We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The objective of this chapter is to provide you with enough information to know that laws do apply to activities on the Web and to know that even common situations may have significant legal implications. Most of the situations discussed in this chapter are based on U.S. law, although international laws apply. International law is a complex area outside the scope of this book.
This chapter is not intended as a substitute for legal advice, nor does it contain professional legal advice. An attorney is best suited to respond to the specific circumstances of your situation.
Legality and illegality are based on the specifics of each unique situation combined with federal, state, and local laws and regulations and current case law. Do not hesitate to go to an attorney, and the earlier in the situation, the better. A good attorney prefers to practice preventative law rather than trying to practice much more expensive damage control in a courtroom. If your target audience is outside of the United States, select a law firm with expertise and experience in the laws of that country.