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Justice for Bloggers

PRESS RELEASE
June 13, 2005

EFF Announces its New Legal Guide for Bloggers

San Francisco, CA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to release a document that informs bloggers of their legal rights. EFF's "Legal Guide for Bloggers" is a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) designed to educate bloggers about their legal rights in a number of areas, including libel law, copyright law, and political advocacy.

There is still a lot of confusion about the legal status of bloggers. Are they journalists, due the protections of the reporters' privilege and heightened First Amendment analysis? Are they online service providers, who are generally exempt from liability for the postings of others? EFF's guide explores all of these roles and explains how the law may be interpreted in particular instances.

"Bloggers are a powerful new voice in public debates," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, who coordinated the project. "The guide will help bloggers understand the basics about the laws that affect them so they can better protect and defend their rights."

EFF will add to the guide over the next several months, posting a section on how labor law may affect people who blog about their workplaces, as well as updates to the law as pending cases are decided.

In addition to publishing the guide, EFF has been involved in the fight to protect bloggers' rights by defending online journalists in the Apple v. Does case, in which Apple Computer, Inc., is trying to uncover the confidential sources for articles about an upcoming Apple product. EFF has also published a paper on how to blog anonymously, and, over the last few years, has advised many bloggers confronting legal issues.

Contact:

Kurt Opsahl
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
kurt@eff.org

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