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October 26, 2007

blognation Australia

Chris Saad has produced a brief State of the Nation report on Australia's progress on web 2.0 technology at blogNation.

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Posted 26th October 2007 by David Jacobson in Weblogs

September 29, 2007

Australian Blogging Conference 2007: legal issues

Bloggers are a diverse bunch and thanks to organiser Peter Black the Australian Blogging Conference managed to have something of interest for most people: politics, legal issues, research issues, creativity, citizen journalism, education and corporate and business blogging.

I deal with the business blogging session here. And there's a note on the politics of blogging here and here. So this note deals with the legal issues and other thoughts on the day

First off, my observation was that they weren't all techies. I had just read Cory Doctorow's When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth and was relieved to be with ordinary "authentic" people (see attendee's list).

I was spoiled for choice but was pleased I attended the Legal Issues session. The theme ended up being "what are the risks related to what you say on your blog, what other people say on your blog and what you link to?". Lead by Professor Brian Fitzgerald and Nic Suzor from QUT and Dale Clapperton from Electronic Frontiers Australia over 2 hours we ranged from copyright to defamation, primary and secondary liability issues, "innocent dissemination", a brief history of internet law, privacy, what we'd like in a blogger's guide to law and current legal actions.

The bottom line: understand the risks and take strategies to minimise them (and don't rely on US centric information).

I see that Dale Clapperton has posted a note on "backdoor defamation" issues we didn't get to properly.

Also noted were Legal Issues for Wikis (pdf) and  Blogs and the Law.

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Posted 29th September 2007 by David Jacobson in Legal, Web/Tech, Weblogs

August 29, 2007

Australian Blogging Conference

The Australian Blogging Conference on 28 September will cover a wide range of issues relating to blogs, including creative commons and legal issues. And it's free.

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Posted 29th August 2007 by David Jacobson in Weblogs

April 15, 2007

Australian law blogs

As part of my preparation for a recent talk, I looked at what Australian law blogs were out there: they are mostly IP related but are published by a range of practitioners, academics and students. But no big law firms.

Here's my list here.

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Posted 15th April 2007 by David Jacobson in Weblogs

January 20, 2007

Australian Blogging Conference

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and the Queensland University of Technology will host the Australian Blogging Conference on Thursday 8 March 2007 at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane.

The program includes sessions on blogging and journalism, education, politics and business and corporate blogging as well as the technical side of blogging. Registration is free.


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Posted 20th January 2007 by David Jacobson in Web/Tech, Weblogs

August 12, 2006

The audience as publisher: Technorati speaks

From AlwaysOn Hollywood comes this video of Technorati's Peter Hirschberg's entertaining session on how media and movies have been affected by changfng technology that allows individuals to make their own content.

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Posted 12th August 2006 by David Jacobson in Web/Tech, Weblogs

May 2, 2006

Blogging and legal academics

There is a growing but reluctant acceptance among academia that blogs may be an acceptable form of academic scholarship (but why write a short note when a long one will do?).

So a Bloggership symposium at Harvard was a first.

Concurring Opinions provided a wrap-up. (via Blawg Review)

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Posted 2nd May 2006 by David Jacobson in Legal, Web/Tech, Weblogs

April 25, 2006

Blogging, the media and the law

The Economist has a feature on New Media and includes in its survey an article on blogging which it describes as "participatory media".

Coincidentally Joe Gratz has published a summary of presentations at the Blog Law conference just held in San Francisco. It complements the views of PR firms and journalists I referred to previously in respect of corporate blogging.

I don't think you can pigeon hole blogging: it's a platform capable of being used in many ways.

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Posted 25th April 2006 by David Jacobson in Legal, Weblogs

July 14, 2005

No right of free speech for Australian critical website

In Kaplan v Go Daddy Group & 2 Ors the owners of Hunter Holden have been able to continue an interim injunction against the owners of <> a site (probably a blog) that encouraged critical comments of a Sydney car dealership.

In a case that seems to be the first Australian version of the case, the New South Wales Supreme Court was reluctant to base the injunction on either fair trading or defamation grounds. Instead it relied on the tort of injurious falsehood.

In the end it continued the injunction on the basis of the balance of convenience and that there were no public interest issues involved. Australia has no First Amendment right of free speech.

No cybersquatting issues were raised.

Some key quotes:

28 The only element of the tort that could be disputed is whether what the second defendant has published was false.  As Hayne J said in Palmer
Bruyn & Parker Pty Ltd v Parsons
at paragraph 154,  "If there is no false statement made it is not enough to establish injurious
falsehood to show that the plaintiff is held up to ridicule."
In the same way, it is not enough for the plaintiffs to show that the website was established maliciously for the purpose of disparaging the second plaintiff to its injury.  To succeed at a final hearing the second plaintiff must show that the statements the second defendant published were false....

34 It is arguable that the words "Hunter Holden Sucks" convey the imputation that the business of Hunter Holden is poorly managed, and that it provides poor products and services.  There may be other available imputations which are disparaging of the business and products of the second plaintiff.  There is a serious question to be tried that such imputations are false.

35 There is also a serious question to be tried that the other comments and headings on
the site which state or imply that the second plaintiff engages in fraud, and that overcharging of its customers is rife are false.  As I have said, there is a serious question to be tried that the second plaintiff is the author or publisher of those comments. 

36 There is therefore a serious question to be tried that the second defendant has
committed and threatens to commit the tort of injurious falsehood.

37 The balance of the convenience is all one way.  The second defendant would suffer no damage if the injunctions are continued.  On the other hand, if the injunctions are dissolved, the second plaintiff may suffer substantial damage which it could never prove as potential customers may be deterred from visiting it.

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Posted 14th July 2005 by David Jacobson in Legal, Web/Tech, Weblogs

June 5, 2005

Internet Legal Research

I have subscribed to Internet Legal Research Weekly for a while and, even though it's US focussed, always find something useful. So I was very pleased to find that this blog has been listed as a "blawg of the week".

To subscribe, just visit and sign up -- it's free!

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Posted 5th June 2005 by David Jacobson in About this blog, Legal, Weblogs
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