Thursday, June 16, 2005

Long overdue legal guide for bloggers

I found the EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers courtesy of Jeff Jarvis. I agree: It's long overdue. Unless you blog exclusively about your cat (and maybe even then) bloggers need to have at least a general idea of what they can and cannot say without getting into trouble.

I have a foundation in journalism, having received a bachelor's degree in the subject and some 20 years work experience in the field. And even then, I find myself having to look things up. Just last week, I needed a refresher about New York Times v. Sullivan, the case that today still sets the standard regarding libel and public figures. I cannot imagine a serious political blogger -- whether he or she is blogging about local or national politics -- being able to avoid court threats from POed people, be they public officials or not.

Of particular interest these days are blogging about political campaigns (there are those in government who want to consider political blogs a form of campaign contribution) and (coming soon) workplace issues (such as bloggers getting fired because of their blogs).

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