This is a new section of The Bloggers’ Bulletin devoted to the so-called “legal” issues that may arise from time to time in every blogger’s life.
These are often thought of as being discrete forms of prohibitions, as in, what can I do or not do in by blog or generally on the web. When do I cross the line from legitimate criticism of someone and veer into the dreaded fields of libel and slander? What about the use of someone else’s intellectual property, their trademarks and copyrights?
We will get into all these areas and more in future posts. Right now though I want you to take a deep breath and let’s try and demystify the law.
Yes, it is true that there appear to be many, many strange rules, laws, cases and regulations. But, and this is what I want you to remember, at heart, the law is really just the shared common sense response of our society to human experience. The law of libel and slander exists to protect people from the spread of lies and falsehoods, particularly ones that cause them some damage in their business reputation.
Intellectual property laws, the laws of patents, trademarks and copyrights, developed to give incentives to individuals and companies to create useful products, art and successful businesses. They were not designed to thwart your creativity and for the most part there are many ways to use someone else’s intellectual property in an appropriate way without running afoul of the law or ending up in a big legal mess.
S0, I look forward to discussing these issues with you all in the future; and, don’t worry, everything will be made clear.