Landmark Cases and Legislation in Cyberlaw




Business Law I

Chapter 2

Angela Creech, Instructor

Roth v. United States

• Eloquently worded decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away First Amendment protections from obscene material (1957)

Miller v. California

• Standards toughened with three-part test to be used to determine whether or not material can be considered obscene as adjudged by affected community (1973)

Miller v. California cont.

• Standards ineffective for Internet and case law began to fill in the gaps; current case law holds the sender to standards of the recipient’s community

• Local standards apply in determining if material has literary, artistic, political or socially redeeming value as a whole —as a result, standards vary greatly

Lanham Act of 1976

• Provides for registration and protection of trademarks and copyrights.

Trademark Dilution Act of


• Attempts to protect holders of famous trademarks from the effects of domain-page registrations that tend to confuse and dilute the trademark’s goodwill.

Computer Fraud and Abuse


• Often-amended act that pioneered the treatment of computer-related crimes as unique offenses in the

U.S. Code.

Communications Decency Act

• AKA Telecommunications Act of

1996 —Makes it criminal to knowingly transport obscene material through the interactive computers or interstate of foreign commerce for sale or distribution.

Also gives protection from defamation suits to Internet service providers.

Child Online Protection Act of


• Makes it a crime for site operators to fail to use proper technology and methodology to prevent minors from accessing “harmful” material.

Fraudulent Online Identity

Sanctions Act of 2004

• Increased potential prison sentences by up to seven years for someone who provided “material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority.”