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Marshall Industries has been making its mark as one of the first company to provide distribution of electronic components by conducting e-business on an international basis. Like many other company in its century, technology have played an important part and changing the way and giving many options on marketing and service a business. Countless businesses have taking a piece of the pie by taking advantage of the world wide web to conduct their business to a broader list of clients and taking their business out of the box. According to Marshall Industries "The Internet offers an opportunity to help reshape and strengthen traditional business relationships. Using the Internet, transmissions can be sent whenever necessary at no premium, helping to establish real time shopping, offering additional advantages in speed and flexibility. Moreover, the substitution of traditional marketing and advertising media by the use of Internet-based and Web technologies offers new possibilities" (2003).
Marshall Industries provide its services to numerous part of the world. As a company that services many countries, there are many legal issues that are involved. Some of the issues include but not limited to Contract Formation and E- Signatures, Warranties and Limitations on Liability, Privacy and Data Protection, jurisdiction for Internet-based transactions.
In order to have legal proof of an agreement made concerning clients to business and business to business, Contract Formation and E- Signatures allows such binding contract to be legal format when it comes to e-business. According to Sylvia Mercado Kierkegaard "the E-sign Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) prevent a rule of law from denying the legal effect of certain transactions in interstate or foreign commerce on the ground that the signature, contract, or record of such transaction is in electronic form or if an electronic signature or electronic record was used in the formation of a particular contract. Both provide that if a law requires a record to be in writing or retained in its original form, then an electronic record satisfies the law" (Kierkegaard, 2007, 8).
A company have to make known to its client of the warranty and liability involving their goods and services. When conducting and International e-commerce, Warranties and Limitations on Liability plays and important role according to Jacqueline Klosek:
"When conducting business online, especially with consumers, it will also be necessary to consider the potential application of foreign law regarding certain contractual terms. Many jurisdictions provide that there are certain mandatory warranties that will apply regardless of what is stated in the contract.
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For example, in the U.S. some company include in their contract that when it comes to certain services or good they provide they are not responsible for any damages, while in other country such is not permitted. It might be against the law to not be legally responsible for certain good and services in which a company is providing.
Privacy and Data Protection has become an extremely important issue when it comes to e-commerce, the World Wide Web can be accessible by anyone who has an internet access, and many companies have to deal with viruses and computer hackers. One must be extremely careful and the law differentiates and various countries. Jacqueline Klosek declares:
"Privacy is a very important issue when engaging in commerce online. A number of jurisdictions, including, Canada and the European Union have adopted a much
more comprehensive and stringent approach to personal information privacy than is currently found in the United States. In certain cases, the laws of these jurisdictions can apply to U.S.-based entities that collect personally identifiable information via the Internet. It is also important to note that very stiff penalties, including the imposition of large fine and prison sentences, can accompany violations of these provisions" ((Kierkegaard, 2007, 11).
The solution determine by Marshall industries to protect itself from intrusion of its client privacy and which only allowed the customer to have access by offering passwords. According to Rob Rodin (2003) who is the CEO for Marshall Industries, states "Marshall's Internet solution contains password/SSL-protected areas with customised information for specific classes of users. A new service specific for design engineers should soon be introduced. It is used by suppliers to find information about sales volumes, design registration activity, pending sales opportunities and quotations. Customers use it to find information about backlog, credit limit, work in progress, purchases to date, pricing and inventory" (Marshall Industries, 2003)
Due to language and governmental law barrier, e-business has to be aware of the various jurisdictions which govern the United States and abroad. The Business Link's Alberta E-Future Centre Edmonton comment "If you are sued in a foreign jurisdiction, you may find that, if you ignore that lawsuit, it may become a judgment, which can then be registered in your jurisdiction and executed against you (seizing assets or garnishing money, etc.). Therefore, you should not ignore the laws of other jurisdictions or any lawsuits filed against you in such a jurisdiction" (Online Legal Issues, 2007)
E-commerce for Marshall Enterprise has been a big important part in their company day to day provision. As fast technology is going one should take advantage of all aspect of it. But let's not forget that laws and requirement are involved in order to conduct business over the World Wide Web. Marshall Enterprises have followed many required procedure in reference to doing business online but more requirement and consideration in reference to the laws will be needed as we increase in technology and the cultures advances.
Alberta E-Future Centre. (2007). Online Legal Issues. Retrieved May 23, 2007. from http://www.e-future.ca/alberta/ebusiness/pwt_online_legal_issues.asp
Kierkegaard, M. S. (2007, February 14). E-Contract Formation: U.S. and EU Perspectives. International Association of IT Lawyers. Retrieved on May 23, 2007, from http://www.lctjournal.washington.edu/Vol3/a012 Kierkegaard.html
Klosek, J. (2002, October). Key Pitfalls in Conducting International Trade via The Internet. Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. Retrieved on May 23, 200, from http://www.goodwinprocter.com/getfile.aspx?filepath=/Files/publications/klosek_j_10_02.pdf.
Martech International. (n.d.) Marshal Industries. Retrieved May 23, 2007, from http://www.martech-intl.com/best2/marshall.htm