Legal and Ethical Issues in Web Design
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) for people with disabilities. People with disabilities may encounter difficulties when using computers generally, but also on the Web. Since people with disabilities often require non-standard devices and browsers, making websites more accessible also benefits a wide range of user agents and devices, including mobile devices, which have limited resources.
Copyright and the Internet:
Online copyright infringement involves the wrongful copying of something in an online context. In the UK, the law of copyright is set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The key issue is usually whether what is taken is a “substantial” copy of the original work, which can be measured in terms of quality, as well as quantity. In order to qualify for copyright protection under UK law, a work (which can include a digital work such as a web page) has to be original and to comprise a degree of labour, skill or judgment.
EU Cookie Law:
The Cookie Law is a new piece of privacy legislation that requires websites to obtain consent from visitors to store or retrieve any information on a computer or any other web connected device, like a smartphone or tablet.
It has been designed to protect online privacy, by making consumers aware of how information about them is collected by websites, and enable them to choose whether or not they want to allow it to take place.
It started as an EU Directive that was adopted by all EU countries on May 26th 2011. At the same time the UK updated its Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which brought the EU Directive it into UK law.
There was a one year grace period in the UK, which ran out in May 2012.
Each EU member state has done or is doing the same thing. Although they all have their own approach and interpretation, the basic requirements of the directive remain the same.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act was passed by Parliament in April 2013.
Photographs or other creative works can be used without the owners’ explicit permission as long as a “diligent search” has taken place.
For the first time, these “orphan works” – as they are known – can be licensed for commercial or non-commercial use.
However, in order to do so, the company in question would have to prove to an independent body that a “diligent search” to find and approach the copyright holder had taken place without success.
If the body is satisfied there has been a sufficient search, it would then allow the company to pay a license fee to use the material.
This money is then to be held by the independent body, and can be claimed by the rights holder should they come forward at a later date.
- Has the UK abolished copyright? Analysis of new orphan work legislation (infojustice.org)
- UK Intellectual Property Office responds on ‘abolition of copyright’ law (dpreview.com)
- UK’s New Defamation Law May Accelerate the Death of Anonymous User-Generated Content Internationally (rationesdecidendi.com)
- Orphan Works – the new law in the UK (francisdavey.co.uk)
- Has the UK abolished copyright? Analysis of new orphan work legislation (technollama.co.uk)
- UK law allows anyone to use your digital images (slashgear.com)
- Web Accessibility Initiative: Designing for Inclusion (teachinghearingimpaired.wordpress.com)