Your New Year’s Resolution: Take Internet and Smartphone Protection More Seriously

With a brand new year upon us, experts are concerned. Very concerned. It was reported last week that British law enforcement expects internet and cyber crime to surpass traditional crime rates for the first time in British history. Law enforcement officials lamented that while their jobs used to consist of apprehending thieves attempting to rob cars or vandalize homes, they are now faced with the seemingly inordinate task of detaining criminals from thousands of miles away. Criminals engaged in complex internet hacking and identity theft schemes.

Almost all U.K. precincts report an upsurge of internet and cyber-savvy crimes. Most consider spyware and “malware” to be the most significant types of attacks, and the most likely cause devastating identity theft on unsuspecting victims. Further, many of these victims do not have protection and anti-theft software in place to protect themselves from attack, further encouraging criminals and frustrating law enforcement. The increased use of smartphones and iPads has furthered the problem as well.

The smartphone craze has stimulated the hysteria over cyber crime and victimization. Law enforcement all over the world reports increased smartphone theft, much associated with violent robberies and assaults. In the U.K., a group has been set up to help combat the problem known as the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum. The Forum urges smartphone users to stay aware when using mass public transit, the most common place for theft. The scariest aspect of smartphone crime is what can happen after the theft. Many times, thieves charge sellers in Eastern Europe, Algeria, Morocco or West Africa thousands of dollars for a smartphone filled with sensitive data. Thereafter, sellers can use the data to steal the identity of the victim and wreak havoc on his credit and identity.

With so much cyber and smartphone crime around us, 2011 must bring an increased awareness and fervor for security. London-based Snuko, P.L.C. has offered clients across the globe the opportunity to secure their phones and laptops. Snuko’s smartphone products allow for remote location of a stolen item and total lock-out of unauthorized users. The inexpensive product can assure that victims of violent crime can mitigate their losses by recovering their stolen property before it is sent overseas and virtually lost forever.

Attention to protection constant awareness of threats could help lead to 2011 being the first year to see a decline in internet and cyber crime in recent memory. With just a little extra caution, internet and smartphone users can rest assured their identity will be safe in the new year and for many more to come.

Copyright Solicitors and Issues of Intellectual Property

Many people wrongly assume that intellectual property and copyright is identical.

However, while they do have significant overlaps and are undoubtedly related, if you speak to specialist copyright solicitors, they will be able to explain the differences. This article looks at how they relate to each other and why it is important to understand the differences between different facets of intellectual property if you ever find yourself in a situation where you think you might need to use the services of a copyright solicitor.

Generally speaking, ‘intellectual property’ is something of an umbrella term that incorporates different pillars that make up the whole. Copyright is one of these, and this pillar of intellectual property refers to recorded work. This can include literary works, artistic, dramatic or musical works, sound recordings, films and broadcasts, and computer programmes.

As the author of one of these works, you have automatic international rights to be identified as the author under the Berne Convention, the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, as well as various other laws. This is something your copyright solicitors will be able to explain to you, and it is always a good idea to talk to a copyright solicitor if you think your rights have been infringed upon because there are steps that you can take to deal with the situation.

As well as copyright, intellectual property also includes trademarks. There are two types of trademark: non-registered and registered. It can take up to 18 months to register a trademark and you are not allowed to use the ® symbol unless you have registered something. Trademarks tend to apply to things such as slogans, titles, names, words and images that help to identify a brand or business.

Intellectual property also encompasses design rights; designs can fall under both copyright and design laws, so if you have an issue with a design you should talk to your copyright solicitor. Patents are something else that falls under the general heading of intellectual property; patents require a formal application and they are generally granted by a government, giving you the patent within a particular territory or nation state. It can take up to 3 years to be granted a patent, and they help to protect inventions and industrial processes from unauthorised use.

All of this shows that while intellectual property and copyright are undoubtedly closely linked, they are not exactly the same. This is something that should be remembered if you ever need to make a claim in a case due to your copyright being infringed upon.

