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Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Blog Law

The Ninth Circuit handed down a decision last week that properly interprets the Communications Decency Act, which provides libel immunity to those that merely forward information "provided by another information content provider." A listserv operator, for instance, probably isn't liable for libelous statements in an e-mail that he allows onto the list, and the same would be true of a blogger who links to other sources. I think that "Blog Law" would be a great subject for a law school class, and I'm going to start working on a syllabus. Topics will include "The Consequences of Scorched-Earth Flame Wars about Religion, Politics and Video Games," "Discussing Your Cat: Legally Safe, Totally Boring," and "Is It a Defense to Prosecution That No One Has Ever Read Your Blog Except Your Mom?"

Note that the protection only extends to the link itself, and not to any commentary on the linked content. So Adam's occasional spittle-flecked jeremiads may still be fair game, and indeed represent my greatest hope for future legal work. Jim Adler may call himself the "Texas Hammer," but I'm the "Texas Screwdriver."

 10:08 AM

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