The Law and Your Blog

This is a very brief look at some the legal issues that bloggers (using Blogger and other tools too) should be aware of.  

I am NOT a lawyer.  This is not legal advice.   If you need legal advice, consult a lawyer who's familiar with the internet, blogging, and the legal system in your country

Do legal issues matter?

Emblem-scalesRecently I came across an interesting article from Aviva Directory: 12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know.

Firstly, I thought it was amusing that they assumed that US Law was the only one that mattered to bloggers.   But as I read the article, I found that many of the issues they raise are pretty universal:  their answers may not apply to everyone, but the questions do.  For example - who owns the comments that are left on your site?  Can you just delete them?

And as I thought more about it, I realised that I'd instinctively done some very important things on some of my sites:  applying data quality policies ("if in doubt, leave it out"), insisting only only using photos/graphics that I own (copyright), and putting disclaimer statements in.

So, while legal issues might not be top of mind when you're starting a on on-line travel diary, I'd definitely say that if you're planning on blogging long term, and want to be successful, then YES, the law does matter, and you need to spend some time writing policies, and thinking about the issues.

What to do:

The Aviva article is a good starting point:  read it and consider the issues.  See what changes you need to make to your blog, and schedule time to make them.

If you're not based in the US do some reasearch about what the law in your country says about any of the issues that apply to you.

If you own a small business, you probably already have a legal advisor:  at very least, someone who helped you draw up a standard contract, and advises you on any difficult issues that arise.   Make sure that s/he knows if you have a business blog, and can give you advice if you need it.   (If s/he just looks blank when you mention the internet, consider getting a new lawyer!.)

As with many legal issues, the first thing to remember is not to go over the top:  be legal, but keep your response reasonable given the size and popularity of your blog.   Remember that you don't need to do everything today - some things (disclaimer, privacy policy, commenting policy, etc) only need to be added when the risk of legal issues rises because the blog has got more popular.

Related Articles:

Copyright, Blogs and Bloggers

Advertising and Blogger, some things to consider

Giving your blog an attribution gadget

Stop malicious use of your AdSense account

Showing a PowerPoint presentation in your blog


Post a Comment

Home - About - Order - Testimonial
Copyright © 2010 Tips Blogging All Rights Reserved.