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Blog Disclaimers

  1. This is more of a share info for other WP bloggers. For anyone who maybe interested I've now posted a Blog Disclaimer on Like It Is. Within it I have a comments policy, privacy policy and a non-disclosure policy. I personally think it'a a good idea for blogges to have a blog disclaimer on their blogs. After reading that a blogger was sued (in the US) for a comment left by a user on their blog last year I thought it equally good idea to have a comments policy, whether or not it is necessary. The non-disclosure speaks for itself.

    As an aside, I recently had occasion to ask a blogger to remove my content from their blog and to cease use of it without my written permission. It took two requests, but it was removed.

  2. Thanks so much for posting this.:D

  3. Thanks for the heads-up britgirl. I thought about putting up a comments policy, but abandoned the idea because I don't have that many visitors and have never received a hurtful comment. At this point, since I get very few comments, I am able to approve/reject each of them individually.

    But after reading about this blogger being sued, I am wondering if it does make more sense to include a concrete policy as a safety valve.

  4. EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers
    http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/

  5. TT - You're very welcome :-)
    SD -At the very least it can't hurt for you to have one, and it makes your policy clear to your visitors from the outset. Feel free to take inspiration from the Disclaimer on Like It Is and elsewhere, and amend as suits your particular situation. My aim was to keep it as short and as clear as possible - I ddn't want to overwhelm visitors with legalese.

    BTW - the name of the Blogger who was sued is Aaron Wall and the company suing him is called TrafficPower.

    Edit - I believe the case was thrown out of court, but that the appellant was given leave to appeal. http://www.blogherald.com/2005/08/27/blogger-sued-over-comments-left-on-blog/

  6. Food for thought. I'm enough of an anarchist that thought of a written policy sends a chill through my shrivelled little heart. That said, I'm fairly familiar with the EFF and other blogging rights groups, and I do work for some pretty good lawyers, if the need arises.

    The threat to sue is a constant danger, regardless of the merits of the case, as companies can afford lawyers better than most individuals can. Thankfully, most of these threats never come to fruition.

    Perhaps I'm opening a can of worms here, britgirl, but why did you leave a comment on a blog if you didn't want that information to be made public? Were they using it to imply something that wasn't true? I like to think that we all walk around with the things we've committed to writing stapled to our foreheads; some of mine make me look pretty stupid, but it's the aggregation of these that tells people who we are.

    And I speak as someone who was quoted egregiously out of context in the Daily Mirror. T'was a comment on Boris Johnson's blog, of all things! http://raincoaster.wordpress.com/2006/04/07/media-madness/

  7. @ raincoaster
    I'll let britgirl answer you on the specifics but if you read her blog you will conclude that she was not referring to a comment she wrote. It's my understanding she was a writer on a team blog hosted by Blogger. It's my understanding that it took two requests to have the teamleader comply with britgirl's requests to take her posts being held "hostage" there down, after the leader forced her out of the group. http://britgirl.wordpress.com/2006/07/13/team-contributor-dropped-from-purple-women-sucky/

  8. Ah, thanks. That does clarify issues. There are some meaningful differences in the way these kinds of things are decided under the law; if there's payment involved, it depends whether it was "work for hire" or otherwise. Ownership of actual posts should always be made clear BEFORE people join a team and start posting, and that is obviously the team leader's responsibility. If they haven't done so, they may find they have no right to the majority of the material posted.

  9. Someone on my blogroll is being sued by model Victoria Silvstedt because he said mean things about her. She must be on crack if she is actually suing a 20 year old for what he said on his little entertainment site about her.

  10. RC - Without being a legal expert I am familiar with the legal context and whether work is for hire, sale etc. It wasn't. I have no intention of going into the background nor an argument on this forum, suffice it to say I created the original articles there were several of them (it wasn't a question of 1 comment), the copyright was mine and I exercised my rights. Note that, being the generous person I am the blog owner can still approach me for permission - and I have the option to consider the request.

    And as TT said, (and thank you TT for posting the link!) if you read the article on my blog, the background is there. As for current material posted on aforesaid team blog - that's no longer my concern. I'm pretty sure that many team blog leaders don't bother to establish ownership of articles because they don't think of it. They should. And, so should contributors. They barely understand Copyright itself and where it applies. And it gets more difficult the more familiar you are with the team leader. However, unless I had assigned ownership of my work, the Copyright would still have been mine as the creator of the articles. It took two requests to have my articles taken down. Since aforesaid blog is likely to form part of a future publication, time, for me, was of the essence. But I was fully prepared to follow through.