Probate Attorney – What You Should Know

This is the attorney that you would hire to administer the last will and testament of a deceased person. They will also help to guide the heirs through the probate process in court, which is when a person files a petition for probate. This is the process to determine if the will the deceased left behind is valid. In the probate process the assets that the deceased left behind are distributed to pay any bills and what is left is divided among the heirs as the will states. The probate attorney will assist the heirs during the legal process, including filing any necessary pleadings and motions. If the will is contested by the heirs they will make arguments to the court as to why it is being contested. It the court has any questions about the will’s validity he will answer their questions.

Although this is not required for them to do so sometimes they will be the executor of the will, especially if the deceased has named them as the executor of their estate. When they are the executor of the will they will manage the distribution of any assets the deceased has left behind. Some of his duties can be helping to change the title on some property. It can also be helping to move assets into the person’s name who inherited the items. The probate attorney is also responsible to make sure that all of the funds are accounted for along with the taxation aspect of the will and estate. When the probate attorney is the executor of a will they are generally paid a nominal fee, which could be a percentage based on a percentage of the estate or a flat fee. It is a fee that is separate from the one for preparing the will.

To become a probate attorney you will first have to have a bachelor’s degree and graduate from law school, which can take up to ten years. Before you can apply to take the bar exam you will have to have acquired a specific number of hours work experience for a law firm. Each state has a specific number of hours. Once you have met this requirement you can take the bar exam.

As an added bonus you should have good interview skills. When discussing any requests to change a will or when creating a will having persuasion and oral communication skills can be very helpful. When starting work as a probate attorney many will work as a junior attorney for a law firm that deals with probate work. They will be the ones that review wills, doing paperwork that involves the execution of an estate, and fulfilling change requests. They will also learn how surrogate court works.

The Top Business Lawyers Mean Business

The law also protects consumers from business monopolies, malpractices, price fixing, and other issues.

As a business owner, you need to know about the laws regarding your business type, whether it is a small venture, a franchise, a partnership, or a corporation. There exist several legal considerations. The choices you make while setting up a business influence your business management, operations, finances, taxes, profits, and liabilities in the long run.

The importance of hiring business lawyers

Business lawyers know business laws inside out. They can help you right from the day you have a “blueprint” of your business plan to the day your business roars in the market… and even afterwards.

They can assist you in:

· Buying and selling ventures

· Mergers & acquisitions

· Starting LLC, corporation, and others

· Creating shareholder agreements

· Preparing business contracts

· Creating business plans

· Mediating disputes between you and consumers or business contract breaches

· Preparing and evaluating financial documents

· Collecting debts

· Issuance of stock

· Filing for bankruptcy

A clear idea of business law

A competent business attorney helps you give a picture of business law which would be clear as a crystal. He or she will explain the tax implications, business responsibility, and benefits of each kind of entity. This aids you in setting up an entity that benefits you, your employees, shareholders, and consumers.

Business lawyers harbor meaningful connections with important sources in the business community. Their objective is to promote a healthy business community that features continuous growth.

Of course, you can set up a business on your own, but you still need a lawyer. Only lawyers can give you legal advice. They are authorized and capable of doing so.

A partially-trained lawyer or a layman who claims to know the law may give you poor advice. They are not as acclimatized with legal situations as competent lawyers are. Qualified business lawyers are recognized by the Court of Appeals, which is the highest court of the state. They abide by a code of conduct and display sheer professionalism when handling cases. They are always updated about the changes in laws.

A reputable business lawyer has the legal expertise to interpret law for their clients and represent their interests in the courtroom and outside. You can benefit a lot from hiring such a lawyer. In other words, he or she can make things easier for you in the legal world.

Thanks to reputable law firms going online, it is easy to contact the best lawyer in town. You can schedule an initial consultation with him or her. You can discuss with them about your dream venture. It is time to put your idea on legal papers and out in the market.

Oh No, I Have Been Arrested – What Now?

