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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

2006

Technology and Communications

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Common Law Property Metaphors On The Internet: The Real Problem With The Doctrine Of Cybertrespass, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Apr 2006

Common Law Property Metaphors On The Internet: The Real Problem With The Doctrine Of Cybertrespass, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The doctrine of cybertrespass represents one of the most recent attempts by courts to apply concepts and principles from the real world to the virtual world of the Internet. A creation of state common law, the doctrine essentially involved extending the tort of trespass to chattels to the electronic world. Consequently, unauthorized electronic interferences are deemed trespassory intrusions and rendered actionable. The present paper aims to undertake a conceptual study of the evolution of the doctrine, examining the doctrinal modifications courts were required to make to mould the doctrine to meet the specificities of cyberspace. It then uses cybertrespass to ...