    As to having a written policy, it's simple enough. Don't have one if you don't want one. I would hazard a guess that it is going to be fairly necessary for bloggers to have some kind of disclaimer if they want to avoid being sued. I wish it were not so but having said that I also don't think having a written policy is necessarly a bad thing. But I certainly don't want to be held liable for someone posting libelous or defamtory material on my blog. It's becoming clearer than ever that we bloggers are not just carriers, we are publishers.

  11. that's a pretty solid disclaimer. i think i'll have to add 'libelous' to the list of comments i'll remove. :D

  12. This is indeed very useful. I've been searching for a good disclaimer for a while.. and now I've found one. Thank you!

  13. britgirl has moved her blog off wordpress.com so I'll say you're welcome :)

    disembedded has also offered this one in a recent comment made on my blog.

    DISCLAIMER
    All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the Author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material.

    FAIR USE NOTICE
    This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

  14. adventureinvesting
    Member

    Where do you all insert your disclaimer? I'm new to WP and can't find a way to insert it into my blog (only through Text1 in the sidebar). Any way of making a permanent feature at the bottom of the blog? Many thanks in advance.

  15. @adventureinvesting
    Typically it's best to make a separate page that you can name "legal" or "disclaimer" or "terms of service" or something similar.

  16. I suppose Singapore has to do more to catch up with the world, being slacking while tech renders more things possible.

    Actually, disclaimers can only do so much. Because in actual court fights, ie if a court entertain filing against common bloggers, it is still your stance and (implied) facts that matters.

    In the US, you have EFF. In Singapore... anyone knows who can fight for us?

    Scope.

  17. In the US, they now have the Supreme Court finding that commenters, not blog owners, are legally liable for the comments they leave. That's huge, and it's new.

  18. It sure is when we consider that any blogger posting our our comments on their blog has the ability to edit the comment, without the commenting party's consent.

  19. Yes, exactly.

  20. @rain
    Would you like me to send you a nice avatar?

  21. No, I'll stick with what I've got until Turkey bends to my will.

  22. "In the US, they now have the Supreme Court finding that commenters, not blog owners, are legally liable for the comments they leave. That's huge, and it's new. "- Raincoaster.

    Actually, that should be more logical.
    But we got a problem again...
    Making comments is a communication with the blogger. The blog should have the rights of deciding on the comments, not the Supreme Court. Those judges may not even blog to understand blogging and commenting in the first place.

    Eg. A comment: 'Fuck you'.
    Sounds offensive in Asia.

    But it could be a casual and naughty remarks between two entities who understand it as something else. And then, a legal action is taken because X may think 'Fuck You' is illegal, or refers to him, maybe due to the blog texts.

    Then we have to write like Shakespear even on comments or waste time and money in court. Gosh~

  23. Write well in your comments, and don't say anything illegal in the US. That should cover you.

  24. There's a problem. Singapore lawyers ain't trained for the blogging cases.
    They can't be bothered if USA laws should apply or not, they'd probably just grab you as if it's Singapore's business.

    Pal, plenty of things appearing legal in the minds of people can be 'sued' and tried in courts. Like you are commenting a product, you think you have a right, but some coy may just 'try' you in courts for you to make mistakes and they get away with it.

    So USA is lucky to have EFF. I sure hope it has a branch in Singapore.

    Nobody probably understands the 'import and export' of copyrights and such. Blogging is really too new, too high tech in social terms. That's why some bullies could using it to their advantages, since they have the resources to sue anyone, and gamble on the results.

    Nobody's really covered, so bloggers should rally around, and support each other in strength.

    Otherwise... who'd cover you? Raincoaster, got the drift? The hungry lions will only think twice when the cows stick together.

    Scope.

  25. I think it's good to have it all in a page....I have links to mine from my 'about' page. also, it's not a bad idea to have a link to copyright info on your homepage. if your blog is aimed at kids and you're following the coppa stuff, then it's necessary.

  26. Hi, Weirdscience!

    Frankly speaking, it all depends on the mindsets and moods of the judges and juries.
    Judge who can think will see blog as blog as blog as blog with or without disclaimers.

    Those who can't will ignore it. Those who is out to sue, will sue with or without.

    When you wrote your diaries, do you put a disclaimer for your... busybody parents who will take a peep at your discontent at home?

    It is really all up to the states to catch up with the new tech. And it is only whether EFF is around or not. Then the rest is up to you to fend for your blogging. Your blogs are feedbacks and personal opinions and views and feelings and sue-ing you is ridiculous. Copyrights is another issue altogether, however.

    Do we need to disclaim that when we are unhappy we say unhappy means we are unhappy but cannot justify and cannot be liable for our unhappiness???

    This is rubbish... isn't it? :D This fails common sense in face of any legal tests.

    Scope.

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