Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sometimes, You May Need A Lawyer

As blogging becomes more and more a way of life, for non technical as well as technical people, there will be culture and personality clashes between individuals, conducted through blogs. And legal ownership of blogs will become relevant in court proceedings.

Recently, we've been seeing various complaints and queries
You need to remove "xxxxxxx" blog, they are publishing details about me and about my family.
and
The contents of blog "xxxxxxx" is taken from my blog "yyyyyyy". I need this to stop, but I can't find contact information for the owner. Can Blogger contact the owner and have this stopped?
and
My brother / sister / mother / father died recently. I need access to his / her blogs. Who do I contact at Blogger, to get this resolved?


In some cases, and when there are egregious enough offenses, Blogger may take action on your behalf. The improved "Flag Blog" wizard offers new choices, where you may specify the offense that you believe is being committed. Of course, action taken will be at the discretion of Blogger, and Blogger acts under the laws of California, and of the USA in general. Both "Due process of law" and "Innocence until proven guilty" are important principles here.

If you, or your family, are seriously threatened by the content of a blog, you may be better off contacting a lawyer who is skilled in Internet issues. As the Internet becomes a part of our daily lives, not just an occasional recreation, the public legal system has to become involved, in arbitrating clashes and conflicts.

The Blogger "Report Abuse" wizard provides solid guidelines about the possible scenarios, and when we can expect action from Blogger / Google.

In some cases, when the content of a blog seems to predict real bodily injury to you, Blogger will even advise you to contact your local law enforcement agency for protection. If those threatening you are serious, their actions will fall under the jurisdiction of the local authorities - and it's likely that your reporting a serious crime, before it's committed, will help your local law enforcement agency prevent worse problems. When you do report a threat, be calm and objective, and accept the advice of the officials who interview you - because you will need them on your side.

In other cases, legal ownership of blogs, left behind when someone dies, may be of interest to you. Here, unless the deceased acted with foresight and included the blogs in a will, you may also need the services of a lawyer, and / or litigation in the courts.

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4 comments:

silentscope157 said...

"You need to remove "xxxxxxx" blog, they are publishing details about me and about my family." is similar to my current situation.

Blogger doesn't respond to my requests to delete the problem blog through their "Report Abuse" form. It's insane. The blog reveals my contact information and even photos. It's clearly a threat.

Can't I get rid of it without paying a lot of money for a lawyer? Is there a cheap way to get a court order, or perhaps a way to get Blogger's attention without one?

silentscope157@yahoo.com
(Feel free to e-mail me here, it's an e-mail I'm only using for this topic)

Chuck said...

Hey Scope,

Ever been on a jury? I spent 5 months, once, and I learned in detail that there are two sides to every story.

You can't just stroll up to a judge, tell him that "xxxxxxx blog is publishing details about you and about your family.", and have him write you a court order.

Nor will you take the next plane flight to Mountain View, stroll into Google, talk to a lawyer there, and have the blog deleted, on the spot.

Please do keep us updated in your thread in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.

Kosmo Vinyl II said...

what about somebody posting a blog titled in your name, specifying your work email address, stating flatly that they have your contact info/know where you live, then threaten -- in writing -- how you need to look over your shoulder?

sure, i understand the threat part of it becoming a law enforcement matter but you mean to tell me that Google/Blogger/Powers That Be are unwilling to delete the blog in question -- which is a single entry but uses my name in the title and URL?

Vikki North said...

Scary comments here! Wow!

My problem: I've just discovered that a school teacher with the Harrisonville, Mo. High School, has actually plagiarized the verbiage I wrote for my website, The Artist Challenge. She copied and pasted my ENTIRE script and used it for a website she created for Harrisonville High School Art Students. With very little modification for her needs, she claimed it her own and signed her name as author! She even called the site the Artist Challenge. (details are on my blog )

My website, The Artist Challenge is my business and major labor of love for me.

I've written the Harrisonville School Board but beyond that I don't what I can do about short of exposing it.