July 08, 2003

Reading: Isenberg: The GigaLaw Guide to Internet Law

Doug Isenberg, an Atlanta attorney and regular columnist for the Wall Street Journal Online and CNET News.com, is the founder of GigaLaw.com, a website focused on the law of the Internet. In his Guide to Internet Law, he has compiled an essential reference work for both attorneys and laypersons seeking to understand or review the multiple elements of law pertinent to activity on the Internet. It would be particularly helpful for generalist attorneys and their clients engaging in "e-business." It is also readable enough that it kept some of my attention while at Cape Cod two weeks ago when I started reading it.

Attorney Isenberg organizes his book into seven major parts of Internet law. The first three parts deal with intellectual property law: "Copyright," including the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, "Domain Names and Trademarks," and "Patent Law." (by Greg Kirsh). As with each of the seven sections of the book, he introduces new legal principles with a case study, and then concisely identifies and explains the statutes and decisions that form the foundation of the relevant law. Where the law is still unsettled, he briefly points out the competing arguments for various outcomes, in clear yet accurate language.

Part IV deals with the hot issue of "Privacy," including short introductions to FCRA, ECPA, HIPAA, the Childrens' Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA"), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as well as European and Canadian regulations. Part V addresses "Free Speech and the First Amendment," including the Communications Decency Act and the Children's Online Protection Act (COPA).

The sixth section includes chapters about "Contract Law and High Technology" that includes an introduction to UETA, UCITA and the federal E-SIGN statute. The book closes with a section on "Employment Law" (by Doug Towns) relevant to employee use of the Internet and considerations particular to high technology companies.

This compact, affordable book provides an invaluable, readable desk reference which Lawrence Lessig described as "an excellent introduction for beginner and expert alike."

Isenberg, "The GigaLaw Guide to Internet Law" (Random House, 2002)

Posted by dougsimpson at July 8, 2003 03:00 PM | TrackBack