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Internet Law
Courts around the world are creating Internet law right now--a process that is both exciting and frightening to watch. Unlike other areas of commerce that can turn to historical traditions to help settle disputes and guide the development of the law, the law of the Internet has no history to fall back on. "Cyber law" is instead being developed by judges who must do their best to fit legal disputes on the Internet into preexisting legal frameworks. Claims of trademark and copyright infringement have become common place items on the World Wide Web.

The discussion of Internet Law is divided into the following sections:

Internet Censorship

This report contains information on government policy and/or laws regarding Internet censorship in various countries around the world. The information was compiled by EFA in March 2002 in response to a request from the Chair of a NSW Parliamentary Committee inquiring into a NSW Bill intended to censor the Internet (for background, see the Introduction section below).

Since approximately 1995, numerous governments around the world have been addressing the problems of material on the Internet that is illegal under their offline laws, and also that considered harmful or otherwise unsuitable for minors. The nature of material of principal concern has varied substantially. For example: political speech; promotion of or incitement to racial hatred; pornographic material. Few governments have attempted to ban or otherwise legislatively restrict access to "matter unsuitable for minors" as distinct from material illegal to distribute to adults.

Australian Law

If you are researching law for the first time, you may find it worthwhile reading an overview of the Australia's Legal System. In particular, the section on the court system will assist in searching case law on the Internet.

(AUSTLII) - Australasian Legal Information Institute - legislation and court judgements for most jurisdictions (Commonwealth, States and Territories). Includes commentaries and summaries on the law by bodies such as the Australian Law Reform Commission. Also includes a number of law journals.

ComLaw and SCALEplus (Australian Attorney General's Department) - legislation and ancillary documents and information for the Commonwealth and non-self governing Territories. ComLaw came online in January 2005 and contains the new Federal Register of Legistative Instruments and will eventually replace SCALEplus.

Weblaw - the essential subject gateway to quality assessed Internet resources for researching Australian law.

Internet regulation - law

Offers original articles and features about the Internet industry, plus annotated links to selected relevant Internet resources, compiled by a subject specialist, a subject-specific bulletin board, and details of related news and events. Topics include associations, business issues, broadcasting, domain registration, electronic commerce, history of the Internet, innovations, legal resources, news resources, online journals, reference services and trading, trade fairs and statistics. Designed to be an evolving resource for those interested in legal issues concerning cyberspace. Sections include: cybercrimes, commerce, privacy, intellectual property, commerce etc. US based.

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