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Who Let the Blogs Out? Legal Experts Offer Tips on Avoiding Trouble August 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Blogging.

The race into the blogosphere has reached a feverish pace. Statistics house Technorati estimates that some 75,000 blogs are created every day, nearly one per second, joining the more than 40 million blogs already populating cyberspace. That’s twice as many blogs as there were just six months ago. And newspapers of all sizes clearly have no intention of being left behind, as E&P has documented over the past two years. At McClatchy Co.’s News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., for example, Public Editor Ted Vaden says his newspaper has expanded its stake from a half-dozen blogs a year ago to 18 today.

But with all the excitement and potential for new readers and financial invigoration, something else is rippling: growing unease about the dangers of blogs — especially legal liabilities in the land of the free and perhaps overly brave.

“There is a lag between newspaper publishers’ rush to monetize blogs and at the same time making sure their ethics policies and internal editorial controls keep up with the rollout of new forms of technology and content,” warns Seattle-based attorney Robert A. Blackstone, partner at the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

At www.washingtonpost.com, which sometimes posts blog entries without editing them, blog humor columnist Joel Achenbach said, “I keep thinking today is the day I will write something that destroys The Washington Post as a newspaper.” But he quickly adds that he sees no clear and present danger, neither from his own writing nor from the voluminous number of comments his blog generates: “I think the vast majority of people who want to participate in our blogs are intelligent and civil.”

Read this at > Who Let the Blogs Out? Legal Experts Offer Tips on Avoiding Trouble

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