Should Bloggers Be Afforded The Same Rights Granted To Journalists?

from the lawsuits-galore... dept

Paul Alan Levy writes "Together with the ACLU of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Center for Freedom of Expression, we have intervened in a case pending in Buckingham County, Virginia in which a plaintiff in a defamation case retaliated against a blogger who covered his defamation suit in less than flattering terms by sending a highly invasive subpoena that demands production of the blogger's communications with his sources, IP numbers of all who posted on his web site or even READ the web site. There have been only a handful of cases in which courts have addressed whether bloggers should be treated as journalists for the purpose of considering the reporters' privilege. We are also arguing that, in addition to protecting the commenters on the blog for the reasons usually argued -- protecting their right of anonymous speech -- posters on a journalist's blog should be treated as "sources" whose disclosure violates the journalist's own rights."

We've been seeing a lot of these types of cases lately. It would be good to get some more definitive rulings that establish both the rights of those who blog, as well as those who comment anonymously.
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Filed Under: bloggers, journalists, lawsuits, sources


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  1. identicon
    rev.dak, 10 Mar 2009 @ 11:22am

    Should Journalists have MORE RIGHTS than Bloggers? Anyone and everyone can be a blogger. You just have to write something down in a public place. Nothing has changed, only the medium. It's another case where "professionals" are threatened because there is nothing actually special about what they do, except that they _currently_ get paid to do what they do.

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