Legal Constraints, Guidelines & Procedures

The Internet is a wonderful source of information and entertainment, but it’s important to realise that there are a number of restrictions on what you can and cannot do online.

There are significant legal constraints on the uploading and downloading of software and other digital content, including music and videos. Many items are copyright and can incorporate digital rights management, such as restricting the number of times a media file can be copied or converted to another format. When you buy software, you will  normally receive a licence to use it. You do not own the software itself, nor do you have the right to copy it. Some types of licence, including freeware and shareware impose fewer restrictions.

Legal constraints on online behaviour include protection of children legislation which prohibits grooming and inappropriate behaviour towards minors. You should ensure that you are familiar with the rules of “netiquette” which describes the recommended conduct of users in various online environments. Remember that libellous behaviour is subject to the same restrictions (and penalties) whether it is online or offline.

You should always ensure that you observe the correct guidelines and procedures for safe use of the Internet. It is not sufficient to know about guidelines and procedures – you must apply these when you are online.

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