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you will likely be brought to the jail for booking. Booking is part of the record keeping process. It includes the mug shot, fingerprinting, the alleged offense(s), and a few other miscellaneous details surrounding your arrest.

Next, using a schedule set up by the courts, a bail will be set. This amount is determined by the severity of your charges coupled with the number of charges filed against you. In some cases no bail will be set; however, most will have a bail set. Also, unless you have been charged by a grand jury, you will make an appearance before the magistrate to inform you of the charges filed against you and to be advised of the bail amount. In some cases, the judge may ask you a few questions but generally this appearance is very brief and is usually done over closed circuit TV from the jail to the judge in the courtroom.

During the initial appearance, the judge may ask if you have retained an attorney or would you like on appointed. If you ask for an appointed attorney, you will need to complete an application that includes your financial status and your ability or inability to hire an attorney.

The next court appearance will be for arraignment. Your lawyer must be with you for this short hearing. The purpose of an arraignment is for you to hear the formal charges as filed by the District Attorney and for you to declare to the court your plead of not guilty or guilty. If you plead not guilty, you have 15 days to file motions. Motions can include a wide variety of topics mostly to have the court rule the constitutionality of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Both the United States and Louisiana Constitutions provide rights that must be adhered to for a valid arrest, prosecution and conviction. If any of these rights are found to have been violated, it is possible that all charges will be dismissed and your case will be over, unless the District Attorney can correct any errors and refile charges.

Once all motion hearings have been argued before the court, a hearing will be held as a pretrial conference to clear up all remaining issues and set a trial date.

Depending on the facts and severity of the alleged offense(s), the above can take a year or more; although, most cases are handled in six to eight months.

This brief outline only explains the highlights of the entire process. This is to just give you a general idea of what to expect. If and when you are arrested, your lawyer should keep you informed and should help you understand what is happening and what to expect.

5 Surprising Statistics About Gray Divorce

“Gray divorce” is a phrase which represents older couples who embark upon divorce, and it’s become a term used more widely as it has become a more widely used option by such couples. More specifically, gray divorce refers to individuals over the age of 50, who are in their first marriage, or a very long-term marriage. Here are some facts, stats and numbers on gray divorce which may be surprising to learn.

25 percent: Of all people being divorced in the United States, 25 percent of them are over the age of 50. Clearly, gray divorce is on the rise. Exactly how much is it on the rise?

Gray Divorce Has Doubled: Since 1990, the divorce rate for couples who are both over the age of 50 has doubled. And 50 years old isn’t even the only demarcation point of interest either.

65 years old: 10 percent of all individuals being divorced in the United States are 65 years or older. For people who were surprised by the 25 percent rate at age 50, this is likely even a greater surprise. The divorce rate here has more than doubled since 1990.

Half: Half of all gray divorces are from first marriages. As acknowledged above, this is not a de facto “requirement” to be considered a gray divorce, as long-term marriages also apply, but half do fall into the first marriage department.

55 percent: This is the number of gray divorces which are from couples married for longer than 20 years. There’s no exact or hard limit on what constitutes a “long-term” marriage, but it is interesting to note what a high percentage qualify at two decades or longer. Of course, this statistic and the one above on first marriage are not mutually exclusive.

There are many reasons, or theories, on why this type of divorce is increasing, and doing so rapidly. Everything from life expectancies on the rise, to greater opportunities and independence for women, to new thinking on happiness and happy marriages may contribute, among a range of additional factors.

If anything, looking at the latest trends, facts, and information helps to shed light on the subject. For someone who may find themselves in a similar situation, it may also help them to normalize the subject for themselves, or reinforce their beliefs, knowing that others are going through the same things. Of course, anyone considering a divorce should consult with a qualified attorney in your local area who will be able to provide you with more information on the best course of action for someone in your particular circumstances.

