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Legal Issues of Blogging<br />
Freedom of Speech<br />In the United States, we have the First Amendment:<br />“Congress shall make no law respecting an e...
Changing Dynamics<br />The law was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven’t quite yet decided how it ap...
Legal Issues<br />Since bloggers generally receive the same freedom of speech and press protections as anyone making conte...
Civil Lawsuits Filed Against Bloggers  (1997-2007)<br />
Legal Threats<br />The Citizen Media Law Project has cataloged more than 280 such lawsuits filed in 43 states and the Dist...
Some Rights of Bloggers<br />To blog anonymously<br />To keep sources confidential<br />To make fair use of intellectual p...
Legal Protection<br />State Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to help people sued for legitimate, protected speech made about p...
“Be nice!”<br />
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Legal Issues of Blogging

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This is a (very) short presentation that I did in a journalism class that focuses on writing for online publications.

I try to hit on the main legal issues that bloggers are faced with, as well as some of the rights that they are granted. The links in the slideshow are very helpful, and provide access to several great comprehensive sources for any questions you may have about your legal rights as a blogger.

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Transcript of "Legal Issues of Blogging"

  1. 1. Legal Issues of Blogging<br />
  2. 2. Freedom of Speech<br />In the United States, we have the First Amendment:<br />“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”<br />
  3. 3. Changing Dynamics<br />The law was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven’t quite yet decided how it applies to bloggers<br />There used to be a widely held belief that the Internet was a legal no man's land, where people were free to publish what they wish without fear of censure or repercussions<br />While this may have been true back when the Internet was populated largely by techies swapping information on obscure Usenet groups, it is no longer true today<br />
  4. 4. Legal Issues<br />Since bloggers generally receive the same freedom of speech and press protections as anyone making content available to the public, they also face the same liability issues. The main legal liability issues include:<br />Defamation<br />Intellectual Property (Copyright/Trademark)<br />Trade Secret<br />Right of Publicity<br />Publication of Private Facts<br />Intrusion into Seclusion<br />
  5. 5. Civil Lawsuits Filed Against Bloggers (1997-2007)<br />
  6. 6. Legal Threats<br />The Citizen Media Law Project has cataloged more than 280 such lawsuits filed in 43 states and the District of Columbia, ranging from copyright infringement claims against celebrity-gossip bloggers to defamation claims against operators of hyper-local journalism sites<br />Legal Threats Database<br />While only a few of these lawsuits have resulted in liability, seven cases in the database resulted in verdicts or settlement in the six-figure range<br />
  7. 7. Some Rights of Bloggers<br />To blog anonymously<br />To keep sources confidential<br />To make fair use of intellectual property<br />To allow readers to comment without fear<br />To protect your server from government seizure<br />To freely blog about elections<br />To blog about your workplace<br />To gain access as media<br />
  8. 8. Legal Protection<br />State Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to help people sued for legitimate, protected speech made about public issues<br />Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act can protect Internet intermediaries from most civil liability for statements by another information content provider and will likely shield you from liability for problematic statements made by your users, guests and other third-parties<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. “Be nice!”<br />
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