Thursday, October 12, 2006

Scarier Than Scary

Yesterday's column incited a number of comments of which none I dared print. At a very young age I learned the Mad Magazine axiom, All the News Fitted to Print, and nothing's changed. If you didn't get it go back and click on BOO!!.

Johnny Law has chosen to begin pulling in the reins yelling Whoa to the wild webbers on the Writers Wild West. Us cowboys always knew that's what www. stood for.

A virtual insult is worth about $3-million a word. In this case there were four of them: 'crook' 'con artist' and 'fraud'. Nineteen alphabet letters.

I knew this was coming a long time ago. I never thought about this aspect of blogging but always thought the obvious: Never write anything you would feel uncomfortable about your mother reading.

Warren Zevon's Lawyers, Guns, and Money keeps running through my mind. Fifty three million bloggers. Lawyers may stop chasing ambulances, start reading blogs, and who knows where that might lead? Insert a Wisconsin-ism here Gary. Two guys standing out in the cold drizzle. One remarks "If this keeps up it might rain." Whoa! It isn't rain. It's drool on the computer keyboard coming from the mouth of an attorney with $$$-signs in his eyes.

The Media Law Resource Center keeps an updated list of Libel and Related Lawsuits Against Bloggers. There's a lot of room for expansion in the legal trade considering the total number of blogs.

Getting closer to home the State Bar of Wisconsin tells us about the Shifting Legal Landscape of Blogging. Scroll down to the section on Defamation Standards. That's the meat of the article. From the conclusion section of the article, written by Atty. Jennifer L. Peterson, she advises that: ...bloggers should "speak" as though they are potentially liable for false and defamatory speech in their postings... and I most certainly agree with her.

I can sense the urgency that might coincide with reading the last paragraph but what's there to erase? The internet is funny that way. You click delete, come back tomorrow, and it's still there (cached)!


No comments: