Log In, Blog To, Log Out - And Don't Get Sued!

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Slides for talk for Own-It on legal risks for bloggers and Web 2.0 sites, and how to protect yourself. On 23 Jan 2008 by Robert Lands, Head of IP & Media, Finers Stephen Innocent. Full write up at …

Slides for talk for Own-It on legal risks for bloggers and Web 2.0 sites, and how to protect yourself. On 23 Jan 2008 by Robert Lands, Head of IP & Media, Finers Stephen Innocent. Full write up at http://www.consumingexperience.com/2008/01/uk-blogs-boards-web-20-sites-how-to-not.html

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  • 1. Log in, Blog to, Log out (And Don’t Get Sued) Robert Lands Head of IP Media Finers Stephens Innocent LLP 23 rd January 2008
  • 2. Legal Blogging 101
    • Do I have a legal right to say what I like?
    • Can I get fired if I blog about my job?
    • Do I have a right to remain anonymous?
    • Can I get sued?
    (cc) Rudis Fotos www.flickr.com
  • 3. Defamation - Law
    • What is libel?
    • A “defamatory imputation”
    • To lower the estimation of a person in the eyes of right thinking members of society
    • What is it not?
    • Vulgar abuse, attacks on groups
    • The problem with blogs
    • Judged by the same standards as professionals. Can be liable as a journalist and publisher.
  • 4. Defamation - Defences
    • Justification
    • BUT problem of the burden of proof
    • Qualified Privilege
    • Responsible journalism (Dow Jones v Jameel)
    • Defences for service providers
    (cc) Dean Forbes www.flickr.com
  • 5. Defamation - FAQs
    • My server is in Mongolia, which country’s laws apply?
    • Do I have to comply with all laws all over the world?
    • Is it OK if I make clear I’m quoting someone else?
    • Are you responsible if someone takes your comments out of context?
    • I’m flat broke so can’t pay damages- will anyone bother to sue me?
  • 6. McLibel
    • Helen Steel and Dave Morris
    • Did not write “What’s Wrong With McDonalds”
    • Longest Running Trial in English Legal history
    • PR misfire for McDonalds
  • 7. Running a Web 2.0 Site
    • Are you responsible for clearing your contributors content?
    • Defamation Act section 1 – “Innocent Dissemination”
    • Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 - “Mere Hosting”
    • Notice and Take Down Policies
  • 8.
    • Forum for young mothers
    • 100,000 subscribers. 15,000 posts per day = 5.5m per year,
    • Gina Ford - Controversial parenting guru
    • Mumsnet put on notice that were hosting allegedly defamatory material
    • Letters continued over one year
    • Disagreement about whether posts capable of bearing defamatory meaning
    • Gina Ford wrote to ISP
    • Mumsnet took down entire threads containing posts
    • Gina Ford continued to seek damages and apology; issued proceedings
  • 9. Mumsnet’s Problems
    • Could not pre-vet; logistical problems with sheer volume of posts.
    • Abided by abuse policy – postings not believed to be defamatory.
    • Should the law change? Websites are not papers
    (cc) Jordan Brock www.flickr.com
  • 10. Copyright Issues
    • Copying
    • Derivative works / Parody
    • Authorising
    • Making Available
    • Linking
    ©
  • 11. Trade Marks & Domains
    • Trade Mark Use
    • Dilution
    • US: Trademark Dilution Revision Act 2006 - Protection for famous marks. “Likely dilution” standard (instead of actual dilution).
    • Domain Name Disputes
  • 12. Confidential Information
    • Confidential information- eg Trade Secrets
    • Information about your employer
    • Does your employer own © in your blog?
  • 13. Criminal Speech
    • Contempt of Court
    • Terrorism Act 2006  
    • Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
    • Blasphemy
  • 14. ANY QUESTIONS?