Blogging is an enjoyable task and these days most internet marketers have a personal blog on which they share tips, ideas and subtle product promotions. But can blogging land you in legal trouble? Records indicate that there have been over 150 court actions, both civil and criminal, against bloggers from 2004.
There has also been rumor of many more cases of settlements and silence threats before the cases reached court. So what is going on in the blogosphere and how can you keep yourself out of legal trouble?
Are There Legal Issues when Blogging?
There is no doubt that the vast majority of bloggers is doing the right thing and will never become embroiled in legal issues. In any case, there are over 70 million blogs predicted to be online so the number of cases is tiny in proportion.
But is this number large enough to scare bloggers out of free speech and into censorship? Should bloggers have to alter their site content or even remove controversial content? That is a question many bloggers are now asking.
In reality, blogging is no different than putting a regular website online. Sure, blogging makes it easy to post content to and they are generally updated more regularly than normal sites but the possibility exists that controversial content can be posted anywhere online, not just on blogs.
Blogging Actions that Can Lead to Legal Problems
Some examples that can land you in legal trouble include making threats on your blog directed at anyone else (even if you don’t believe they read your blog), harassing others either directly or indirectly and even making comments that are racist or criticize religions or cultures. Basically if someone reads your blogs and doesn’t like what they read, becomes offended or is just plain in a bad mood, there is the small possibility they will seek action against you.
Revealing state or national secrets is another no, no, as is releasing corporate secrets. If you are in a position to have this knowledge then keeping it to yourself is your best bet unless you want a legal battle.
Copyright infringement is a major problem online but it is highly unlikely copyright material will make it into a court of law. Nonetheless it is possible for this to occur.
Overall there is no real need for bloggers to fear writing what they wish. Keeping in mind the age old laws about copyright infringement, liability and other legal hot spots, bloggers can remain censorship free and worry free throughout their blogging careers.