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Business Ethics 2016 - Case Study Guides (11) - Digital Law and E-Com

Business Ethics 2016

BUSINESS ETHICS 2016

Case study guides and online resources (2016)

 

 

 

 

Chapter 11

 

Digital Law and E-Commerce

 

 

  1. Answers to Critical Legal Thinking Cases

 

11.1   Cybersquatting

Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery (Gallo) wins. Gallo registered the trademark “Ernest & Julio Gallo” in 1964 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The company spent over $500 million promoting its brand name and sold more than 4 billion bottles of wine. Its name has taken on a secondary meaning as a famous trademark name. Spider Webs, which registered the domain name ernestandjuliogallo.com, and its owners Steve, Pierce, and Fred Thumann, argue that they did not act with a “bad faith intent to profit,” which is required to find a violation of the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Spider Webs has no intellectual property rights or trademark in the name “ernestandjuliogallo,” aside from its registered domain name. The domain name does not contain the name of Spider Webs or any of its owner defendants. Spider Webs had no prior use or any current use of the domain name in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services. Steve Thumann admitted that the domain name was valuable and that they hoped Gallo would contact them so that they could “assist” Gallo in some way. There is uncontradicted evidence that Spider Webs was engaged in commerce in the selling of domain names and that they hoped to sell this domain name someday. In sum, the factors support a finding of bad faith. The U.S. Court of Appeals held that the name Ernest and Julio Gallo was a famous trademark name and that Spider Web Ltd. and the Thumanns acted in bad faith when they registered the Internet domain name ernestandjuliogallo.com. The court ordered the defendants to transfer the domain name to plaintiff E. & J. Gallo Winery. E. & J. Gallo Winery v. Spider Webs Ltd., 286 F.3d 270, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 5928 (United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2002)

 

11.2   Domain Name

The Coca-Cola Company wins. Francis would be described as a cybersquatter; that is, someone who registers domain names of famous companies or persons who they are not connected with. The U.S. Congress enacted the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), a federal law specifically aimed at cybersquatters. The act has two fundamental requirements: (1) the name must be famous and (2) the domain name must have been registered in bad faith. In this case the first element is met because the name “classic coke” is a famous trademarked brand name used by the Coca-Cola Company. The second issue is whether the famous name has been registered in bad faith. In determining bad faith, a court may consider the extent to which the domain name resembles the trademark owner’s name or the famous person’s name, the holder’s offer to sell or transfer the name, whether the holder has acquired multiple Internet domain names of famous companies and persons, and other factors. Here, the registered domain name is exactly the same as a product sold by the Coca Cola Company, Francis has offered to sell the domain name to the Coca-Cola Company for $500,000, and Francis has no connection to the domain name. Here, Francis has registered the domain name in bad faith in violation of the ACPA. Francis would be ordered to turn the domain name over to the Coca-Cola Company.

 

 

11.3   E-Mail Contract

West Coast Steel Company wins. Contracts can be legally negotiated and completed by e-mail as long as they meet the requirements necessary to form a traditional contract. This includes capacity, lawful object, agreement, and consideration. The element of capacity is met because both parties are businesses, and the object of the contract, the purchase of steel, is a lawful object. Consideration exists because the buyer, Little Steel Company, would be paying money and West Coast Steel Company would be delivering steel. An agreement is reached by exchanging e-mails. Exchanging e-mails is an acceptable method of negotiating and entering into a sales agreement. Thus, the traditional elements of forming a contract are met by the exchange of e-mails between the parties. Little Steel Company bases its rejection of the shipment of steel by West Coast Steel Company by alleging the defense of the Statute of Frauds. Little Steel Company argues that an e-mail contract, which is electronic, is not in writing according to the Statute of Frauds and is therefore unenforceable. The U.S. Congress has enacted the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act). This federal law recognizes that electronic contracts meet the writing requirement of the Statute of Frauds. Thus, the contract can be enforced against Little Steel Company.