Cyber Crime Through the Eyes of a Normal Internet User

Man has always strived to discover new things to make life better and more comfortable. He has been always motivated to find new vistas and try new methods and technological advancements using the intellect. One development leads to another and he never just stops and advancement and progress in never ending and is an on going project.

Nothing has changed the world more drastically as the internet. Since the wide world of web this world is no longer divided by invisible boundaries. It has become a global village and the advancement in the information technology has changed the lifestyle of the people radically. This change is obvious only since the last 15 years when the concept of personal computers came into existence. People are always connected to their electronic gadgets and almost all functions of our daily lives are dependent on the internet or the related technology.

Pros and cons of the cyber space:

As always the good and the evil are like two sides of a coin. Though the advantages outweigh the disadvantages it is high time we looked into them before they spread. Computer, internet or information technology related crimes are termed as cyber crimes. So what really is cyber crime? How seriously can these crimes affect common man or business establishments? What actions can be taken to curb such crimes and what legal action is needed to restrict the criminals who are into this? Cyber crime is growing to be a greatest threat to mankind and hence serious considerations and actions are definitely needed to check its spreading further.

We need to first understand what cyber crime is and what all activities are termed as cyber crimes. Cyber crime simply means criminal activities using the telecommunication and internet technology. Basically cyber crimes can be categorized into two types. They are,

  • Crimes which are directly targeted on vast computer networks or other related devices. For example, malware, computer viruses, attacks on denial of services etc
  • Crimes that are facilitated by the computer networks targeted not on any independent network or device. For example, identity theft, cyber stalking, phishing, email scams, hacking etc.

Cyber crimes are also considered or at least in lieu with white collar crimes, as the culprit cannot be conned very easily as the internet is open to the wide world. Although most cyber crimes are not related to any violence or serious crime still identity threat or government secrets can be virtually stolen in no time if the security measures fail. Terrorist, deviants and extremists stand higher chances of using this technology for their illegal and anti social activities.

Internet related frauds:

Almost 163 million users are estimated to use the internet this year as against just 16.1 million in 1995. thus the need for a more secured network becomes imperative keeping in mind the user’s overall security.

The anonymous nature of the internet is the breeding ground for criminals who engage in activities which are termed as virtual crimes or cyber crimes. Governments have introduced cyber laws to curb such activities but then no serious punishment is awarded to the criminal or individuals who are involved in cyber crimes. Proper legal infrastructure is yet to be created and powerful regulatory mechanisms formed to protect netizens.

Let us now have a look of the different types of cyber law and the amount of damage they release to the society or individual. Generally the cyber threats sources are of three types. They are,

  • hacking related threats
  • traditional criminal threats
  • ideology Threats


This is one of the common forms of cyber crime found in the cyber space worldwide. It has been defined as “whoever with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means commits hacking”. A hacker can crack into computer system thus gaining access to all internal information. Many hackers just do it for fun or pastime. Hacking is considered less harmful than other security related crimes.

Basically the hacker’s main aim is to disrupt a system or network. Whether he is a white hat hacker or black hat hacker his level of destruction is to stop or get the access to the computer systems. Repeated hacking or tampering constantly might take a hacker behind bars but many times these crimes are taken lightly.

Traditional cyber crimes

Criminals whose focus is on monetary gains only are called traditional cyber criminals. Most of them are identified as some internal source. Recent study has confirmed that almost 80% criminals of such crimes belong to the related company or firm. Industrial espionage, intellectual property crime, trademark violation, illegal fund transfers, credit card scams, etc are some of the traditional cyber crimes. Such criminals who conduct these crimes are more likely to end up behind bars if the crime is proved.

Ideology cyber threats:

Stolen data are circulated as against the intellectual property laws according to such ideology threats. These criminals consider themselves as Robin Hood and spread the data which is preserved under intellectual property rights. Many terrorist activities are also termed as ideology threats in the cyber world. They spread their own ideology or oppose government’s by using the internet technology. Cyberanarchistsis how they are called and their primary aim is to spread their ideology or principles and opposing what is against their activities. Many terrorists’ plans and data’s are also considered as cyber threats.

