Glyn Moody writes:
More and more of our activities take place in the digital rather than analog realm. But what exactly is the legal status of that digital stuff as it flows around the Internet, or sits inside databases? A recent judgment in the UK provides important guidance:
Information stored electronically does not constitute property which someone can exercise possession of, judges in the UK have ruled.
The Court of Appeal rejected arguments to the contrary and refused to interpret existing laws in a manner which would, it admitted, “have the beneficial effect of extending the protection of property rights in a way that would take account of recent technological developments”.
The judges said that whilst it is possible to exert control over electronic information it is not possible to gain possession of it. The distinction was drawn in a case concerning a dispute between a publisher and an IT supplier.
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