Running a blog – Are You Exposing Your self To Authorized Liabilities?

In November 2006, Running a blog Asia: A Home windows Reside Report launched by Microsoft’s MSN and Home windows Reside On-line Companies Enterprise revealed that 46% or practically half of the web inhabitants have a weblog [Blogging Phenomenon Sweeps Asia available at].

Running a blog Asia: A Home windows Reside Report was performed on-line on the MSN portal throughout 7 international locations in Asia specifically Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Curiously, the report discovered that 56% of Malaysians blogged to specific their views, whereas 49% blogged to maintain family and friends up to date.

This text focuses on Malaysian legislation nonetheless because the Web transcends boundaries and jurisdictions due to this fact the legal guidelines of many international locations might apply. In Malaysia, bloggers face authorized dangers that carry civil or felony liabilities equivalent to;
(a) copyright;
(b) trademark;
(c) defamation; and
(d) sedition.

Aside from the above, a blogger should contemplate different authorized dangers equivalent to fraud, breach of confidentiality and misrepresentation which is not going to be addressed on this article.

Copyright protects the way in which artists or authors specific their concept or reality on a chunk of labor however not the underlying concept or reality itself. Copyright protects originality of the work and prohibits unauthorised copying. Copyright safety is eligible for the next works confer with Part 7 (1) of the Copyright Act, 1987:-
(a) literary works, equivalent to written works, novels, supply codes in pc program and net pages and content material in multimedia productions;
(b) musical and dramatic works, equivalent to musical rating, performs and tv scripts;
(c) inventive works, equivalent to drawings, sculptures and pictures; and
(d) sound recordings and movies, equivalent to movies (conventional celluloid and numerous video codecs), information, tapes and CDs of music, drama or lectures.

Sadly, a lot of the copyright infringement occurring on the Web goes undetected. New blogs at occasions use current blogs for its content material and that is achieved by copying or linking. Other than that, posting copyrighted pictures, designs, product photographs or product packaging from one other web site can be unlawful.

There are “guidelines of thumb” to comply with when creating or posting contents equivalent to:- (a) create one’s personal authentic picture, graphic, code and phrases; (b) use licensed works throughout the scope of permitted use laid down by the proprietor; and (c) use free photos off the Web so long as the phrases of the creator of the picture are adopted.

The identical “guidelines of thumb” apply when posting programming scripts as it’s usually a violation of copyright legislation to acceptable programming scripts from third events. With reference to postings on one’s weblog by third events, the weblog proprietor might obtain an implied licence to the postings made by third events. When providing podcast i.e. recorded and dowloadable audio file to be downloaded from blogs it’s best that the podcast don’t comprise any copyrighted music belonging to others thus defending oneself from any copyright infringement fits.

If copyright protects the way in which concepts or info are expressed, trademark then again protects phrases, designs, phrases, numbers, drawings or photos related to services and products.

A trademark proprietor enjoys unique proper to make use of his mark in relation to his services and products refer Part 35 (1) of the Trademark Act, 1976. Trademark safety grants proper to the trademark proprietor to forestall others from utilizing similar trademark with similar items or comparable items that’s prone to trigger confusion to the general public refer Part 19 (1) and 19 (2) of the Trademark Act, 1976.

How does a blogger infringe trademark belonging to a different? One instance is when a blogger posts hyperlinks on logos belonging to a trademark proprietor. When a customer clicks on the trademark it’s going to instantly lead the customer to the blogger’s weblog as an alternative of directing the customer to the trademark proprietor’s web site.

Such linking might trigger confusion or deception because it raises critical danger that the weblog is not directly related with or associated to the trademark proprietor’sproducts and companies.

Usually, the time period defamation refers to a false assertion made about somebody or a company that’s damaging to their popularity. The particular person publishing the assertion should have identified or ought to have identified that the assertion was false. Whereas the Web supplies the sector by which defaming assertion may be made or revealed, there isn’t a particular laws that offers with defamation on the Web in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Defamation Act, 1957 applies to publications in printed supplies and broadcasting by radio or tv. Because the legislation applies to revealed or broadcast supplies, therefore in precept it applies to supplies equivalent to blogs and web sites revealed on the Web.

