Study Guide for Business Law Assignment

Study Guide for Business Law Assignment Words: 2414

Many of the problems law addresses in the conventional commercial world must be revisited by the virtual world: digital signatures, privacy, copyright infringement, freedom of speech, fraud, and taxes The key question is how to maintain the vigor of the free market while establishing a limited array of binding legal standards that will bring confidence to the global Internet market Even the firmest free market advocates recognize the necessity for clear, contractual principles and effective means to prevent fraud and other criminal behavior The Digital Divide Concern that the Internet may worsen the income/wealth gap that splits both Americans and the globe From 2005 to 2007, % of African American homes with broadband access increased more than the average U. S. A greater percent of African Americans have used the Internet for education and getting a Job than the average American In general, higher income 0 higher chance household has broadband connection Divide against blind users (a lot of content is not compatible with software that can vocalizes text and computer graphics) Problem with the visual verification that requires users to retype visually distorted characters – Americans with Disability Act (federal law for addressing such issues) Global accessibility imbalance – 5. 3% of Africans population has Internet access while 73. 1 of North America’s population has – Declaration of Principles (2003 by the UN): “commitment to build a people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize, and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities, and peoples to achieve their full potential in… Improving their quality of life” – The UN Internet Governance Form (2005): the foundation for policy changes, but cannot itself result in binding decisions; expected to run from 2006-2010; discussions include expanding access in less developed countries, blocking online pornography, and reducing U. S. Control over a medium with many ore users outside the country Net Neutrality: uniform access that allows businesses and individuals to contract with an Internet service provider (ISP) (I. E. AOL, Compact, Time Warner), pay a fee for the type (I. E. Dial-up or broadband), and level of service particularly telephone and cable companies providing broadband access, want to begin to charge certain content providers for access to the Sips subscribers (make providers with heavy traffic pay for access granted to their viewers) Consequence would be either blocking access or degrading the speed at which access is provided

Privacy 2006 – AOL released 36 million search queries from 657,000 unidentified customers, and the New York Times traced certain searches to specific individuals 2007 – Los Angles Times reported that Time Warner subscribers in California agree in their contract that Time Warner can track what you watch on TV, the Internet addresses you visit, how long you stay at a site, and purchases you make. It also reserves the right to “disclose personally identifiable information to others,” and store said information for as long as you’re a subscriber and up to fifteen years” Patriot Act: eased in the wake of September 1 1, 2001 to strengthen the government’s ability to deal with terrorism threats.

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The act provided much broader authority for the government to issue National Security Letters (Nuns), which are administrative subpoena orders requiring appearance in court, kissable without any review by a court as to reasonableness/probable cause Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPRA): prohibits web sites from collecting personal information from children under 13 without parental consent and requires that parents be allowed to review and correct any information collected about their children. The FTC is charged with primary enforcement responsibility for COPRA A user’s ISP has the ability to reveal the identity of the sender or poster, based on information provided by the user when contracting for service from the ISP Mediumistic v.

Jean Doe: Mediumistic filed a complaint against Jean Doe because she posted a message on Yahoo! Finance that contained information confidential and proprietary to Mediumistic. As a result, Mediumistic sustained injury, and claimed that Doe should be held liable. “Moonshine” was called in, but Doe motioned to quash the subpoena. Trial Judge ended her motion – she’s an employee, she signed a confidential document saying that she was not going to speak freely about information she learned at the company. So she contracted her right to free speech if she’s an employee. Free speech, anonymous, but if it harms another individual, that is another way that we have a little bit of a dent in our rights for free speech. Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999: makes it unlawful to use a computer to solicit, lure, or entice a child or otherwise engage in sexual offenses with a child It is a deader crime to transport stolen property across state lines, even if that property is a detailed litigation strategy, which is emailed to a person or group outside the state Click fraud: ranges from repeated clicks on a competitor’s ad to run up its advertising bill to enlisting others in “paid to read” rings to generate income for the web sites hosting ads. Pushing: scampers send emails that purport to be from a bank, directing customers to a site where they are asked to enter vital information (I. E. Passwords, bank act numbers, or credit card details) Spear pushing: scampers enter social networking sites, and mine posted profiles for such information as addresses, birthdays, and friend’s names, allowing them to “tap into networks of trust”.

