17 October, 2006

An essential guide for bloggers


" Blogging is beginning to take off in the Middle East. Hundreds of online users in the region are getting involved every week and recent figures from Arabic portals such as Al Bawaba and Maktoob show that blog traffic is increasing rapidly across the region."

" Probably some of the main potential risk areas from a legal liability point of view include:"

1. DEFAMATION
2. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
3. TRADE MARKS
4. PUBLICITY
5. EMPLOYEE BLOGGING

More..

10 comments:

bizzwhizz said...

yes the IP rights of bloggers is what the conventional media doesnt understand

fadfed said...

yes these are pretty potential!

MamaDuck said...

Well, we may not have transparency, but at least the opacity of our situation is more clearly defined! Thanks Harsha.

In all seriousness, a formal analysis like this articulates the uncertainties raised by such actions as the blocking and unblocking of Secret Dubai by a government-sponsored agency in the UAE; the doocing of Petite Anglaise by her British employer in France; and our awareness of the consequences of past newspaper stories for journalists and editors here.

Until recently, blogging was effectively under the radar. Ironically, it's not just the rising number of bloggers which is changing this, but the attention given to blogs by the formal media.

It is possible that something innocuous in a newspaper's blog round-up might lead to a blogger being identified by a manager or employer, and then 'outed' and 'dooced' for something in another entry. (Something like this may have happened to Petite Anglaise.)

It also seemed to me recently that a local newspaper used blog entries to flesh out a feature on a moderately sensitive issue: the choice of entries was certainly balanced, and I welcomed the airing of views; but at the same time I wondered if this approach might also be intended to redirect potential fallout. Bloggers as collateral damage, should press freedom prove not quite so free after all!

Still, I'm inclined to think that our increasing numbers probably probably make us more interesting to salivating IT marketing managers than Big Brother.

secretdubai said...

By weird coincidence, I saw the print version of this interview today, in a copy of Digital Studio.

One of the most important things for people to realise is that truth is not always a defence to defamation here. Although the "named building's" case against the newspaper got thrown out, they could still have got damages in some way ("harms the economy" is a very problematic clause in the crappy media laws).

I've been meaning to email the lawyer guy, because he seems to miss out a very obvious point regarding quoting: that best practice is to quote no more than part of an article, and provide a clickable link to the rest. Or, as the newspapers generally do, provide a blog address or at least the blogger's name. Attribution is key.

Harsha said...

SD, this IS from Digital Studio. DS is an ITP magazine.

Harsha said...

Also, thats what I was wondering about as well. As long as bloggers 'quote' the source and provide a link, there shouldnt be a problem. I dont see bloggers plagerising the media. Quotes and articles from the newspapers are used to initate discussions.

Also wasn't Tim Newman forbidden from discussing political issues on his blog, while he worked for the company?

secretdubai said...

SD, this IS from Digital Studio. DS is an ITP magazine.

Yes - I know - it's just weird for me to read a magazine version of something before seeing in on the web, given that I live online! Plus Digital Studio isn't something I regularly read, I just picked it up in someone's waiting room.

secretdubai said...

Also wasn't Tim Newman forbidden from discussing political issues on his blog, while he worked for the company?

Yes - but only because of some snitch colleague. That said, he does use his real name (assuming that's his real name). One of the main reasons for my anonymity is to protect my company.

Balushi said...

dont worry kids, as long as SecretDubai is here! - LONG LIVE THE NET!


LONG LIVE SECY! LONG LIVE BLOGS.

Lirun said...

should also consider that people can claim against you in some jurisdictions without you ever having been there.. just because your writings are accessible there.. the gutnik case in melbourne and the yahoo case in paris..

i guess aligning the medium with the mainstream is just a aprt fo maturing..

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