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Defamation laws and blogging : Good article in Wisconsin Lawyer

Jennifer Peterson, a lawyer with LaFollette Godfrey & Kahn in Madison, has a nice article on defamation laws and blogging in this month’s Wisconsin Lawyer magazine.

Jennifer raises some interesting issues unique to blogs but concludes:

For now, it is likely that the traditional defamation standards, including the private/public figure distinction, will continue to apply to defamation cases involving blogs. The very accessibility of blogs, however, may lead courts to reevaluate defamation law standards.

She also discusses The Communications Decency Act which Jennifer says may provide bloggers some immunity from defamation claims. I found it interesting that The Act’s purpose to “maintain the robust nature of Internet communication and, accordingly, to keep government interference in the medium to a minimum,” may arguably shield bloggers when “…[R}epublishing, without editing, information found already on the Internet.”

I am always leery of lawyers giving legal advice when neither they nor their firm publish a blog, as is the case here. But generally those articles cover 50 reasons why someone should not publish a blog. Here, we get a good analysis of defamation laws with a view of defending blogger’s rights.

Source: Law Dawg Blawg c/o Stark County Law Library Blog

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