Then the scampers send codes that infects the computer with a virus, which and dump” scheme: when someone holding a stock artificially drives its share price up by floating exaggerated or false reports of its value through web sites, online postings, or email. When the stock price Jumps, the promoter sells shares at the inflated price. Cabinetmaking: the repeated use of electronic media (I. E. Emails, coatrooms) to harass or threaten another person – Convention on Cybercaf??: squires the “crystallization of a long list of computer activities; also requires Mounties to make sure they can snoop through Internet data in real time; obliges nations to assist each other’s investigations by monitoring Net communications Chapter 14 Ethics and Ethical Reasoning Ethics: a conception of right and wrong conduct Ethical principles: guides to moral behavior (I. E. Onsets, keeping promises, helping others, and respect are considered to be ethically and morally desirable behavior) Ethical relativism: holds that ethical principles should be defined by various periods f time in history, a society’s traditions, the special circumstances of the moment, or personal opinion Business ethics: the application of general ethical ideas to business behavior not a special set of ethical ideas different from ethics in general, and applicable only to business Why should business be ethical? 1) To meet the demands of business stakeholders Co-operative Bank in Manchester, UK Turned away $12 million in business annually from firms whose policies violated the banks ethical standards. Said the loss was more than covered by income from consumers who supported the banks strong ethical stand. Co-operative Bank has experienced strong growth in profitability, increased customer deposits, and other positive financial measures despite its tough ethical stance. ) To enhance business performance (“ethics pay’) Researchers found a significant relationship between corporate financial performance and ethical performance (weak positive correlation) “Businesses that are ethical leaders attract and retain the best employees, increase sales and customer loyalty, strengthen relationships with suppliers, enhance corp. citizenship, and goodwill throughout the community and perform financially better for hardliners” Walter’s “Award for Ethical Courage” Lack of ethical practices cost 3) To comply with legal requirements In particular, there are two legal requirements that provide direction for companies interested in being more ethical in their business US Corporate Sentencing Guidelines – provide a strong incentive for businesses to promote ethics at work. Sentencing comes into play when an employee of a firm has been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing and the firm is responsible for the actions taken by its employees.

To determine the sentencing, the Judge computes the level of blame eased upon whether or not the company has: 1) Established standards and procedures to reduce criminal conduct 2) Assigned high-level officers responsible for 3) Not assigned discretionary authority to “risky’ individuals 4) Effectively communicated standards and procedures through training 5) Taken reasonable steps to ensure compliance – monitor and audit systems, maintain and publicize reporting system 6) Enforced standards and procedures through disciplinary mechanisms 7) Following detection of offense, responded appropriately and prevented recurrence 2005: US Supreme Court weakened this legal requirement hen the court ruled that federal Judges were not required to follow the federal sentencing guidelines, but could rely upon them in an advisory role Serbians-Solely Act (2002) – Born from the ethic scandals at Enron, World, Tycoon, etc. , this law seeks to ensure that firms maintain high ethical standards in how they conduct and monitor business operations (I. E. It requires executives to vouch for the accuracy of a firm’s financial reports and requires them to pay back bonuses based on earnings that are later proved fraudulent. Also established strict rules for auditing firms. Although the cost to comply with the act has been declining, most Coos believe that the act was “an overreaction. A 2008 study showed 74% of the executives said that the act had done nothing to improve ethical standards. 68% said it was burdensome and unnecessary. 90% of the European Scoffs who were questioned said the act offered no benefits. However, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPS) benefited from voluntarily taking on the act. 4) To prevent or minimize harm 5) To promote personal morality One of the hardest to categorize Many view as the most important Why do ethical problems occur in business? ) Personal gain and selfish interest – Ethical egoist: a manager or employee who puts his or her own self-interest above all other considerations. Common traits include self-promotion, selfishness, and greed. ) Competitive pressures on profits 3) Conflicts of interest – Conflict of interest: when an individual’s self-interest conflicts with acting in the best interest of another, when the individual has an obligation to do so 4) Cross-cultural contradictions – When corporations do business in other societies where ethical standards differ from those at home – Ethical relativism Are multinational companies ethically responsible for what happens to their products, even though they are being sold legally? Which standards or whose ethical standards should be the guide? The core elements of ethical character 1) Manager’s values 2) Spirituality in the workplace – In the US, employers are required by law to make substantial accommodations for their employees’ religious practices, as long as it does not create major hardships for the organization 3) Manager’s moral development The managers in a company are likely to be at various stages of moral development Age Group

