Although Web 2.0 allows for effective collaboration between individuals as “virtual societies”, there can be lots of social, ethical and especially legal implications of doing so. Some of these implications are discussed below:
A major concern following Web 2.0 infrastructure is the one relating to intellectual property ownership, especially copyright of information. While Web 2.0 provides attractive means for ordinary users to upload their contents and publish their material online, users may publish information already owned by other authors, hence infringing on copyrighted information. Publishing such information as literature, photography, music, painting, videos as well as other types of copyrighted information has become the norm, since users are very less concerned about copyright laws, resulting in an outrage by the copyright owners. It is due to this concern that some website clearly state in their terms and conditions that all the material uploaded on their website belongs to users.
At the very same time, the other side to the ownership of information poses risks for the company gathering information and ideas from its employees, users that use the service on a regular basis. In cases where the company wishes to move ahead with the idea, this becomes a serious concern as to whether this idea / information is owned by the company providing users with the infrastructure or the users presenting the companies with the ideas on a specific topic / discussion. A similar concern also arises in cases where the information presented by the users on a public network are acquired by competing companies and used as their ideas in light of weak policies of information ownership available with the company providing the users with its infrastructure.
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