Companies' asumes that the same regulations and laws that covers their traditional operations will also protect their e-business. This is not true. Although operations are similar in both businesses, e-business confronts some issues that traditional business don't have. It is very difficult to regulate e-business because those companies can reach almost everybody around the world and because what is legal in a country may be illegal in another, for example pornography. So, how can law be applied to a company that can do business around the world? It sounds complicated but regulation and laws do exist to do it.
If you want to run an e-business you can do it very easily but you have to know which regulations and laws applied to your business. Some important laws that applied to ecommerce are: ethical laws, privacy and security, copyright law, taxation law and digital law. In the Internet is easier to break the law because most people may think that nobody will know. On the contrary, everybody will know and sooner or later the person or company affected will know. That was the case of Napster which allowed the interchange of music between the people connected to their site.
This was a violation of copyright laws because Napster wasn't paying to the singer or songwriters their copyrights. It sounds silly because you may think that if you buy a CD and you want to share it with your friends you can do it because you pay for it. But what about the people that invested money in doing it, how do they obtain their share if you copy their CD. Easy they don't. Another important aspect of doing business over the Internet is privacy and how e-business protects their customer's information.
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For customers the biggest issues of buying over the Net is how their information is protected. Most websites have secure web sites to process customer's information to reduce the risks of others seeing your information but what happens if the company uses your information for other purposes that those that you gave your information for? This takes us to one of the ethical problems that an e-business company may have. When a customer access a webpage and buy something, he/she have an expectancy of privacy.
Another ethical issue, as I mentioned before, is the copyright of authors. Internet environment is a suitable place to sell stuff but the downside of its that the rights of other people are constantly violated. And this is clearly seen in the two situations that I already mentioned when people share music or sell software that they copied but that they are not authorized to sell. This is a clear violation of rights and it creates ethical issues because it is very difficult to track and eventually prosecute those persons in order to make then pay for the author copyrights.
Ethical Issues as the mentioned above are one of the causes of websites failures, such as the case of Napster. This website was forced to shutdown because of an injunction order that eventually caused the bankruptcy of the company. Napster failed because they didn't pay the copyright to company records of the music their users were trading. This is the reason e-business need to be very cautious about how they do business and the services they delivered. Business need to be sure that they are not in violation of any laws or anyone's rights.
It is very difficult to regulate the Internet but as we have seen the mayor issues that are address by the regulations or laws that applied to it are regarding other people rights and how to achieve that nobody's privacy is violated. Several cases have reached the courts and jurisprudence has been established.
Complying with the E Commerce Regulations 2002; Retrieved on April 15, 2006 from http://www. google. com/search? hl=en;lr=;q=Ecommerce+regulations www. wikipedia. com
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