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Book details of 'CyberRegs: A Business Guide to Web Property, Privacy, and Patents'

Cover of CyberRegs: A Business Guide to Web Property, Privacy, and Patents
TitleCyberRegs: A Business Guide to Web Property, Privacy, and Patents
Author(s)Bill Zoellick
PublishedSeptember 2001
PublisherAddison-Wesley Professional
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'CyberRegs: A Business Guide to Web Property, Privacy, and Patents':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The introduction states that the nature of the Web is in flux. Those who take too strong and doctrinaire a stance on the character of the Internet will be subject to failures in their attempts to do business there. In addition, the author states his opinion, based on the research conducted for the book, that attempts to apply regulation to the net should be sparing. Part one deals with copyright. Chapter one reviews the past history of copyright legislation and purposes, and also the recent case of Napster. (The book was completed before the Napster case concluded.) "DVD Jon" and the DeCSS case is the topic of chapter two. The author's experiences with the publishing and sale of special reports forms the basis for an examination of licensing, in chapter three, and also the balance of rights between publisher and user/consumer. The development and shift in copyright regulations and perspectives is given in chapter four. Chapter five lists further reading on the topic: an annotated bibliography of text and online sources. The works are well chosen and the annotations provide good overviews of the material. Part two addresses patents. Chapter six outlines the Amazon "1-Click" patent, and the issue of an idea versus a specific implementation. A variety of other patents and lawsuits are examined in chapter seven. Chapter eight deals with the issue of patentability of an entity or item. The issue of patenting business methods is dealt with in chapter nine. Chapter ten examines the impact of patents on the Internet. Walker Digital and the business of creating and holding business patents is in chapter eleven. Recent US legislation amending patent concepts and applicability is covered in chapter twelve. Chapter thirteen opines about the future and fourteen closes off the topic with the reference section. Part four surveys electronic signatures and the E-Sign act. Chapter fifteen discusses the provisions of the act itself, including the fact that it doesn't (in any significant way) define what an electronic signature can be, thus obviating the need for many of the functions of a signature. (This is followed by a brief section entitled "A Deeper Look" that explains the technical concept of digital signatures.) Business will increase because of the act, says chapter sixteen. Chapter seventeen makes the case (rather weakly, perhaps) that E-Sign is a good act, because it doesn't impede allowable technologies. Eighteen is the references chapter for electronic signatures. Part four moves in on privacy. Chapter nineteen cites a couple of cases of the market for private information. US legal precedents regarding the right to privacy are in chapter twenty. Consumer concerns, in chapter twenty-one, are followed up by "A Deeper Look" at cookies and Web bugs, and by another on the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P). US legislative moves regarding privacy are discussed in chapter twenty-two. (It is interesting to note that Zoellick quotes a legislator stating that privacy acts would be passed before 2002. This did not happen. In addition, of the various aspects discussed in the chapter, bill S.1789, before the Senate as this review is being written, addresses only access and enforcement.) Chapter twenty-three tries, without much success, to propose a framework for privacy. Again, twenty-four contains references. An epilogue finishes out the book by opining that businesses can, and should, work at understanding the Web better, so that they can shape its future development. As long as they develop it the way the author suggests. Oddly, this work does not seem to add materially to other discussions of Internet law. That it examines intellectual property issues in such depth is interesting, but not illuminating. However, Zoellick does have a much more engaging writing style than other authors who have written on legal topics in relation to the net, and the text is much more readable than most such books. There is a good deal of valuable information in this volume on the subjects examined: but there is a lot of opinion as well. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005

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