 

11.4   Electronic Signature

Yes. David’s electronic signature is enforceable against him. David Abacus used the Internet and placed an order to license software for his computer from Inet.License, Inc. (Inet), through Inet’s electronic website ordering system. David received the software program from Inet and installed it on his computer. When he refused to pay for the license, he justified his refusal by arguing that his electronic signature was not a valid signature under the Statute of Frauds. The U.S. Congress has enacted the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act). This federal law stipulates that electronic signatures meet the signature requirement of the Statute of Frauds. The E-SIGN Act recognizes electronic signatures (e-signatures) and gives an e-signature the same force and effect as a pen-inscribed signature on paper. Here, a web license between the parties has been formed and the electronic signature is valid. Therefore, the web license is enforceable against David.

 

11.5   License

iSoftware wins. Most software programs and digital applications are electronically licensed by the owner of the program or application to a user of a computer or digital device. An electronic license, or e-license, is a contract whereby the owner of software or a digital application grants limited rights to the owner of a computer or digital device to use the software or a digital application for a limited period and under specified conditions. The owner of the program or application is the electronic licensor, or e-licensor, and the owner of the computer or digital device to whom the license is granted is the electronic licensee, or e-licensee. Here iSoftware, Inc. is the licensor and Tiffany is the e-licensee. The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) is a model act that establishes a uniform and comprehensive set of rules that govern the creation, performance, and enforcement for computer information transactions. The UCITA provides that e-licenses are enforceable contracts. Therefore, under the UCITA, the e-license can be enforced against Tiffany.

 

 

VII. Answers to Ethics Cases

 

11.6   Ethics Case

Macy’s Inc., the ExxonMobil Corporation, and the General Motors Corporation win. BluePeace.org has used domain names that include all three of these company’s trademarked names. Not only has BluePeace used their trademarked names, but it has used additional information in the domain names that cause tarnishment to the company’s names. In addition, the content on the websites significantly disparage the products of these companies. The U.S. Congress enacted the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), a federal law specifically aimed at parties who misappropriate other’s domain names. The act has two fundamental requirements: (1) the name must be famous and (2) the domain name must have been registered in bad faith. In this case, the first element is met because the names “Macy’s,” “Exxon,” and “General Motors” are famous trademarked names. The second issue is whether the famous names have been registered in bad faith. The registered domain names used the companies’ trademarked names. BluePeace has no connection with these names. Here, BluePeace has registered the domain names in bad faith in violation of the ACPA.

      BluePeace.org, an environmental organization, may have its opinion as to the unethical conduct it believes the three companies have engaged in. But it cannot steal the companies’ trademarked names to draw attention to its cause. BluePeace may have thought they were doing society well by pointing out what it thinks is inappropriate conduct by the targeted companies. However, BluePeace cannot break the law in asserting its position. BluePeace can engage in other lawful activities to draw attention to its grievances against the target companies.

 

11.7   Ethics Case

Apricot.com wins. Bates licensed Apricot.com’s software “Match” for a period of five years with a license fee of $200 per month. Bates did not pay Apricot.com the required monthly licensing fee for any of the three months he used the software. After using the Match software but refusing to pay Apricot.com its licensing fee, Apricot.com activated the disabling bug in the software and disabled the Match software on Bates’ computer. The disabling of a software program for nonpayment of license fees is an appropriate self-help remedy that software licensors may use where there has been a breach of the license agreement. However, to be lawfully used, the disabling cannot cause physical harm to a person or cause damage to other software programs and data that the user may have stored on his computer. Here, there is no evidence of such damage. Therefore, Apricot’s disabling of its software on Bates’ computer is lawful.

      Bates breached the contract. If he had good reason not to pay for the software program (e.g., it did not work properly, fraud), then his actions would be justified. However, without evidence of any problem with the software or fraudulent or unethical conduct by Apricot.com, Bates has breached the contract and his ethical duty to perform the contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Free Business Ethics Resources

1. See full list of videos: 

Link 1 - Youtube channel www.youtube.com/ecomftu2012

Link 2 - Youtube channel 

2. Free Business Ethics - 2016 Ebooks (free download)

Legal Environment of Business: Online Commerce, Ethics, and Global Issues, 8th Edition, 2016, Henry R. Cheeseman

REVEL for Ethics and the Conduct of Business -- Access Card, 8th Edition, 2016, John R Boatright, Jeffery D. Smith

Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 7th Edition, 2012, Manuel G. Velasquez, Santa Clara University

 

3. Link to power point slides (Free Download)

REVEL for Ethics and the Conduct of Business -- Access Card, 8th Edition, 2016, John R Boatright, Jeffery D. Smith

LINK DOWNLOAD FREE PPT - LINK

Legal Environment of Business: Online Commerce, Ethics, and Global Issues, 8th Edition, 2016, Henry R. Cheeseman

LINK DOWNLOAD FREE PPT - LINK

Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 7th Edition, 2012, Manuel G. Velasquez, Santa Clara University

4. Test Bank - Free download

Legal Environment of Business: Online Commerce, Ethics, and Global Issues, 8th Edition, 2016, Henry R. Cheeseman

Link - Test bank - free download 

REVEL for Ethics and the Conduct of Business -- Access Card, 8th Edition, 2016, John R Boatright, Jeffery D. Smith

Link - Test bank - free download

 

For Test Bankz, Quiz Answers and Case study Guides, email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Good Luck and Success, Enjoy Your Study !

 

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Business Ethics 2016, Lecture, Video, Case Study Guides and Quiz, Test Bank, Free Download
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Revel for Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 8th Edition, 2016, John R Boatright, Jeffery D. Smith
Legal Environment of Business: Online Commerce, Ethics, and Global Issues, 8th Edition, 2016, Henry R. Cheeseman
Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 7th Edition, 2012, Manuel G. Velasquez, Santa Clara University

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1. Ethics in the World of Business
2. Ethical Decision Making
3. Ethical Theories
4. Whistle-Blowing
5. Business Information and Conflict of Interest
6. Privacy
7. Discrimination and Affirmative Action
8. Employment Rights
9. Health and Safety
10. Marketing and Advertising
11. Ethics in Finance
12. Corporate Social Responsibility
13. Governance, Accountability, and Compliance
14. International Business Ethics
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Part I: Legal and Ethical Environment

1. Legal Heritage and the Digital Age
2. Ethics and Social Responsibility of Business
3. Courts, Jurisdiction, and Administrative Law
4. Judicial, Alternative, and E-Dispute Resolution

Part II: Constitution and Public Law
5. Constitutional Law for Business and E-Commerce
6. Torts and Strict Liability
7. Criminal Law and Cyber Crimes
8. Intellectual Property and Cyber Piracy

Part III: Contracts, Commercial Law, and E-Commerce
9. Formation and Requirements of Contracts
10. Performance and Breach of Contracts
11. Digital Law and E-Commerce
12. UCC Sales Contracts, Leases, and Warranties
13. Credit, Secured Transactions, and Bankruptcy

Part IV: Business Organizations, Corporate Governance, and Investor Protection
14. Small Business, General Partnerships, and Limited Partnerships
15. Limited Liability Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, and Special Forms of Business
16. Corporations and Corporate Governance
17. Investor Protection and E-Securities Transactions

Part V: Agency, Employment, and Labor Law
18. Agency Law
19. Equal Opportunity in Employment
20. Employment Law and Worker Protection
21. Labor Law and Immigration Law

Part VI: Government Regulation
22. Antitrust Law and Unfair Trade Practices
23. Consumer Protection
24. Environmental Protection
25. Real Property and Land Use Regulation

Part VII: Global Environment
26. International and World Trade Law

Part VIII: Accounting Profession
27. Accountants’ Duties and Liability
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PART ONE Basic Principles

Chapter 1 Ethics and Business
Introduction
1.1 The Nature of Business Ethics
ON THE EDGE: Was National Semiconductor Morally Responsible?
1.2 Ethical Issues in Business
ON THE EDGE: A Traditional Business
1.3 Moral Responsibility and Blame
ON THE EDGE: WorldCom’s Whistleblower
ON THE EDGE: Gun Manufacturers and Responsibility
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
Slavery in the Chocolate Industry
Aaron Beam and the HealthSouth Fraud

