Interesting coincidence that Norah Vincent’s editorial hoping the Australian libel ruling makes bloggers more cautious with their canard slinging would come out on the same day as a Washington Post article saying in effect that the same rules of publishing apply online as off:
- But since many bloggers have no background in publishing, they often come to the medium unaware of the rules that apply, and complaints are becoming more common. Many people publish as if they were untouchable, assuming that because what they write appears in a virtual world, it won’t come back to burn them in the “real” world. Many overlook the fact that their rants can potentially reach millions of people when posted on the Internet.
The same law that relates to publishing in the offline world, generally speaking, applies to material posted publicly on a Web log, legal and human resources experts said. Posting information or opinions on the Internet is not much different from publishing in a newspaper, and if the information is defamatory, compromises trade secrets, or violates copyright or trademark regulations, the publisher could face legal claims and monetary damages.
Though the main thrust of the article is work-related blogs, or people who discuss work on their blogs, it takes an entire two pages of dead trees to say that many bloggers are too stupid to breathe.
It seems to me that if you are so brain-numb that you have to be reminded THAT SOMEONE MAY ACTUALLY READ WHAT YOU WRITE, then you deserve whatever you get.
If you write it, they can read it.
There, could have saved some trees.