Tuesday, June 14, 2005

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

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Version current as of June 8, 2005

Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers getting in trouble for what they post.

Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.

The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or resources to help you determine whether what you're doing is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn't help - in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven't yet decided how it applies to bloggers.

But here's the important part: None of this should stop you from blogging. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn't use the law to stifle legitimate free expression. That's why EFF created this guide, compiling a number of FAQs designed to help you understand your rights and, if necessary, defend your freedom.

To be clear, this guide isn't a substitute for, nor does it constitute, legal advice. Only an attorney who knows the details of your particular situation can provide the kind of advice you need if you're being threatened with a lawsuit. The goal here is to give you a basic roadmap to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected.

More from EFF

* * * *

Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials- Notice

Testing the First Amendment in the US is Dangerous

Ethics and Rowlandgate

Racism and Retaliation in the Courts

'Jim Crow' laws aren't still on the books, but are still enforced

Following the Money and Victim Trail in a Corruption Scandal

The Chronology of events that led to my arrest and prison for testing Free Speech

Open letter sent to Connecticut State Police Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle

Documents in the Legal Abuse of Christopher Kennedy of Ellington CT
"I taking your kids away because you are Irish and there is strife in Ireland ..." a quote that is close or right on to trial transcripts, Judge Jonathan Kaplan presiding

Jeffrey Yeaw, the father that was the cause of an Amber Alert

William Mulready, proof that the courts are sexist in rewarding women and punishing men in divorce proceedings

Divorce-Related Malicious Mother Syndrome

Niggers and Second Class Citizens

America’s Twilight Zone, Part 1
Documents of lying liar, Attorney Michael H. Agranoff

A weasel cartoon and a post on Attorney Michael H. Agranoff

Will it and it will be

Should an immoral state be shut down?
A letter to President Bush

The History of Abuse of Citizens arbitrarily caught up in the legal system

Do White Officers give White Officers a FREE PASS, but not Minority Officers?

Can cops rape, rob, beat, and murder with immunity?

What is prison really like?

Should a bar owner that wasn’t sure which official to bribe go to prison?

U.S. Courts and Law Enforcement are more about revenue collection than criminal correction

An email to the New Haven, CT, office for the FBI

Open Letter to Chief Justice William J. Sullivan of Connecticut

U.S. Courts and Law Enforcement are more about revenue collection than criminal correction(an open letter to Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell and Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal received this week, registered)

The Kathleen Dickson Saga of what happens to a whistleblower in Connecticut

The Steven G. Erickson Office, Favorite Links, and Contact Information

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