Chapter 2 Ethical Principles in Business
Introduction
2.1 Utilitarianism: Weighing Social Costs and Benefits
2.2 Rights and Duties
ON THE EDGE: Should Companies Dump Their Wastes In Poor Countries?
ON THE EDGE: Working for Eli Lilly & Company
ON THE EDGE: Conflict Diamonds
ON THE EDGE: ExxonMobil, Amerada Hess, and Marathon Oil in Equatorial Guinea
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
Traidos Bank and Roche’s Drug Trials in China

PART TWO The Market and Business

Chapter 3 The Business System: Government, Markets, and International Trade
Introduction
3.1 Free Markets and Rights: John Locke
3.2 Free Markets and Utility: Adam Smith
3.3 Free Trade and Utility: David Ricardo
3.4 Marx and Justice: Criticizing Markets and Free Trade
ON THE EDGE: Commodification or How Free Should Free Markets Be?
ON THE EDGE: Marx’s Children
3.5 Conclusion: The Mixed Economy, the New Property, and the End of Marxism
ON THE EDGE: Napster’s Lost Revolution
ON THE EDGE: Brian’s Franchise
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
The GM Bailout Accolade versus Sega

Chapter 4 Ethics in the Marketplace
Introduction
4.1 Perfect Competition
4.2 Monopoly Competition
ON THE EDGE: Drug Company Monopolies and Profits
4.3 Oligopolistic Competition
4.4 Oligopolies and Public Policy
ON THE EDGE: Fixing the Computer Memory Market
ON THE EDGE: Oracle and Peoplesoft
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
Intel’s “Rebates” and Other Ways It “Helped” Customers
Archer Daniels Midland and the Friendly Competitors

PART THREE Business and Its External Exchanges: Ecology and Consumers

Chapter 5 Ethics and the Environment
Introduction
5.1 The Dimensions of Pollution and Resource Depletion
5.2 The Ethics of Pollution Control
5.3 The Ethics of Conserving Depletable Resources
ON THE EDGE: Ford’s Toxic Wastes
ON THE EDGE: The Auto Companies in China
ON THE EDGE: Exporting Poison
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
The Ok Tedi Copper Mine
Gas or Grouse?

Chapter 6 The Ethics of Consumer Production and Marketing
Introduction
6.1 Markets and Consumer Protection
6.2 The Contract View of Business Firm’s Duties to Consumers
6.3 The Due Care Theory
ON THE EDGE: The Tobacco Companies and Product Safety
6.4 The Social Costs View of the Manufacturer’s Duties
ON THE EDGE: Selling Personalized Genetics
6.5 Advertising Ethics
ON THE EDGE: Advertising Death to Kids?
ON THE EDGE: New Balance and the “Made in USA” Label
6.6 Consumer Privacy
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
Becton Dickinson and Needle Sticks
Reducing Debts at Credit Solutions of America

PART FOUR Business and Its Internal Constituencies

Chapter 7 The Ethics of Job Discrimination
Introduction
7.1 Job Discrimination: Its Nature
ON THE EDGE: Helping Patients at Plainfield Healthcare Center
7.2 Discrimination: Its Extent
7.3 DISCRIMINATION: UTILITY, RIGHTS, AND JUSTICE
7.4 Affirmative Action
ON THE EDGE: Driving for Old Dominion
ON THE EDGE: Peter Oiler and Winn-Dixie Stores
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
Should Kroger pay now for what a Ralphs’ Employee did in the Past
Wal-Mart’s Women

Chapter 8 Ethics and the Employee
Introduction
8.1 The Rational Organization
8.2 The Political Organization
8.3 The Caring Organization
ON THE EDGE: HP’s Secrets and Oracle’s New Hire
ON THE EDGE: Insider Trading or: What Are Friends For?
ON THE EDGE: Delivering Pizza
ON THE EDGE: Sergeant Quon’s Text Messages
ON THE EDGE: Employment at Will at Howmet Corporation?
CASES FOR DISCUSSION
Death at Massey Energy Company
Who Should Pay?
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key words
Ethics,
Ethical Decision Making,
Ethical Theories,
Whistle-Blowing,
Conflict of Interest,
Privacy,
Discrimination, Affirmative Action,
Employment Rights,
Health and Safety,
Ethics in Finance,
Corporate Social Responsibility,
Governance, Accountability, Compliance,
International Business Ethics,

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