The terrific advances that the internet has brought to us in technology, and in the laws which govern us, are in a process of adjustment.
The dramatic freedom which the internet has launched upon the private and commercial worlds is being matched by a similar legal revolution. The traditional structures of law are working overtime to incorporate new technological advancements, and to give us a reliable framework within which to conduct business.
It is an area of law and business that is both exciting and challenging.
Business is being transformed by the possiblities that the internet has to offer:
There have been a large number of companies on the world wide web which were launched at great expense, but with questionable business models, and no clear revenue streams. Wall Street has had difficulties in valuating the worth of online companies, and many companies grew quicker than their business plans were able to sustain.
With careful planning, realistic expectations of growth, and an understanding of mistakes that other companies have made online, a lot of the failures of previous dotcoms can be avoided.
A number of legal issues arise online that weren't around in the days of solely bricks and mortar business:
The laws of different states and countries also come into conflict more frequently because of the greater communication abilities that email and web pages bring us.
Planning for, and resolving these problems to the benefit of people interacting in the face of competing laws, on a national or international level is another challenge that faces the legal community.
These are welcome challenges, because the internet has the power to bring people closer together, to provide us educational and informational opportunites, to make business easier for small and home based companies, and more effective for larger companies, and for government.