Information technologies and the Internet have enormous potential for administrations, businesses and industries, as well as for consumers; in order to do so, however, it is fundamental that internet regulations are respected. At the same time, the new technical possibilities also lead to related dangers. In Internet Law, problems can start with simple mistakes, like the assumption of a private business, which is actually a commercial business.
General internet law and online law
The number of companies present on the Internet is still growing. Through this medium, consumers and business partners can be reached faster and more quickly. The economic sphere of influence of a company also expands when it decides to use the internet for advertising and distribution. In the case of an online presentation, however, the provider has to inform his customers comprehensively: in accordance with the current legislation, the entrepreneur is obliged by law to publish an extensive Imprint and several provisions.
German media law
Those are not special regulations (as the Telemedia Act –TMG), but practical applicable internet laws. Also those who want to advertise on the Internet must pay attention to specific legal requirements, some of which derive from some online peculiarities. Thanks to the internet platform, sellers and traders can reach all sectors. However, some users and vendors are still reluctant, as they are not sure about their own rights and position in an online business.
Internet contract law
Contracts or agreements concluded on the internet are really common; however, once the agreement is concluded, questions as the followings are almost typical:
- Which laws are applicable?
- How is it possible to conclude a contract via internet?
- Is the presentation of goods on a Homepage already a binding offer?
- How can general business conditions be effectively incorporated into a contract?
In addition, trading online increases the risk of warning: competitors, consumer protection agencies and similar institutions can easily identify typical internet law uncertainties and assert legal violations. However, these typical legal online problems can also be easily avoided. Here are some important facts to take into account if you want to enter the online trademarks world:
- Never infringe third parties protective rights (do not copy anything, create everything by yourself, do not accept texts, pictures, logos or other data from third parties without a previous legal examination)
- Observe all the legal requirements (Imprint)
- Do not use unauthorized and non-examined Terms and Conditions or Revocation Instructions
- Control the protection of data, general information requirements, as well as competition law requirements.
“Internet Law”, “Online Law”, “Computer Law” or “IT Law” are not original legal areas and often we refer to them without any actual focus in “Internet Law”. Instead, it is really often to go toward a matter of competition law (for example, the suspension of an Amazon offer), trademark law (e.g. selling of plagiarisms as alleged branded products), purchase right (in case of deficiencies in the delivery of an eBay, Amazon or a general Internet Shop products), penal law (counterfeiting/non-delivery of a purchased product), or right to free speech (eBay, Amazon, Google, general Web-shop feedbacks).
Also the drafting of contracts and the examination of the GTC are by no means regulated by particular laws, but most frequently are connected to civil law.