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Introduction

Companies courageous enough to enter the fray of Internet commerce will assume the risks inherent in an industry where growth remains at least a step ahead of governance; at the same time, those companies will enjoy the potential for unparalleled growth.

The Internet dissolves traditional geographic barriers, increasing access and exposing a new crop of customers. Products and services can be advertised and sold in a geographic vacuum. But where do these transactions take place? Where are taxes due? What laws govern if there is a dispute relating to an Internet transaction? Naturally novel legal issues, such as those relating to jurisdiction and taxation, arise as business practices change. Unfortunately, given the rapid development of the Internet, it is difficult to predict how such issues will be resolved. Businesses participating in Internet commerce cannot refer to the law to conduct the typical actuarial analysis to weigh potential liabilities against potential gains. Until the law catches up with the expansion of the Internet, Internet commerce will require a roll of the dice.


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