Contract 141

8 Using Other Peoples Material 143

8.1 Permissions and Rights Clearance Basics 143

8.2 Use Protected by the First Amendment 144

8.3 Copyright Fair Use 145

8.4 Trademark Fair Use 146

8.5 Parody 147

8.6 Public Domain Materials 149

8.7 Using Other's Copyrighted Materials 154

8.8 Using Other Protected Materials 159

8.9 Mentioning Real People Online 161

8.10 Using Music on the Internet 170

8.11 Obtaining Permission 175

9 Monitoring Your Relationships with and Obligations to Online Visitors 181

9.1 Online Privacy Policy 181

9.2 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) 182

9.3 Spam and Unsolicited Commercial Email 185

9.4 Cyber Stalking and Cyber Bullying 188

Part 3 Engaging in Specific Online Activities 191

10 Services Used by Cyber Citizens 193

10.1 Web Hosts and Other Service Providers 193

10.2 Sample Terms Used by Service Providers 194

11 Blogs and Podcasts 197

11.1 What Is a Blog? 197

11.2 Who Owns the Blog Content? 197

11.3 Blogging Anonymously 199

11.4 Can You Be Fired for Blogging? 200

11.5 Bloggers as Journalists 203

11.6 What Is a Podcast? 209

11.7 Interview Releases 210

12 Social Networking Sites and User Generated Content 211

12.1 What Is a Social Networking Site? 211

12.2 What Is User Generated Content? 211

12.3 Best Practices for Creators of User Generated Content 212

12.4 Best Practices for Sites that Allow Online Visitors to Post User Generated Content 212

12.5 Digital Millennium Copyright Act Protection 214

12.6 Impersonation and Use of Celebrity Names on Social Networking Sites 216

12.7 Wikis 217

13 Fan Sites, Gripe Sites, and Parody Sites 219

13.1 Commentary Sites 219

13.2 Safe and Risky Content for an Unofficial Fan Site 220

13.3 Criticism, Gripe and Parody Sites 224

13.4 Use of Trademarks and Celebrity Names in Commentary Sites 226

13.5 Disclaimers for Commentary Sites 227

13.6 Real-Life Examples of Acceptable and Unacceptable Commentary Sites 228

14 Peer-to-Peer File Sharing 231

14.1 What Is Peer-to-Peer File Sharing? 231

14.2 Media Industry Actions against Individual File Sharers 232

14.3 Media Industry Actions against Internet Companies 234

14.4 Other Media Industry Responses to Peer-to-Peer File Sharing 234

15 Email Newsletters, Discussion Forums and Online Communications 237

15.1 Online Communication Methods 237

15.2 Legal Issues Common to Online Communication Methods 240

Appendices 243

Appendix A Resources and Forms 245

A.1 General Resources for the Cyber Citizen 245

A.2 Tips and Sample Forms for Registering the Copyright in Your Online Work 248

A.3 Tips and Sample Form for Registering Your Domain Name as a Trademark 273

A.4 Sample DMCA Takedown Notices and Counter Notices 282

A.5 Sample Website Development Agreement 286

A.6 Sample Terms of Service for Website 290

Appendix B Glossary of Terms 295

Index 301

About the Author 309

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2010

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    Avoiding the pitfalls of cyberspace communication

    Joy R Butler, thank you! Here, finally, is an easy to read, informative guide as to just what the parameters of legality are in communicating via the internet. Everyone realizes that the art of writing letters (remember, the kind of communication that required stationery and pen and envelopes and stamps?) is approaching the tar pits of dinosaurs and while that is a regrettable shame for the loss of an art, reality is that communication via the spiky condensed 'words' and symbols of email has replaced elegance. But as we adjust to this very public form of stating our opinions and our feelings before a cast of millions , considering the protection of our private lives is becoming ever more important. Witness the increasing incidence of emails and blogs and twitters and Facebook passages that have been used in convictions of people who begin their dastardly deeds in full view of the public - at times, innocent those may be!

    Butler patiently and supportively takes us through the legalities of being an informed Cyber Citizen - knowing our online rights and responsibilities, copyright laws that protect 'borrowing' or prevent downright theft of information and images, establishing an online presence and how to protect domain names and personal names, benefits AND dangers encountered in indulging in joining networking sites and blogs, discussion forums, language to avoid in writing gripes (against individuals, the government, groups, etc), and when information can and cannot be removed from the internet. The organization of the material in this book is clear and constructive in nature and Butler makes sure that the reader understands the information and the limits to the information she shares.

    In a timeframe when probably all of us use the computer as a communication device, this book is not only timely but authoritative and dependable helpful. It is a book that should be read by everyone who cares about identity theft and staying within the bounds of legality in putting fingers to keyboard of the PC, the laptop, the Ipad, the cellphone, the Apple, etc. Wise and helpful writing, this.

    Grady Harp

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    In this new age era of computers and electronic communication, it is wise to know your way around the legal maze of trademarks, copyrights,and websites.

    Author Joy Butler is a business and media attorney who has written a timely, concise, clear, primer addressing legal issues that can arise for internet users. Blogs, podcast, email newsletters, protecting domain names, complying with privacy obligations to online visitors, using other people's material, patents, videos, profile pages, just to mention a few. Included is an appendix with examples of copyright and trademark registration applications, and a chapter on disputes, actual cases resolved through litigation.

    After receiving a complimentary review copy of "The Cyber Citizen," I read it anticipating legal jargon, complicated law statutes and oppressive guidelines. The book is surprisingly easy to read and written so that anyone can understand the material and apply it to their own online business or social networking activities.

    I especially liked the opening checklist with short questions and answers about specific internet activities with references to subsequent chapters in the book for more in-depth explanation.

    Highly recommended reading

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