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by Marcia Taylor
In a recent YouGovsurvey, respondents showed lack of understanding and consensus aboutthe laws regarding blogging and User Generated Content (UGC). It's interesting reading as over 77% of the bloggers surveyed are unclear on the legal liability issues. Whilethe study was conducted in the UK, most of the issue raised regardingdefamation and intellectual property are similar to laws in the US.
Duncan Calow, a digital media law specialist and partner within DLA Piper's Technology, Media and Commercial practice commented:"The combination ofconfusion and complacency about the relationship between the law andUGC puts users at risk as they come under increasing scrutiny online.Blogs and online forums may differ from traditional media in theirstyle and purpose, but their content is still publicly consumed andthey have the equivalent potential to cause damage and offence andinfringe othersâ€²rights. Far from being immune from the law, UGC is in particular danger of falling foul of it."
Calowcontinued, "â€¦It is clear, however, that many internet users would alsobenefit from, if not welcome, some clearer guidance about postingcomment online. There is a big difference between censorship andprotection â€“ some have called for a code of conduct to provide guidancefor bloggers and other users. That won't change the law and manybloggers may still say they'll "publish and be damned" - but they oughtto be damned sure what the law says before they do."
Commentsare not redistributed by Newstex for a variety of reasons. Bloggers andthose commenting on blogs should be aware that there could beimplications for what they say. Even though we all enjoyutilizing new platforms of expression, it's still not a free press andnone of us are really anonymous. Chose your words carefully, we want tocontinue reading and distributing what you have to say.