Computer Law

What is Computer Law?

Computer Law relates to and crosses over with a number of legal areas affecting the design and use of computers and software, and the transmission of data via physical media or across data networks.

Intellectual Property

One major area of concern for computer law is intellectual property. The design of computer hardware and software are typically protected by patents. The logos of various products are protected by trademark. Many programs and other information may be protected by copyrights. Another major area of concern for computer law is the transmission of copyrighted materials over the Internet. Intellectual property is a huge portion of the field of computer law.


Another major area of concern for computer law is privacy. This includes protecting confidential information during transactions, like credit card numbers, as well as keeping private the materials one may have stored on a hard drive. Much of this body of law relates to internet security and anti-hacking laws.


One area that has seen a great deal of recent growth in recent years is anti-hacking laws. These laws are designed to punish individuals who attempt to break into the computers and networks of others. Several laws have rendered it criminal to access files on another's computer without their permission or to take over full or partial control of another's computer without their knowledge.


Another area of computer law that has seen a great deal of attention from the government through regulation is SPAM e-mail. SPAM is an unwanted e-mail communication, usually pertaining to a commercial interests of some sort. Although annoying, some SPAM has also been used to conceal viruses and spyware. As a result, the laws regarding SPAM aim not only to curtail it because it is a nuisance, but also because it could expose innocent users to danger.

Other Areas of Interest

Computer law is an ever evolving area of the law and will no doubt continue to grow and evolve along with technology. As a result, other areas of interest to computer law include the legalities of file sharing, taxation of electronic commerce, electronic signatures, regulation of data transfer rates, and many others.

For more information about computer law, please reference the materials below. Additionally, you can find an attorney in your area specializing in this area of law by visiting our Law Firms page.


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