Thus whatever be the nature of cyber crime strict laws must be administered to enable a secured cyber space. As more and more of our daily activities becomes connected or interlinked in cyber space the need for a complete secure technology has become the need of the hour. Be is simple email hacking or phishing, the people involved in such activities are definitely invading the privacy of individuals and business organizations. Identity thefts, money swindling and credit card scams are grave issues which can cause irreparable damage to the person concerned.

Prevention is definitely better than cure:

How can we prevent our network or computer systems against the so the cyber criminals? How can the government aid in curbing such high risk threats to the society? As individuals it is important that we use the best internet security system to protect our systems from cyber attacks. It is important to use strong password to protect the emails or other important data or document stored online. Important details like bank account user names and passwords must not be stored online or in the computer. Remember that the cyber space is an open network and has no security or safety against such important data.

Never open unidentified emails and never reply or believe in email scams saying that you have won millions of dollars in an online lottery. Credit cards must be used sparingly or wisely online. Unsecured sites and restricted sites are always high on risk and thus using your credit cards on such sites is highly unadvisable. Always keep changing passwords and install a powerful anti virus software to protect against torzons, viruses and malware.

Companies and business establishment must ask the workers to sign powerful contracts to prevent internal identity thefts. The servers and domains must be well secured for continuous cyber security for their data. Government datas and highly secretive data must be under strict scrutiny. Hackers are also used by enemy nations to fid out the internal secrets of an opponent country. So, all forms of top secret is better not stored online. Too much information exposed is always a cyber threat. Vigilance, awareness and not sharing personal information while networking can prevent most of such cyber crimes.

The government must setup cyber wings to identify such criminals and put forth strong rules or punishment for cyber criminals. Cyber laws must be very strict and newer technology must be used to easily find these criminals to curb their illegal activity. Steps to block the erring person and information updated on such criminals can help the general public from identifying the different crimes in the cyber space. After all knowledge is what can make one powerful, isn’t it?

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Drink Driving – It’s Criminal Liability And Other Legal Ramifications

What is drink driving?

Drink driving or drunk driving, as other countries call it, generally means driving under the influence of alcohol. However, it actually includes other series of offences. Here are some major circumstances as grounds for getting drink driving-related charges:

  • drink driving
  • drug driving
  • exceeding prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA)
  • refusing a breath test and/or analysis
  • refusing to accompany to the police station
  • refusing a blood or urine test, and
  • driving under the influence (DUI)

While there’s a distinction between a PCA and a DUI, you could still end up liable even if you weren’t actually driving.

What is its criminal liability?

In cases of minor accidents, the offender may just be slapped with a negligence charge. However, it could become an issue of criminal liability if a victim dies and if it is argued that the driver chose to drive knowing that he or she was drunk. As a result, the offender may have to face a bigger court case, additional compensation for the victims, and even gaol time. The legal ramifications can really hit the offender’s finances, not to mention the suspension, or worst, the revocation of his or her driver’s licence. As a matter of fact, the offender automatically gets his licence disqualified even without the order of a court when he or she is convicted.

To be charged with such an offence differs in each country. In different parts of Australia alone, the criminal justice system differs in its standards for criminal liability when it comes to drink driving. You may find that some states imposed less severe penalties while others have heavier ones.

The strictest in handling such an offence in Australia is the state of Victoria. In fact, you do not even have to be driving to be charged with a drink driving offence.

What happens to an offender?

PCA offences are divided into five categories – novice, special, low, middle, and high. Depending on the severity of the offence, the court can shorten or lengthen the disqualification period.

If you are charged, your licence is automatically suspended for 24 hours upon being pulled up by the police while over the limit. Some charges involve more than a 24-hour suspension, and the offender is prohibited from driving until everything is finalised in court. But there are also certain situations where it is possible to get a special licence while waiting to go to court.

What is the best way to get your license back?

