Friday, August 31, 2007

Threats Made to Bloggers, Lawsuit Threats, Freedom of Speech and Blogging

Today I received a comment on my blog on this post which was published in October 2006, from someone with a Blogger profile name “bbil714.” The comment included a statement that he forwared an old blog post I wrote about a year ago to an attorney in hopes the attorney adds me to the list of those being sued in a civil suit.

I don't think that putting links to news articles which are published on the web is violating any law or anyone's rights. In fact, I wonder if bbil714 is at all familiar with the first ammendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Certainly news topics that are covered by professional journalists working for media outlets (newspapers, websites, etc.) report their information to the public, that is their job. How my blogging on the topic and linking through to the news stories, and sometimes including verbatim quotes from those articles, and making it clear that I am quoting X article is not a violation of any American law that I know of.

My own opinion on broad topics is my own opinion and I have the freedom of speech to protect me.

I can write on my blog on my opinions on general topics such as child abuse, education, homeschooling, parenting methods, et cetera. Blogging on general topics is not a violation of any American law that I know of.

Here is a copy of the comment that was left on my blog today by

bbil714 said...

"I have forwarded your "blog" to the Jameses attorney.
Hopefully you will be added to their civil suit for your continued UNFOUNDED lies about an INNOCENT man who was murdered. Good luck."


InsertWittyBlogHere said...

What a loon!

Of course, at least you actually posted something for him to whine about. Have you seen the homeschool mom blogger whose insurance company is trying to deny her coverage for her own long-standing injuries because she does NOT complain about the injury on her blog? Which is 99% about her medically frail youngest son, anyway?

Like it or not, blogs are going to be the next big thing in the legal world. Sad, really.

Judy Aron said...

I am no lawyer but all I know is that as long as you attribute the article properly and do not claim it to be your own writing then you have not stolen anything - in fact you are pointing other readers to the original website.

As for your opinion about the article, as far as I know we still have the freedom to express our opinions in this country.

Sigh - yes - I think Internet Law will be the next up and coming item and we must all do whatever it takes to keep the Internet free from ANY censorship.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It sounds like this comment is intended to scare you. I suspect this person is one of those that likes to flame people in an odd sort of way. If I were a betting woman, I'd lay odds that s/he never takes the threatened action.

In any case, it is a threat, which is illegal. Whereas your blog is properly attributed, and anyway, you have the right to express your opinion, regardless of who likes it or not. I am sure that there have been many opinions expressed in the letters to the editors or your local newspaper. No lawsuits have ever resulted from those!

Still, if you get any more such nonsensical and threatening comments, you might want to consider screening comments for a while.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Oops! I see that you are already doing comment moderation. As Rosanna Rosanna used to say:

Never mind! :)