internet law

Internet service provider (ISP)

A business that provides access to the Internet. An ISP may also offer services such as website hosting. An ISP can sometimes be held accountable for copyright violations for material posted by subscribers and users, but is often protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Communications Decency Act usually protects ISPs from the posting of obscenities or defamation by subscribers or users.

Electronic Signature

A paperless method of entering into an electronic contract. Under the Electronic Signatures Act, enacted in 2000, electronic contracts (with a few exceptions) are as enforceable as those executed on paper. The law does not specify an approved method of signing electronic agreements and various methods have been improvised including clicking an "I Accept" button, typing "Yes," typing in a name, or using a "key" to encrypt (scramble) information that uniquely identifies the signer.

Domain Name

A combination of letters and numbers that identifies a specific computer or website on the Internet. A domain name usually consists of three parts: a generic "top-level" domain such as ".com" or ".gov" that identifies the type of organization; a second level domain such as nolo or yahoo, which identifies the organization, site, or individual; and a third level domain such as "www," which is used to identify a particular host server. Domain names have various functions. They can serve as an address (whitehouse.com), as a trademark (amazon.com), or as an expression of free speech (generalmotorssucks.com). Trademark owners can, under some circumstances, stop others from using a domain name if it conflicts with their existing trademark. (See also: uniform resource locator (URL))

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