Legal Issues of Electronic Publishing in Virtual Environments

Legal Issues of Electronic Publishing in Virtual Environments

Ioannis Iglezakis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-759-1.ch013
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Electronic publishing is a new concept, aiming at replacing traditional publishing media and making available the electronic delivery of digital content. Initially, e-publishing did not yield expected economic outcomes (Zahrt, 2003). The increase in the use of information and communication technologies, however, and the development of fast network connections, has provided electronic publishing new opportunities. Furthermore, epublishing changed from text-based applications into multimedia presentations, which can be disseminated in various forms over network environments such as the Internet (Ramaiah, Foo, & Choo, 2003). In more particular, e-publishing is the application of computing software by a publisher to information content and packaged for a specific audience, and the distribution of the final product through electronic means (Ramaiah et al., 2003). While the earliest applications of e-publishing were stand alone off-line applications, distributed through CD-ROMs and other storage media, today e-publications are far more than that. They include multiple information resources and their distribution takes place over networks, so that the information is able to reach a wider circle of users. It is also notable that file-sharing (peer-to-peer) technologies can be used for the distribution of information, independent from centralized Web servers. Individual authors can benefit from such technologies; however, due to copyright infringement committed by users of P2P systems, the future of such systems remains unclear.

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