The No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 is a bill that was aimed at amending the provisions of dealing with criminal liability for copyright infringement despite the infringer’s lack of a profit motive. Prior to this bill criminal copyright infringement required that the infringement was for the purpose of “commercial advantage or private financial gain.” Around this time in history it was possible for an individual to upload and download files on the internet without any legal consequences. For example advances in information technology such as Napster which allowed users to share and download music without having to purchase or compensate the copyright owner would have been perfectly legal at this time because the individual downloading this content was not doing so for financial gain. In 1994 a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was prosecuted for setting up an electronic bulletin board which allowed people to upload copyrighted software applications and computer games to be transferred to another electronic bulletin board to be accessed and downloaded freely. His case was ultimately dismissed and due to the fact he did not seek financial gain and this loophole became known as the LaMacchia Loophole. In 1997 the No Electronic Theft Act was passed to close this loophole.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection act of 1998 is a United States federal law aimed at safeguarding the online collection of personal information from