New or old laws?

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Computer Laws Computer Law Intellectual Property

New or old laws?

While new laws are constantly being debated to regulate computers and computing activities, these laws are not being created in a vacuum. Basic legal principles – derived from established common, statutory and case law authority – and common sense– all help form the basis of the law in this field. Current law is used to resolve controversies whenever there is no specific law with respect to a disputed computer or computer related activity; and many of the “new” disputes are just repeats of patterns seen before (forgery existed before either digital photo morphing or “identity theft”). New laws are created either when a problem appears to need a general solution that isn’t as easily provided by (relatively) sparse judicial decisions, or when businesses and the public will benefit from knowing what the “rules of the road” will be beforehand, so they can predict the effects of their actions. The pace of change is increasing in the law, just as in all other areas where computers are involved — perhaps because even the lawyers and judges are beginning to find how valuable the computering “tool” can be.

With respect to computers and related activities – you can get an old (law) dog to do new tricks – just as long as you can reasonably predict his new behavior when he’s moving at hyperspeed!

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