Legal resources to protect your e-commerce projects

Business ventures on the Internet initially began in an environment that was as free and open and the Wild West.

But as more business gets conducted on the Internet, the real world creeps online. That means when you build your e-commerce site, you may face several legal hurdles, just as you would when setting up a new business on a city block.

Some of these issues include protecting your intellectual property on your Web site, defining binding contracts in the course of Web transactions and clarifying Web-hosting contracts if you choose to outsource your Web site management. It also means understanding what you have to do to comply with the requirement to conduct "normal business practices" in the course of Internet commerce.

That's a lot to deal with, and it isn't necessarily specific to the AS/400. But because more AS/400 shops are using the platform for e-commerce, it's a good idea to consider the legal implications of your e-commerce strategy as well as the technical issues.

There are several good Web sites that give users insight into the legal issues surrounding e-commerce. These sources could help you decide what areas of your e-commerce strategy may require further investigation or legal consultation. As these sites note, much of e-law these days is still being created as courts wrangle with the new rules of the Internet marketplace.

The legal basics of electronic e-commerce -- This is an interesting article on the latest topics in e-commerce law by Anthony E. Perkins, a lawyer who specializes in Internet matters with Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson in Portland, Maine.

E-commerce law source -- This is an Internet law and e-commerce portal site that connects you with articles, papers and news sources. It includes e-mail discussion groups and an online legal bookstore.

E-commerce attorneys -- This is a site for attorneys specializing in e-commerce legal issues. It's a good place to see what direction the legal effects of Internet technology is heading.

AS/400 Application development direction update -- This white paper from IBM discusses the company's Trading Partner Agreements framework to smooth business-to-business transactions.


Ouellette is a contributing editor in Scarborough, Maine.

This was first published in October 2000

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