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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blogging and the Law

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has recently updated their legal guide for bloggers: you can find it on their website here . The guide addresses a broad range of legal pitfalls that a blogger might encounter. The news has been full of bloggers who suffered retribution from their employers - but the EFF points out that this is just one possible area of legal conflict. In general, bloggers might run afoul of claims in any of these areas:
  • Defamation
  • Intellectual Property (Copyright/Trademark)
  • Trade Secret
  • Right of Publicity
  • Publication of Private Facts
  • Intrusion into Seclusion
For example, if you blog about technology and provide product reviews, tips, under-the-hood insights, or opinions on various trends or major vendors, you could be accused of almost any of these sins.
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.
This a link every blogger needs to have on his or her desktop.
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