Protections For Bloggers?

Howard Wertenteil writes "Is there anything like a policy of "acceptable use" for blogging... especially when it comes to those who are posting commentary that their employers (or school officals) might object to?
Or for that matter, a list of what laws would protect the author of a blog, aside from 1st Admentdment protections for journalists...?"

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Protection for us? You're kidding, right?

Is there anything like a policy of "acceptable use" for blogging...

Only your personal ethics. Some well established guidelines to follow are those that columnists follow. The only one I can count on for sure is: If a public official said it, it's in the public domain and I can reprint all of it. Everything else I reprint at my web site causes constant concern over the limits of fair use. I sometimes e-mail to get permission to reprint material if the amount clearly goes beyond fair use. I try to rewrite information from articles and columns so that it could be considered a new work on its own merits, but I have no idea if I go far enough in that.

Re:Protection for us?

I'm not sure if the submitter was asking about legal copyright/compliance (as with the FEC and Apple cases) but rather the growing number of cases where people have been fired for blogging -- Blogger and the EFF have some tips about avoiding the latter.

Acceptable Use

It is Acceptable for you to Use a blog, it is Acceptable for your employer to Use a temp firm to replace you if you air their dirty laundry without whistleblower protections.

Re:Acceptable Use

I don't know if Michael Hyatt's Corporate Blogging Policy would qualify as protections, per se, but a company that wishes to have their employees blog should have a policy document in place. On the other hand, if you are blogging outside of work and criticize your company...is that really a "dismissable" offense?

Seems to me people are constantly complaining about one company or another. Is a complaint the same as libel or slander? (Those of you more intimately familiar with the law, feel free to educate me!)

Regardless, it's still an excellent idea for companies to have established blogging guidelines and policy in place.

Dissmissible offense?

You have no protection in a right-to-work state (most of the West). Employment is at-will. Which translates to: the worker must give two-weeks notice (which we may let them continue to work for, or just fire them when they tell us), or get no recommendation, and we can fire at anytime.If you're in a union shop, you probably have some protection.As for school children, there are a lot of laws which protect them if they're doing stuff outside of school. There are even laws that protect them when distributing paper versions within school time on school property. Your right to an education is a property right, and cannot be taken away from you without due process. (However, private schools and charter schools are not a right, and since you've undermined the public schools in setting those up, you're welcome to lose your property).-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

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