Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've
been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers
getting in trouble for what they post.
Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish
information that other people don't want published. You might, for
example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish
an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece
detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.
The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is
that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or
resources to help you determine whether what you're doing is legal. And
on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn't help – in many cases
it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven't yet
decided how it applies to bloggers.
But here's the important part: None of this should stop you from
blogging. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning
democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn't use the law to stifle
legitimate free expression. That's why EFF created this guide,
compiling a number of FAQs designed to help you understand your rights
and, if necessary, defend your freedom.