Intellectual property legislation faces new challenges posed by social media, especially in the area of copyrights. The magnitude of Internet publishing, coupled with the potential for viral transmission of published content, means that there may be many potential risks to intellectual property rights. For example, the law prohibits the recording of live music performances and the sale of those recordings. With access to social media sites, these recordings can be shared with the masses with a click of a button. Broad access to technology increases challenges to protecting against copyright infringement.
For this Discussion, select a current piece of U.S. legislation related to regulation of intellectual property. Consider how the legislation you select may be applied in a social media forum.
Post by day four
A description of the piece of legislation you selected. Then explain how this legislation may be applied in a social media forum. Finally, explain how social media might contribute to intellectual property theft.
Social networking sites provide a virtual space where individuals can communicate with friends and meet new people. While intended for these purposes, these sites also can be harmful by making individuals vulnerable to cyber-bullying. In a virtual world, individuals can easily hide their true identities. An adult woman can pose as an adolescent boy in order to bully an adolescent girl. This was the case in the Megan Meier incident. In October 2006, Megan was a victim of cyber-bullying that occurred through a social networking site. The offender, Lori Drew, was the mother of Megan’s female friend. She cyber-bullied Megan by posing as an adolescent boy and targeting Megan’s low self-esteem, ultimately resulting in Megan committing suicide.
At the time this incident occurred, there was no legislation related to cyber-bullying. Lori Drew was charged with conspiracy and unauthorized access of a computer for violating the social networking site’s Terms of Service. Drew was convicted of three misdemeanor violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. She faced up to 3 years in prison and a $300,000 fine. Drew, however, never served jail time, nor did she pay any fine. The conviction was overturned by U.S. District Judge George Wu in July 2009.
For this Discussion, review the Megan Meier case and current legislation on cyber-bullying outlined in “Guarding Against a Radical Redefinition of Liability for Internet Misrepresentation: The United States v. Drew Prosecution and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.” Consider how the outcome for the offender in the case might be different if the crime were to occur today.
Post by day Four
An explanation of how the outcome might be different for the offender in the Megan Meier case if the offense happened today. Support your response with references to current cyber-bullying legislation and/or rulings on current cyber-bullying cases.
A hate crime is commonly defined as “a criminal offense committed against persons, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender’s bias against an individual’s or a group’s perceived race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation” (Taylor, Fritsch, Liederbach, & Holt, 2015, p. 220). Hate crimes are illegal, and most states have hate crime statutes that provide enhanced penalties for this type of crime. Contemporary technology allows hate to be spread farther and wider through the use of hate sites than can be done by word of mouth. These sites are accessible to anyone with a computer. While hate crimes are illegal and often carry harsh penalties, hate sites are not illegal. People and groups who launch hate sites rely on the U.S. Constitution and their right to freedom of speech as protection from the law.
For this Discussion, consider whether hate sites should be monitored and regulated. Think about whether or not monitoring and regulating these sites might infringe upon freedom of speech.
Post by day four
An explanation of whether or not hate sites should be monitored and regulated. Then explain whether or not monitoring and regulating hate sites might infringe upon freedom of speech.