Legal Issues For Bloggers

from the study-up dept

While many people think of blogs as random journals about peoples’ lives, technically, they are being “published” and that can lead to legal consequences. The Washington Post has an article talking about how bloggers can face legal consequences of what they write – especially if they’re writing about their place of employment. One blogger received a letter from angry lawyers after mentioning a tiny software project he’d worked on years before. The company said he was violating the non-disclosure agreement he had signed. Another woman was fired for writing “fictional” stories about co-workers who seemed a little to real to her boss. There’s also the threat of standard publishing lawsuits, like defamation. Since many bloggers aren’t trained journalists or lawyers, they might not necessarily realize the liability they face in what they publish. Of course, for most bloggers, this is never an issue, but some companies have come up with “blogging rules and regulations” for their employees who blog. The first company I heard of doing this was Groove Networks who had their lawyers come up with a “blog policy” a few months back.

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Comments on “Legal Issues For Bloggers”

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1 Comment
LittleW0lf says:

No Subject Given

IANAL, but this would only be true if they were monitoring and approving the messages. Otherwise, they would fall into the distributor safe harbor instead of the publisher (we’ll sink your battleship if we don’t like what you say) harbor.

Of course, like every other distributor (phone company, AOL, but not Prodigy,) failure to remove the content after being informed of the illegality of the content would strip you of the safe harbor rights. Of course, those safe harbor rights only apply within the United States, and only against middle or lower class companies, and only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, or any day that doesn’t end with a “Y” if your joint income is below $50,000 and you check box “C”. And not during busy holiday travel, etc. etc. etc.

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