Paul Jacobson founded Jacobson Attorneys in August 2005 after he left Werksmans Attorneys where he was employed roughly six and a half years in its commercial litigation department.
Jacobson Attorneys started out as a general commercial law firm but quickly evolved to having a focus on new media law which is the law regarding the flow of ideas and content on the Web. Think Web 2.0 law.
Paul is a fellow at the African Commons Project and works with the South African Creative Commons and iCommons team. He is also the project facilitator of the Open Law Project which was established to create a free and public legal reference site.
Paul has been using and writing about new media (“new media” is the term he uses for social media/Web 2.0 technologies and technologies that we will use after Web 2.0) for a few years now.
He first started blogging in December 2004 and has been involved in the growing new media evolution here in South Africa since then. He understands how these technologies can be deployed and many of the legal issues that arise out of their use and so, can assist clients who are involved in or make use of new media. It helps to have a lawyer who understands the legal issues and the technologies themselves.
New media law
New media law to Paul is the law pertaining to the flow of content and ideas on the Web. This includes intellectual property issues like copyright and it also covers constitutional issues like the rights to dignity, freedom of expression and more.
Defamation is becoming a hot topic again, as are employee related issues like acceptable use of an employer’s IT infrastructure. He advises clients on these issues and more. The thing about new media and new media law is that the landscape is constantly shifting and while many legal principles remain constant, the contexts they apply to change, so it is important to have an advisor who can help you navigate the changing landscape. He’d like to be your guide in this area.
General commercial and civil law
Much of Paul’s background is in general commercial law. Included in this pretty broad area are unlawful competition law, contract law (including leases), delict (civil wrongs or “torts” as they are known in foreign jurisdictions) and civil litigation. He can assist with the drafting of contracts and agreements and advise on a variety of commercial and civil legal issues.