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    CMLP Completes Launch of Online Guide to Media Law

    by David Ardia
    July 29, 2008

    Today, we are launching the final sections of the Citizen Media Law Project’s online guide to media law covering the risks associated with publishing online, including defamation and privacy law.  (You can read the press release here.) 
    The free online guide, which is intended for use by bloggers, website
    operators, and other citizen media creators, focuses on the legal
    issues that non-traditional and traditional journalists are likely to
    encounter as they gather information and publish their work online.

    The legal guide, which runs
    more than 575 pages, is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It covers the 15 most
    populous U.S. states and the District of Columbia and is broken into six major
    sections:

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    • Forming
      a Business and Getting Online
      ,
      which covers the practical issues online publishers should consider in
      deciding how to carry on their publishing activities, including forming a
      for-profit and nonprofit business entity, choosing an online platform, and
      dealing with critical legal issues relating to the mechanics of online
      publishing;
    • Dealing
      with Online Legal Risks
      ,
      which covers managing a website and reducing legal risks through
      compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws, finding
      insurance, finding legal help, and responding to legal threats;
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    • Newsgathering
      and Privacy
      ,
      which addresses the legal and practical issues citizen media creators may
      encounter as they gather documents, take photographs or video, and collect
      other information, including information on state shield laws and using
      confidential sources;
    • Access
      to Government Information
      ,
      which provides information for citizens to proactively use the law in an
      affirmative manner to enhance their reporting and highlights the extensive
      amount of information available through government sources and explains
      how both traditional and non-traditional journalists can use various
      public access laws, including the Freedom of Information Act, state open
      records and open meetings laws to gather and make effective use of
      government information;
    • Intellectual
      Property
      ,
      which explains various intellectual property concepts, including
      copyright, trademark, and trade secrets, and provides practical advice to
      online publishers about how to use the intellectual property of others and
      protect their own property from exploitation; and
    • Risks
      Associated with Publication
      ,
      which covers defamation law, privacy law, rights of publicity, and other
      legal risks that can arise from public distribution of content. This section also explains the legal
      risks associated with the publication of reader comments and other
      user-submitted material.

    Of course, law is never static, so we’ll be updating the guide from
    time to time.  If you would like to stay abreast of these changes and
    any new material, please sign up for our weekly newsletter, the Citizen Media Law
    Brief
    .

    The legal guide is the product of a tremendous amount of work by CMLP
    students and staff, especially Sam Bayard, CMLP’s assistant director,
    and Tuna Chatterjee, CMLP’s staff attorney. We also received help from
    Allan Ryan, the Director of Intellectual Property at Harvard Business School Publishing, and a team of top lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, including Richard Hindman, Jane Harper, Kai Kramer, David Pawlik, and Eric Sensenbrenner. 

    In keeping with our previous series of “highlights from the legal guide,” we’ll be posting summaries of the newest sections addressing the risks associated with publication on the Citizen Media Law Project Blog over the next few weeks.

    Tagged: cmlp defamation legal guide privacy
    • The legal guide is the product of a tremendous amount of work by CMLP students and staff, especially Sam Bayard, CMLP’s assistant director, and Tuna Chatterjee, CMLP’s staff attorney. We also received help from Allan Ryan, the Director of Intellectual Property at Harvard Business School Publishing, and a team of top lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, including Richard Hindman, Jane Harper, Kai Kramer, David Pawlik, and Eric Sensenbrenner.

    • this topics are very interesting The latest from the Citizen Media Law Project blog. CMLP Staff highlight a launch of the final sections of the legal guide.It is really very good with those opinions.

      Global Law Guide

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