Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blogging - an update on rights, liabilities and spam attacks

The Turkey Trot
pen and ink
drawing by Katherine Tyrrell
image - thanks to Dan Smith 'Turkeys on path'

Every so often I have a good look round at what's being posted about blogging and using the internet and in particular anything of that ilk which relates to art and being an artist. I'm posting some links and snippets on the weekly "who's made a mark this week" post most Sundays - but every so often I feel the need to do a bit more - if only to make sure I've got a post that I can bookmark and refer to from time to time!!!

So this is a blogging update for us all - lots of things to read and do if you are looking for ways to avoid Christmas shopping in your spare time! ;) I know I haven't read every last word of all the links I'm listing below but I've read enough to know I need to read more.......

I'm going to acknowledge all the blogs which regularly have good content at the end to keep summaries to a minimum.

Spam, malware and identity attacks!

First off - and one of the reasons for writing this post - it appears as though, yet again, more than a few of us may have been the target of a spam attack affecting comments (and trackbacks?) in the last few days!

You might want to check your spam folders carefully - you may find quite a few comments from legitimate people (including blogging friends) which have been trashed in recent days as part of the attack. I know I've found trashed comments in my spam folder and my comments have also been found in the spam folders of other people.

Here's blog post which covers it
Watch out too for malware which is also now being seen in banner adverts on major (and reputable) websites
and make sure you safeguard yourself - and your identity - when on social network sites. (Leave it to the really big 'players' to give away really detailed personal information!!! See here and here)
Copyright infringements and content theft
Another take on this issue focuses more on issues to do with "open rights"
  • Open Rights Group - and blog: Creative Business in the Digital Age - commenting on new approaches to copyright and new ways of doing business. What is the art equivalent of Radiohead's 'you pay what you like' new album download? The notion of 'pay it forward' or something much more?
Open Rights Group - Our Goals:
  • To raise awareness in the media of digital rights abuses
  • To provide a media clearinghouse, connecting journalists with experts and activists
  • To preserve and extend traditional civil liberties in the digital world
  • To collaborate with other digital rights and related organisations
  • To nurture a community of campaigning volunteers, from grassroots activists to technical and legal experts

I keep meaning to write something about privacy and what it means for how we blog and how art business should be conducted. Everytime I start to look at the various sites they give me a headache. At the moment, suffice to say I acknowledge it's an important issue and practice what I understand to be the main tenets as they affect bloggers - but am still hesitant about going into print on it.

An organisation which does seek to advise in relation to US law is the Electronic Frontier Foundation (see Wikipedia's comment about them here for context). They've provided:
Blogger Legal Liability Issues

The Overview of Legal Liability Issues FAQ briefly addresses some common legal issues that affect you as a publisher, especially situations where you may face legal claims or threats based on the information you published on your blog.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Intellectual Property addresses issues that arise when you publish material created by others on your blog.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Online Defamation Law provides an overview of defamation (libel) law, including a discussion of the constitutional and statutory privileges that may protect you.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Section 230 Protections discusses a powerful federal law that gives you, as a web host, protection against legal claims arising from hosting information written by third parties.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Privacy addresses the legal issues surrounding the privacy rights of people you blog about.

Bloggers As Journalists

The Bloggers' FAQ on the Reporter's Privilege is useful to bloggers who report news gathered from confidential sources.

The Bloggers' FAQ on Media Access can help bloggers who need to get access to public records and government meetings, as well as secure press passes to help with newsgathering.

The Bloggers' FAQ on the Freedom of Information Act can help bloggers use open government laws to get information from the government.

Other Legal Issues for Bloggers

The Bloggers' FAQ on Adult Material addresses the legal issues arising from publishing risque adult-oriented content, including obscenity law, community standards on the Internet, and the new 2257 regulations.

Good blogs to read on matters relating to blogging

I include links to the following blogs in my right hand column - because they're useful!
  • Lorelle on Wordpress - I've been sitting down for a serious review of Lorelle's blog for quite a time now. She picks up on important issues quickly and gives really good advice. Lorelle is also the author of Blogging Tips - what other bloggers won't tell you - although I do think she might have chosen a different title as I think one of the really good things about blogging is that a lot of bloggers are very happy to share what they know.
  • Blog Herald - one that I've only just started reading but seems to have lots of good stuff.
  • Problogger - Darren Rowse is very commercially minded but gives up good content!

Finally - I'm sending my very best wishes to all those travelling to or hosting Thanksgiving celebrations in the USA tomorrow.

Be safe on your travels. Have a good time and enjoy the turkey! Maybe draw the turkey? If you do leave a link below for us to follow......


  1. Love those turkeys. Your pen and ink work is so good. Thank you for your Happy Thanksgiving wishes! I'll try to draw the turkey ... but doubt it will last long enough. How did Norman Rockwell manage to draw and paint the turkey? :-)

  2. Thanks Laural. It'll be great to see lots of turkeys appearing on blogs!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you Katherine! I'll eat some turkey for you. And thanks for the gobblers in the sketch, very nice. As my blog sketches will prove, I'm better with inanimate objects like hats. ;)

  4. Happy Thanksgiving back to you. Thanks.

    Thanks for all the good advice as well.


  5. I very much approve of you turkey rendering. But I don't like to see them running the other way...


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