On Why Bloggers Rule and What Rules the Bloggers (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The Internet is now a common platform of over one billion users in the world who exchange information, trade communications and transact commerce every now and then. This is the realization of what the website founders initially sought to achieve, i.e. a two-way communications in the cyberspace where writing information should be as simple as reading it.

At the heart of this phenomenon is now the website log – or blog. Blog is not merely a new technology, but it is now a trend. Individuals use blogs to express their feelings. Companies engage themselves in corporate blogging where they capture beneficial information to upgrade their services and achieve corporate objectives, and where marketers capture potential customers while they advertise for their products. And more pressing of all, blog is now an alternative to conventional media industry where individuals easily publish reports of incidents accompanied by their comments and views while getting rid of editorial and spatial barriers of conventional media. People have now often referred to online blogs to get information on ongoing incidents day to day. Given this situation, the luxury of information is now something of the past.

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Consumer Protection in the E-Transaction: Better (Too) Late than Never (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda*

Malaysia has over a decade regarded the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a powerful tools and engine for growth in future. Related investments and development projects are dramatically boosted and other industrial and social infrastructures also gained the attention.

The consumer side, however, has a different story. While many of consumer concerns were addressed and gradually solved with the coming into force of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1999, one major aspect of consumer protection is somehow lagging behind. The Malaysia’s CPA 1999 makes it clear that its provisions do not apply to those transactions effected by the electronic means. This is in turn resulting in an absurd situation. As one scholar noted, there is absurdity to find that while one can be compensated for a loss due to defective goods or services he or she took from normal transaction, the same cannot be guaranteed for the transaction he or she entered into electronically. What is then the protection offered by law in Malaysia for the e-transaction consumers? The truth is that, there is currently no comprehensive legal framework for protecting e-transaction consumers. It is argued that the law is in changing and developing mode.

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CSR in Cyberspace: A Quest for the Missing Link (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

The tremendous participation of companies in technological race and in exploiting the cyberspace is often marked with over-excitement and the sense of lawlessness. This is not true if one regards the cyberspace as a space without rule. The fact remains that there are rules in cyberspace just as people have rules in the real physical world.

When it comes to the notion of corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’), the matter may become more confusing: what kind of responsibility companies could have, and to whom they owe such responsibility. Assume that an online business entity does not have a physical presence – not physically registered, therefore not legally incorporated: does it assume a corporate status to subject it to the CSR? As for the incorporated ones, question may arise as to what responsibilities they bear when embarking in the online environment and to whom they are owed.

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Mind Your Corporate Data – And Who They May Actually Belong to (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda*

Information is the lifeblood of today’s business, and the corporate citizens cannot agree more on this in the present fiercely competitive world, where the source of power has to be redefined, and wealth creation needs to be re-identified. The raw data that in the past just remained in the archives had now become the goose that lays the golden eggs. These golden eggs are in the form of valuable information assets from which the companies exploit and generate their wealth.

Bunch of those raw data, however, do not exclusively belong to the companies who retain them. The customers database, for example, may be a collection of personal, financial and commercial information that originally belong to individuals – either of those internal parties such as employees and shareholders; or of external stakeholders including customers, business partners, and vendors/suppliers.. Can companies regard them as their own property? This may be a contentious issue, depending on how the data was initially obtained: where, from whom, and in what manner or circumstances.

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Information as Business Asset in the Globalized Economy: Legal and Judicial Notes (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda*

In today’s globalized economy, the way people store, reformulate and process information – and eventually generate revenues out of it, had marked the shift of attention from a raw material-based and labor-exploiting business to the information and knowledge-based entrepreneurship. Information is increasingly becoming not only a buzz-word for executives but also the goose that lays the golden eggs.

In response to this trend, this paper attempts to do two things; first, revisiting the notion of information as a business asset, and secondly, analyzing how this notions is responded by the law. The first part seeks to reconfirm that information is the new big thing in today’s business that is characterized by globalization, digitization and deregulation of rules. The second describes and analyzes how the law –notably at the judges’ hands– contributes to the strengthening of this notion by tendency to recognize the proprietary status of information – something that is not so well established just yet.

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