There are different steps to getting your license back depending on your case and other factors. The best way to make sure your case is handled effectively to your advantage is to consult your drink driving lawyer. This will help you know what you’re up against and even allow you to minimise penalties. To learn more, click here.

Pro-Bono Divorce Attorney

This attorney is one that will represent people with low-income when they are seeking a divorce and does not charge them for their services. In Latin pro-bono means “for the good” and in the legal world it means that divorce attorney will provide all legal services required for the divorce at no cost to their client. Their clients may be referred to them from domestic violence shelters or be a walk-in client. They will handle all areas of the divorce case such as:

• Interviewing their client to gather all of the necessary information to prepare the divorce petition

• Preparing the paperwork for the dissolution of the marriage

• Making sure that the child custody is determined correctly

• Making sure that the property is divided fairly and correctly

• Making sure that the child support is calculated properly

• Performing any other services that pertain to the divorce proceeding

If the reason that their client is seeking a divorce is because of domestic violence the divorce attorney will file an emergency protection order and help their client find emergency shelter. If their client has any bruises from the domestic violence the divorce attorney will usually take pictures of these bruises to use as evidence in the divorce case. They will usually request any hospital records from where the client was treated for various injuries such as broken bones, concussions, etc.

If the pro-bono divorce attorney finds out that the spouse is not being truthful about their assets they will conduct discovery to find these hidden assets. In a divorce preceding a discovery is through which the spouse is required to make known information by providing copies of financial documents or any other documents and answering questions that are asked for by the pro-bono divorce attorney in regards to the hidden assets. This is done so child support is calculated properly and the client receives an unbiased and fair division of property.

While the divorce is awaiting finalization, if there are children the divorce attorney will file a motion to establish an interim order in regards to the custody of the children and support for them. This type of order is temporary. It is one that the court has entered while the attorneys get the divorce case ready to be presented in court. The divorce attorneys will have a chance to do discovery and may even arrive at a settlement of all the issues that relate to the divorce. If there are particular issues that the attorneys cannot settle they then will present them to the divorce court. The divorce attorney will introduce evidence before the judge and then make arguments in able to obtain a ruling that is favorable to their client.

Copyright Challenges and Professional Help

For an entertainment attorney who deals on and off with copyright laws and protection policies, it is quite amusing to know how people misjudge the concept of copyright. But then again it becomes the responsibility of those with knowledge to prove this myth wrong. Some people believe in avoiding the use of phrases as “I copyrighted” and “to copyright” completely as it confirms the misconception of its meaning further.

Generally people believe a piece of work is authorized to its owner when it has a registered copyright in the name of its originator. Basically, any piece of work, when created, is completely under the authority of its creator. By the Federal Law, when an idea comes into a tangible form of expression, it automatically has copyright protection. When a story is penned down; when a song, sung is put into notes, it becomes into a tangible form and hence is copyrighted.

Any work in art, design, music, literature or even an exam question paper, is the creativity of the author or originator alone and his sole property from the minute it is created and brought into a copyrightable form. There are certainly lots of advantages of registering a copyright but an unregistered piece of work does not mean that the authority of the owner can be challenged.

Due to piracy everywhere, it is considered better to have a registered copyright. Though it is not a precondition to copyright, a registration makes it easier to convince the others of your possession. In case of an infringement, producing a legally approved document ensures a stronger position in the argument. Another advantage is that any new product being produced will have a lesser chance of similarity with a registered work. When an investor or creator plans a new project, research is conducted to find out more about the existing works in the similar field. If a registered piece is copied it is plagiarism, for an unregistered piece, the originality will be hard to prove.

As an individual is generally not aware of the legal procedures, entertainment lawyers help in the process. Besides, not everyone is allowed to approach the Copyright Office for this purpose. Seeking professional help is a better option as it keeps an eye on the violation of copyright and keeps track of big and little details even if the client is too busy with his own projects and is unable to keep tabs of the protection of his product.

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