ICT - Legislation

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The Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act protects us against the missuse of our personal data that may be held by a range of oranisations. Companies holding our data are required by law:

* to keep it secure

* not ask for more data than necessary

* not to keep data any longer than necessary

* to keep data accurate and up to date

* not to use data for any other purpose without our consent.

Your Data Protection Rights

1) You have the right to look at and check any personal data an organisation holds about you.

2) You can demand that incorrect information is amended.

3) You can demand that the data is not used in any way that could harm or distress you.

4) You can demand that your data is not used for direct marketing.

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The Computer Misuse Act 1990

The Computer Misuse Act covers the misuse of computer equipment and illegal access to files.

This makes the following illegal and punishable by fines or imprisonment:


* Software piracy (copying and distributing software illegally)                 

* Planting viruses - A program created to cause damage to a computer and its data.

* Hacking - The unauthorised access of a computer system or its data.

* Fraud - Tricking somone for personal gain or to damage them.

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The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act protects people's original work from being used without their permission.

All original work is copyright, including everything that is freely available to download from the Internet. The person who creates the work owns the copyright and is the only person who has the right to reproduce, adapt or sell it.

Copyright owners can use Creative Commons Licences to allow certain uses of their work. For example, they could chose to make an image free if used for educational purposes.

Original Work: Literature, Music, Art, Images, Software, Drama, Sound Recordings, Films.

Examples of Copyright Infringement:

- Sharing videos and music over the Internet.

- Copying and distributing copyright files, (e.g. giving someone a copy of an album you've just bought).

- Pretending that someone else's work is your own, (e.g. copying information and putting it in an essay or project).

Consequences of Illegal File Sharing:

* Prosecution * Fines * Your ISP may prevent you from using the Internet * Up to two years in prison.

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The Digital Economy Act 2010

For many years, the music, movie and television industries lobbied the government for protection against online piracy, while the internet service providers told politicians they could not be expected to police their customers.

The Digital Economy Act stops people illegally downloading media.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can collect data about repeat offenders.

If offenders continue downloading then their Internet access can be slowed or suspended.

Why bother with Copyright?

* People spend a lot of time and money writing and recording these materials. They deserved to be paid for them.

* If proffessional artists cannot make any money from their work, then they will not be able to afford to create any more.

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