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A Lawyer In My Pocket

Cyber_lawBrett Trout has done it again.  Less than a year ago, I reviewed his prior book and now he has cranked out another useful reference... this time it is Cyber Law:  A Legal Arsenal For Online Business.

Why should you care about a resource on Cyber Law?  Well, let's put it this way... how many of your projects have some on-line component... a web-page, a blog, email interfaces?  Oh... say... ALL of them?  (Unless you're living back in the 20th Century and doing everything paper-based.)

This is not a sit-down and read cover-to-cover book, although you could if you wanted to.  This is intended as a reference guide.  As I mentioned before, Brett is a "real person's attorney" - gone is the legal jargon that baffles the rest of us; in its place is easy-to-understand terminology and examples.  His book is logically organized with useful appendices and an easy-to-find index at the back.

In the first chapter, Brett makes the compelling case for why you should care about the internet's impact:

Change is, of course, the most important factor to consider when analyzing the Internet.  The resources you accessed last week may not be available today.  New resources will develop tomorrow, supplanting resources you considered earlier.

Barely_legalBrett seamlessly covers things like blogs, social media, and intellectual property laws (darn those copyrights!).  He also covers that pesky topic that no blogger likes to think about:  balancing freedom of speech with responsibility and accountability for one's actions and words.  With nods to topics like email privacy in the workplace and online scams, this book serves as a complete 360 for the novice to today's legal internet environment.

So before the words "legal action" come out of your mouth or somebody else's, be proactive and buy Brett's book.  It may save your tail.

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