As defamation legislation is complicated there’s a want to tell apart whether or not a defamatory assertion is a libel (written kind) or slander (spoken phrases). In a case of libel, whether it is decided that the assertion is defamatory then there are presumptions in opposition to the writer or the writer. Within the case slander, there’s typically the requirement to proof precise damages or particular damages suffered as a result of defamatory assertion. Therefore, slander legislation doesn’t apply to blogs because it doesn’t fall throughout the ambit of broadcasting the slanderous phrases by way of radio or tv.

Attributable to fast modifications to the Web and the convergence of applied sciences, one will wonder if the courts will apply the libel legislation or slander legislation when blogs transformed from textual content to speech format are transmitted on the Web. Nevertheless, all this depends upon proving defamation and discovering the id of the blogger which may be an unlimited activity as a result of anonymity of the Web and its worldwide scope.

One other authorized danger is when blogs are used to disseminate false,incomplete or deceptive data concerning racial disturbances or contents that trigger hatred or contempt in direction of the federal government or the ruler. In Malaysia, numerous offences are offered for within the Sedition Act 1948 equivalent to it’s an offence for any particular person to print, publish or distribute any seditious publication- see Part 4 of the Sedition Act, 1948 for different offences. Whether or not the provisions within the Act apply to publications on the Web haven’t been judicially decided.

In Singapore the sedition legislation was utilized in 2005 the place the Singapore court docket jailed two customers for posting seditious remarks on the Web- Two jailed for ‘sedition’ on web, South China Morning Put up, Saturday, October 8, 2005. The South China Morning Put up reported that the case is taken into account a landmark case underscoring the federal government’s makes an attempt to control on-line expression and crack down on racial intolerance. The 2 instances represented the primary time Singaporeans had been prosecuted and convicted for racist expression underneath its Sedition Act.

Arising from the case of the racist bloggers, on 8 November 2006 the Singapore Authorities proposed modifications to its Penal Code considering the affect of know-how such because the Web and cell phones- confer with Singapore Ministry of Residence Affairs, Session Paper on the Proposed Penal Code Amendments at web page 2. The amendments cowl offences dedicated by way of digital medium equivalent to Part 298 (uttering phrases, and so forth with deliberate intent to wound the spiritual emotions of any particular person) to cowl the wounding of racial emotions as effectively, Part 499 (defamation) and Part 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) to develop and embrace these “revealed in written, digital or different media” see Singapore Penal Code (Modification) Invoice at pages 8 and 20. These amendments when handed empower the police and state prosecutors to prosecute these with offending blogs- Cf.Sections 298, 499 and 505 of the Malaysian Penal Code (Revised 1997).

There are the reason why the authorities are taking running a blog critically as half of the folks that took half within the Running a blog Asia: A Home windows Reside Report survey imagine that weblog contents are as reliable as conventional media and 1 / 4 of the respondents imagine blogs to be the quickest technique to find out about information and present affairs.

With such reliance on blogs, contents containing false, incomplete or deceptive data posted on blogs not solely might trigger panic, anger, contempt or political scandals; it might additionally trigger political and financial instability.

The Web presents challenges to current legal guidelines which are sluggish to supply enough safety to a celebration with respect to the use and content material of blogs. At the moment, codes of observe for Web customers together with bloggers haven’t been proposed as a part of the Web regulatory regime at present working in Malaysia.

As an alternative, bloggers must practise self-regulation and perceive the authorized implications of running a blog to make sure that their blogs are written in a accountable and lawful method. To be able to shield themselves, bloggers might present phrases of use and correct disclaimer to supply some extent of consolation and safety from third events postings on their blogs.

For these bloggers who should not self-aware of the authorized dangers, efforts must be made to coach and lift consciousness to these bloggers. Maybe the social duty lies on the Web service suppliers and web site service suppliers to create a blogger’s code of ethics to coach its bloggers to be moral in direction of their readers, the folks they write about and the authorized ramifications of their actions.

First Revealed at Present Regulation Journal April Half 2 [2007] 2 CLJ i

Source by Sabrina Mohamed Hashim

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