Ethical, Social, and Political Issues in E-Commerce

Case Study

1.     Why did TPB believe it was not violating copyright laws? What did the Swedish court rule?

a.     The Pirate Bay claimed it was the P2P networks that doesn’t control themselves and they were only the search engine that pointed to them.  The Swedish courts did rule that TPB did violate Swedish copyright laws and sentenced the four founders a year of prison time and $3.5 million of restitution to the plaintiffs.

2.     How has TPB managed to continue operating despite being found in violation of copyright laws?

a.     The Pirate Bay moved their servers, dispersed multiple copies of its program to other countries, and TPB also moved around to many different countries.

3.     How has the music industry reacted to the problems created by pirates like TPB?

a.     The Pirate Bay was forced to change their business model to include digital distribution platforms.  They included online platforms like iTunes, pay-per-downloads, subscription and cloud-based streaming.

Chapter Questions

1.     What basic assumption does the study of ethics make about individuals?

a.     The basic assumption is defined in the text as, “It is assumed in ethics that individuals are free moral agents who are in a position to make choices.”

      5. Explain why someone with a serious medical condition might be concerned about researching his or her condition online, through medical search engines or pharmaceutical sites, for example.  What is one technology that could prevent one’s identity from being revealed?

                 a.  I would be concerned with information being leaked on the internet especially with a type of sensitive information such as medical conditions. A type of technology that could protect your identity would be to use a tunneling protocol through a VPN and then encrypt your internet traffic.

10. How do safe harbors work? What is the government’s role in them?

a.     The text states that the, “Organizations that decide to participate in the safe harbor program must develop policies that meet European standards, and they must publicly sign on to a web-based register maintained by the Department of Commerce.”

15. Define cybersquatting.  How is it different from cyberpiracy?  What type of intellectual property violation does cybersquatting entail?

a.     Cybersquatting is defined by “the practice of registering names, especially well-known company or brand names, as Internet domains, in the hope of reselling them at a profit”. Cyber Piracy is an umbrella term for online deceptive practices on the web that include Cybersquatting.

20. What is the doctrine of “fair use”? Why did the courts decide that Google’s scanning of copyrighted books was a “fair use”?

a.     In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. The courts sided with Google because it deemed their work transformative.

Project Question

Google – Safe Search

Block explicit results on Google using SafeSearch. You can filter explicit search results on Google, like pornography, using the SafeSearch setting. SafeSearch isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid explicit content.  You can use SafeSearch as a parental control to help protect children from inappropriate search results on your phone, tablet, or computer. 

How SafeSearch works. When SafeSearch is on, it helps block explicit images, videos, and websites from Google Search results. When SafeSearch is off, we'll provide the most relevant results for your search and may include explicit content when you search for it.