Development Stage & Major Ethics Referent Mature adulthood Stage 6: Universal principles: Justice, fairness, universal human rights Principle- centered reasoning Stage 5: Moral beliefs above and beyond specific social custom: human rights, social contract, broad constitutional principles Principle-centered reasoning Adulthood Stage 4: Society at large: customs, traditions, laws Society-and law-centered reasoning Early adulthood, adolescence Stage 3: Social groups: friends, school, coworkers, family Group-centered reasoning Adolescence, youth Stage 2: Reward seeking: self-interest, own needs, reciprocity Ego-centered reasoning Childhood Stage 1: Punishment avoidance: obedience to power Ego-centered reasoning Analyzing ethical problems in business These five values seem to be generally accepted and are present in most ethical dilemmas: do no harm, be fair and Just, be honest, respect others’ rights, and do your duty/act responsibly Four Methods of Ethical Reasoning Method Critical Determining Factor An Action is Ethical When..

Limitations Virtues Values and character It aligns with good character Subjective or incomplete set of good virtues Utilitarian Comparing benefits and costs Net benefits exceed net costs Difficult to measure some human and social costs; majority may disregard rights of the minority Rights Respecting entitlement Basic human rights are respected Difficult to balance conflicting rights Justice Distributing fair shares Benefits and costs are fairly distributed Difficult to measure benefits and costs; lack of agreement on fair shares Rights and Duties of Employees and Employers Employee Rights/Employer Duties Employee Duties/Employer Rights Right to organize and bargain No drug or alcohol abuse Right to a safe and healthy workplace No actions that would endanger others

Right to privacy Treat others with respect and without harassment of any kind Duty to discipline fairly and Justly Honesty; appropriate disclosure Right to blow the whistle Loyalty and commitment Right to equal employment opportunity Respect for employer’s property and intellectual capital Right to be treated with respect for fundamental human rights Employees have a fundamental legal right to labor unions and to bargain collectively with their employers Exceptions: some communist countries, some military dictatorships Labor union: organization that represents workers on the Job Unions agitate with employers over wages, working conditions, and other terms of employment Employers are not required by law to agree to the union’s demands, but they are required to bargain in good faith Right to a safe and healthy workplace Ergonomics: adapting the Job to the worker rather than forcing the worker to adapt to the Job The Occupational Safety and Health Act: law administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); gives workers the right to a job free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious hysterical harm Government gave OSHA important powers to set and enforce safety and health standards The Right to a Secure Job Employment-at-will: a legal doctrine that means that employees are hired and retain their Jobs at the will of, or the sole discretion of, the employer Over time, this doctrine has been eroded by a number of laws and court decisions such as 1) An employer may not fire a woken because of race, gender, religion, national orientation, age, or disability 2) An employer may not fire a worker if this would constitute a violation of public policy 3) An employer may not fire a worker if in doing so it would violate the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, which requires most big employers to provide 60 days advance notice whether they lay off a third or more (or 500 or more) of their workers at the work site 4) An employer may not fire a worker simply because the individual was involved in a union organization activity 5) An employer may not fire a worker this would violate an implied contract, such as a verbal promise Tenancy in common: form of ownership in which each tenant has undivided interest in property Joint tenancy: a right of survivorship – if one owner dies, the ownership tenant for life

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