Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rise in lawsuits against bloggers

Many of us who blog believe that since we are exercising free-speech on our blogs, the possibility of being sued for libel or slander is non-existent; a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor has should quickly dispel that notion. An excerpt:

The blogging community increasingly is subject to lawsuits and threats of legal action running the gamut from subpoenas to cease-and-desist notices. Since blogging became popular in about 2004, there have been 159 civil and criminal court actions involving bloggers, according to the nonprofit Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) in New York. Seven cases have resulted in verdicts against bloggers, with cumulative penalties totaling $18.5 million. Many more legal actions never result in trial.

The result? A stifling of free speech in a medium providing more comprehensive and diverse opportunities for commentary than ever before, digital-rights activists, media lawyers, and bloggers say.