[ISN] REVIEW: "Cyberlaw: National and International Perspectives", Roy J. Girasa

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jan 24 2003 - 02:19:55 PST

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    Forwarded from: "Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Hannah" <rsladeat_private>
    BKCBRLAW.RVW   20021126
    "Cyberlaw: National and International Perspectives", Roy J. Girasa,
    2002, 0-13-065564-3
    %A   Roy J. Girasa rgirasaat_private www.prenhall.com/girasa
    %C   One Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ   07458
    %D   2002
    %G   0-13-065564-3
    %I   Prentice Hall
    %O   +1-201-236-7139 fax: +1-201-236-7131
    %O  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130655643/robsladesinterne
    %P   433 p.
    %T   "Cyberlaw: National and International Perspectives"
    The back cover states that this is the "most comprehensive Internet
    law text for students of any discipline."  The preface doesn't really
    contradict that statement, but then, it doesn't really specify a
    particular audience.  The text itself, on the other hand, does not
    appear to be a reference, but rather a textbook for law students, and
    law students only.  (American law students, at that.)  While one
    cannot fault the author for the presumption of the publisher (who
    ultimately gets to decide on jacket copy), the overly broad attempt at
    marketing is going to be frustrating for some readers.
    Part one provides an introduction and examines jurisdiction.  Chapter
    one is an introduction and overview of both the technology and law. 
    This demonstrates a number of limitations (the technology is limited
    to the Internet), and, of course, the sort of bias one would expect to
    see in a legal text.  (The definition of the Internet is taken from a
    "Finding of Fact" in the case that struck down the Communications
    Decency Act and contains a number of errors in terminology and, well,
    fact.  The legal system is described only in terms of the various
    levels of US courts.)  A number of cases regarding jurisdiction, first
    between US states and then between states and foreign States, is
    presented in chapter two.  While this will undoubtedly be of value to
    US lawyers engaged in such battles, for the layman the best that can
    be determined is that a) the situation is indeterminate, and b) the
    material is confusing.
    Part two deals with contracts, torts, and criminal law aspects of
    cyberspace.  Chapter three looks at US case law regarding contracts
    and torts, including related topics such as commercial codes like 
    UCITA.  (Many implications of the legislation are poorly expressed:
    there are several paragraphs describing the implied warranties under
    UCITA, and a brief mention of the fact that using the words "as is"
    voids them all.)  The construction of chapter four is very odd, since
    it begins with a review of international statutes dealing with
    commercial online transactions, and then moves on to torts, and back
    to US cases.  Although the first presentation of criminal cases is
    from Germany, all of the remaining material in chapter five, primarily
    on censorship, obscenity, and a little fraud, comes from the US.
    Part three looks at intellectual property rights.  Most of the
    copyright cases in chapter six, all from the US, deal with general
    issues unrelated to technology, at least not directly, while the cases
    presented in chapter seven are more directly related to technology. 
    Chapter eight deals with trademarks, and the relation to technology is
    primarily made in terms of cybersquatting (the practice of registering
    a domain name using a famous name or trademark, so that the owner must
    buy it from you).  Patents and trade secrets are covered in chapter
    nine, and the relation to network technology is rather slim.
    Part four addresses privacy and security issues.  Except that there is
    only chapter ten, on privacy.
    Part five talks about antitrust, securities regulation, and
    relaxation.  Antitrust, in chapter eleven, covers Microsoft, IBM, and
    a number of others.  Chapter twelve's review of securities regulation
    cases primarily deals with fraud, and the technical links are
    basically irrelevant.  The taxation of net businesses is in chapter
    As a textbook for law school students, this is undoubtedly useful. 
    The cases are collected, and questions are asked to encourage students
    to think about various aspects of cases, and related precedents that
    might be applicable.  While US structures and law predominate, there
    is not only acknowledgement of foreign legislation, but some detailed
    case examination as well.  In fact, practicing lawyers would also find
    this volume extremely valuable, for the direction in terms of case
    research on precedent if nothing else.  For non-lawyers, such as
    security professionals, the content is extremely frustrating: all
    questions and no answers.  Still, given the extremely murky state of
    US law in regard to the net and technology, this tome certainly could
    be worthwhile, even for those outside the US legal system.
    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002   BKCBRLAW.RVW   20021126
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