Legal Issues Arising from New Technologies and the Extent to Which the Judicial Remedies Available to Sort Issues

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Outline the legal issues emerging from new technology and evaluate the extent to which the remedies available achieve justice. The rate of technological change in the last three decades has been extremely significant. Developments in new technology such as mobile phones, digital cameras, the Internet and email were not available 25 years ago. These changes have transformed our society but have also created a number of considerable issues for the legal system. Governments face many challenges in trying to make regulations and laws where technology is concerned. The main difficulty being that technology is constantly developing; therefore, it gives rise to an array of issues that have rarely or never been raised in political, legal or community discussions. The speed on technological change is such that the law is usually slow in responding to changes. For example, when the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) was developed, the Internet did not even exist, but gradually through case law and amendments to the Act, it has evolved to cover a wider range of areas. Initially, common law may fill the void until statute law can be created. COPYRIGHT:

The internet has allowed a proliferation of other forms of file sharing. People can share digital files either in an open system, where anyone can access them, or in a restricted was that allows access only to certain people. This technology also poses great risks to copyright. When a person makes a product that is subject to copyright; that is, another person cannot copy it without permission from the original producer. Copyright law sometimes struggles to keep up with internet developments. Most internet content is protected from unauthorised reproduction by copyright, which provides protection against the copying of original work including website graphics, pictures, videos, music and original text. However, enforcement is difficult. The two main international instruments on copyright law are the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, 1996 and the EU Convention on Cybercrime, 2001. The EU Cybercrime convention contains provisions that require signatory countries to develop criminal offences for more serious and widespread breaches of copyright. For example, Article 10 states: “Each party shall adopt such legislation and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law the infringement of copyright, as defined under the law of that Party... where such acts are committed wilfully, on a commercial scale and by means of a computer system”. Commonly, most countries rely on civil provisions rather than criminal provisions for digital copyright breaches. The EU Cybercrime Convention permits a country to reserve the right not to impose criminal liability for copyright breaches, provided that other effective remedies are available. Copyright Law- Australia:

Copyright generally remains in force from the time of publication, for the life of the originator and an additional 70 years. In Australia, the issue is covered by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), which was updated by the Copyright Ammendment Act 2000. This legislation, which came into force in March 2001, ensures that copyright protection is extended to the full range of new media and internet content. It also introduced one completely new aspect of copyright- a copyright holder now enjoys an exclusive ‘first’ right to communicate their work to the public in whatever form they see fit. Copyright is designed to ensure that content creators are suitably rewarded for their efforts, and protected from pirating. It also gives them some control over how their work will be used. The most significant copyright issue in cyberspace is the file sharing of music, film and games amongst internet users, typically using peer-to-oeer networks. Some of these shared files are copyrighted material and the typical license for this material does not permit widespread distribution or sharing....
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