Where the Law is Headed in 2007?

by Gerard Simington - Date: 2006-12-21 - Word Count: 536 Share This!

As we approach the end of December, it is time to open gifts and start thinking about 2007. So, what can we expect in the legal field next year?

Where the Law is Headed in 2007?

Predicting practically anything in the future is a risky endeavor indeed. Okay, I think I am safe predicting the sun will rise tomorrow. After all, I am hardly going to hear any objections if it does not. When considering the law, predictions of specific events are a bit iffy, but some general trends can certainly be foreseen.

When it comes to the law, everything begins with the Supreme Court. 2006 was a fairly calm year at the court with few revolutionary decisions. The reason? The changing of the guard when it comes to the justices. We have a new Chief Justice and Associate Justice, both who are known for their conservative views. Although 2006 was calm, both justices lived up to their conservative reputations, which gives us a hint of what is coming in 2007.

The coming year is going to be one of minor and major changes in the case law of the land. With the appointments of Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito, the court has shifted to the right. The swing vote on many cases is now Justice Kennedy, who leans to the conservative side of the scale. This will equate in decisions that reduce the rights of individuals, increases the authority of the federal government and limits the regulation of business. On the hot button topic of abortion, it is more likely that the court will put limits on Roe v. Wade instead of simply overturning it, but a complete reversal of the decision is certainly possible.

Moving away from the court system, the other area of law we are likely to see major changes in is intellectual property. Intellectual property law is simply case law and statutes that deal with business assets that are intangible, but valuable. This includes areas such as copyright, trademark and patent law. Forefront in the battle will be the continuing evolution of how these issues translate to the Internet. One can specifically expect to see a lot of lawsuits involving YouTube.

YouTube, of course, is a site that allows people to post videos. The site is hugely popular and was recently purchased by Google. With deep financial pockets, it is now a target for litigation on issues related to copyright and trademark infringement. Specifically, the problem is going to be how these rights translate to videos being posted by people on YouTube, which they do not own. For instance, what is the responsibility of YouTube when someone posts a music video or something? In practical terms, we are looking at the Napster litigation scenario all over again, but with video this time.

Obviously, the legal arena is a huge one. There are many different areas of law and each will be modified in 2007. That being said, a conservative pull back on current law can be expected in Supreme Court decisions, and the application of intellectual property law to the net should be the most volatile areas in the coming year.

Gerard Simington is with FindAnAttorneyForMe.com - find attorney online with our free directory.

Related Tags: google, legal, youtube, law, intellectual property, trademark, copyright, abortion, supreme court

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