For those who are not technologically minded or who have not been paying attention, intellectual property law in the internet age is like an entirely new world, with its own language and customs. When it comes to the legal landscape overseeing online IP, it is like the wild west.
In the wild west, laws were not fully developed or enforced. People simply did what they did and eventually the law caught up. It is the same in the online world regarding IP: People are steaming, file sharing and distributing content while lawmakers continue trying to bring the law up to date so it can adequately regulate this new world.
For anyone operating in an online environment, it is critical to understand the legislation and current state of case law on these matters in order to avoid lawsuits or the violation of their own copyright protections. Whether you are a copyright holder, operator of a VPN provider or an individual streaming copyrighted material, it is critical to understand this legal landscape.
3 essential steps for protecting your interests
The most important things you can do to protect yourself in this legal wild west include:
- Know the technology involved: The current online environment involves extremely complex, developing technology. Knowing the technology is the first step to knowing protecting yourself in the online environment.
- Keep up with the developing precedents: When laws are written, it is up to the courts to determine how these laws will be interpreted and applied. New lawsuits are constantly being filed in this area, and keeping up with the ongoing litigation to understand the legal precedents that control IP online.
- Preemptive consultations: Working with an experienced attorney is critical, especially in cases involving BitTorrent copyright litigation. While most people will consult an attorney only after a problem arises, preemptive consultation can be invaluable for avoiding legal problems in the first place.
With the constant changing and developing of the laws regulating online intellectual property, it is difficult to know how any specific situation will play out. The most important protection in this dangerous legal landscape is understanding the dangers involved and working with an experienced lawyer who can help protect your interests.