Project 3 -Legal and Ethical Issues in Web Design

January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

WAI Guidelines          

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.

The W3C launched the Web Accessibility in 1997 with endorsement by The White House and W3C members. It has several working groups and interest groups that work on guidelines, technical reports, educational materials and other documents that relate to the several different components of web accessibility. These components include web content, web browsers and media players, authoring tools, and evaluation tools.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (known as WCAG) were published as a W3C Recommendation on 5 May 1999. A supporting document, Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 was published as a W3C Note on 6 November 2000. WCAG 1.0 is a set of guidelines for making web content more accessible to persons with disabilities. They also help make web content more usable for other devices, including mobile devices (PDAs and cell phones). The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 are recognized as a de facto standard and have served as a basis for legislation and evaluation methodologies in many countries.

Techniques for Web Content Accessibility

I found this article, it is quite old but well done “The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, a Commented Overview”

Copyright and the internet 

What is copyright? ( article by Staffordshire University)

Copyright protects the physical expression of ideas. As soon as an idea is given physical form, e.g. a piece of writing, a photograph, music, a film, a web page, it is protected by copyright. There is no need for registration or to claim copyright in some way, protection is automatic at the point of creation. Both published and unpublished works are protected by copyright.

Copyright is a property right and can be sold or transferred to others. Authors of articles in academic journals, for example, frequently transfer the copyright in those articles to the journal’s publisher. It is important not to confuse ownership of a work with ownership of the copyright in it: a person may have acquired an original copyright work, e.g. a painting, letter or photograph, but unless the copyright in it has expressly also been transferred, it will remain with the creator.

Copyright is regulated by law, the main statute in the UK being the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). This was amended in October 2003 by the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 which incorporated into UK law the changes required by the EU Copyright Directive.

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

The following categories of work have copyright protection:

(1) literary works

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works

(5) computer databases

(6) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works

(7) motion pictures and other audiovisual works

(8) architectual works

(9) sound recordings

Computer software, sometimes graphcial user interfaces, and webpages have copyright protection.

Who can claim a Copyright? ( view the article)

In order to claim a copyright, you must have created the work and have a desire or need to protect it from theft or misuse by others. You might have written a book or a poem, created a song or song lyrics, or created another type of work, such as a research thesis, Web page, a publication, or something similar. Editors, writers, photographers, musicians, and publishing companies are deeply involved in copyrighting, as it provides a means to protect their intellectual property.

Your work must be original. You cannot copyright someone else’s work. The work must be tangible, too, meaning it can be written, copied, printed, and distributed. You cannot claim a copyright if your “work of expression” is an idea, theory, or simply information you’ve amassed. Some works are simply outside the realm of a copyright, such as court decisions, numbers and alphabets, laws created by lawmakers, and names in a telephone book. Remember, you have to create the work, and it has to be a work of creative expression.

I found this note about Copyright and Internet, it is by Parlamientary Office of Science and Technology
Another nice article about Copyright and Internet by Jayne Cole.

Below another article found on

The Internet and Copyright:“The Internet has been characterized as the largest threat to copyright since its inception. The Internet is awash in information, a lot of it with varying degrees of copyright protection. Copyrighted works on the Net include new s stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, Usenet messages and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. That can pose problems for the hapless surfer.”

What is protected on the WWW?
The unique underlying design of a Web page and its contents,  including:

  • links
  • original text
  • graphics
  • audio
  • video
  • html, vrml, other unique markup language sequences
  • List of Web sites compiled by an individual or organization
  • and all other unique elements that make up the original nature of the material.

When creating a Web page, you CAN:

  • Link to other Web sites. [However, some individuals and organizations have specific requirements when you link to their Web material. Check a site carefully to find such restrictions. It is wise to ask permission. You need to cite source, as you are required to do in a research paper, when quoting or paraphrasing material from other sources. How much you quote is limited.]
  • Use free graphics on your Web page. If the graphics are not advertised as “free” they should not be copied without permission.

When creating a Web page, you CANNOT:

  • Put the contents of another person’s or organizations web site on your Web page
  • Copy and paste information together from various Internet sources to create “your own” document. [You CAN quote or paraphrase limited amounts, if you give credit to the original source and the location of the source. This same principle applies to print sources, of course.]
  • Incorporate other people’s electronic material, such as e-mail, in your own document, without permission.
  • Forward someone’s e-mail to another recipient without permission
  • Change the context of or edit someone else’s digital correspondence in a way which changes the meaning
  • Copy and paste others’ lists of resources on your own web page
  • Copy and paste logos, icons, and other graphics from other web sites to your web page (unless it is clearly advertised as “freeware.” Shareware is not free).  Some organizations are happy to let you use their logos, with permission – it is free advertising.  But they want to know who is using it.  They might not approve of all sites who want to use their logo.

Crime on internet

Computer crime, or cybercrime, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network, where the computers may or may not have played an instrumental part in the commission of a crime. Netcrime refers, more precisely, to criminal exploitation of the Internet. Issues surrounding this type of crime have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding hacking, copyright infringement, child pornography, and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is lost or intercepted, lawfully or otherwise.

Below is from a Roger Darlington’s article (see the article)


The Internet is overwhelmingly a power for good. It provides cheap and easy access every moment of every day to a vast reservoir of information and entertainment and it is transforming the nature of commerce and Government. However, with approximately one billion users worldwide accessing almost 75 million Web sites, there is bound to be some offensive, and even illegal, use of the Net.

There is a dark side to the Internet. It would be naïve to deny it and alarmist to exaggerate it.

The “British Journal of Criminology” (volume 38, Oxford University Press) contains an article called “Net Crime” by professional criminologist Mike Sutton and IT expert David Mann which claims that people are “more likely to engage in criminal behaviour online than they are in the physical world”.

Crime on the Net takes many forms including hacking, viruses, fraud, scams, money laundering, industrial espionage, prostitution, certain forms of gambling, drug use, drug smuggling, suicide assistance, defamatory allegations, cyber stalking, cyber terrorism, actual terrorism.

This is an article about Internet crime and phishing found on the BBC News. (see the article).


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