Forums, Libel and Lawsuits

Though the focus of this site is on copyright and plagiarism issues, there are other legal issues that Webmasters, community administrators and others need to worry about.

One of the thornier issues has to do with libel, especially when it involves communities, blog comments or other user-generated content.

One such example of this involves the forum site Scubaboard, which was sued for libel by a travel agency that accused it of posting false statements about a tragic incident involving the company in 2008 where one diver died and 10 others were sickened by tainted air.

I did a write up on the case as for my good friend and Copyright 2.0 Show co-host Patrick O’Keefe well as some general advice for forum administrators on libel issues.

In addition to the background of the case, I also offer some basic analysis of the law in this area as well as tips and suggestions for other forum administrators to try to reduce the various dangers.

It is a lengthy piece but one that is important to anyone who runs a community, whether it’s a message board, blog comments or anything to the like.

So, if you are an artist and are interested in copyright issues, it is worth a moment to have an understanding at least some of the issues involved in libel law online. If that’s the case, this article and the links off it may be a great place to begin.

2 Responses to Forums, Libel and Lawsuits

  1. iFroggy says:

    Thanks Jonathan. Great work on the article.

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