Running a blog – Are You Exposing You To Authorized Liabilities?

In November 2006, Blogging Asia: A Home windows Live Report produced by Microsoft’s MSN and Home windows Are living Online Services Company discovered that 46% or just about 50 percent of the on the internet population have a website [Blogging Phenomenon Sweeps Asia available at].

Blogging Asia: A Windows Reside Report was done on line on the MSN portal across 7 nations around the world in Asia specifically Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Interestingly, the report discovered that 56% of Malaysians blogged to convey their views, when 49% blogged to preserve pals and household current.

This posting focuses on Malaysian law on the other hand as the Net transcends boundaries and jurisdictions for that reason the laws of many countries may well implement. In Malaysia, bloggers experience legal pitfalls that have civil or felony liabilities this sort of as
(a) copyright
(b) trademark
(c) defamation and
(d) sedition.

Other than the previously mentioned, a blogger need to take into account other authorized dangers these types of as fraud, breach of confidentiality and misrepresentation which will not be tackled in this article.

Copyright safeguards the way artists or authors specific their thought or actuality on a piece of function but not the underlying idea or simple fact alone. Copyright safeguards originality of the do the job and prohibits unauthorised copying. Copyright security is suitable for the adhering to functions refer to Area 7 (1) of the Copyright Act, 1987:-
(a) literary is effective, this sort of as created performs, novels, supply codes in computer system software and internet web pages and written content in multimedia productions
(b) musical and dramatic works, these kinds of as musical rating, performs and tv scripts
(c) inventive functions, such as drawings, sculptures and photos and
(d) audio recordings and films, such as movies (conventional celluloid and several video clip formats), information, tapes and CDs of tunes, drama or lectures.

Sad to say, significantly of the copyright infringement occurring on the Internet goes undetected. New blogs at occasions use present blogs for its content material and this is carried out through copying or linking. Apart from that, putting up copyrighted pictures, patterns, merchandise photos or product or service packaging from a further web site is also illegal.

There are “policies of thumb” to comply with when making or publishing contents these kinds of as:- (a) create one’s own authentic picture, graphic, code and words (b) use accredited works inside of the scope of permitted use laid down by the owner and (c) use cost-free photos off the Online as extended as the conditions of the creator of the image are adopted.

The exact “regulations of thumb” utilize when posting programming scripts as it is generally a violation of copyright legislation to correct programming scripts from 3rd parties. With regards to postings on one’s weblog by third parties, the website owner may get an implied licence to the postings designed by third get-togethers. When supplying podcast i.e. recorded and dowloadable audio file to be downloaded from weblogs it is most effective that the podcast do not comprise any copyrighted music belonging to other folks thus safeguarding oneself from any copyright infringement suits.

If copyright guards the way ideas or specifics are expressed, trademark on the other hand protects text, designs, phrases, figures, drawings or photos associated with items and products and services.

A trademark proprietor enjoys special right to use his mark in relation to his merchandise and expert services refer Part 35 (1) of the Trademark Act, 1976. Trademark protection grants suitable to the trademark owner to avert others from applying equivalent trademark with equivalent goods or similar items that is probable to cause confusion to the general public refer Portion 19 (1) and 19 (2) of the Trademark Act, 1976.

How does a blogger infringe trademark belonging to yet another? One example is when a blogger posts links on logos belonging to a trademark owner. When a customer clicks on the trademark it will instantly lead the customer to the blogger’s site as an alternative of directing the customer to the trademark owner’s web page.

These kinds of linking might bring about confusion or deception as it raises significant chance that the blog site is in some way related with or related to the trademark owner’sproducts and providers.

Commonly, the phrase defamation refers to a fake assertion made about anyone or an organization that is damaging to their track record. The human being publishing the statement ought to have acknowledged or really should have recognized that the statement was bogus. Although the Internet delivers the arena in which defaming assertion can be created or posted, there is no distinct laws that bargains with defamation on the Online in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Defamation Act, 1957 applies to publications in printed elements and broadcasting by way of radio or tv. Because the regulation applies to published or broadcast components, therefore in principle it applies to resources these as weblogs and web sites revealed on the Internet.

As defamation regulation is complicated there is a want to distinguish regardless of whether a defamatory statement is a libel (penned kind) or slander (spoken terms). In a scenario of libel, if it is decided that the assertion is defamatory then there are presumptions towards the writer or the publisher. In the case slander, there is often the need to proof actual damages or specific damages experienced because of to the defamatory assertion. Hence, slander legislation does not utilize to blogs as it does not slide inside the ambit of broadcasting the slanderous phrases by means of radio or television.

Owing to quick improvements to the Internet and the convergence of technologies, 1 will surprise whether the courts will use the libel legislation or slander regulation when blogs transformed from textual content to speech structure are transmitted on the World-wide-web. Nevertheless, all this is dependent on proving defamation and locating the identification of the blogger which can be an great process due to the anonymity of the Online and its worldwide scope.

An additional legal hazard is when weblogs are used to disseminate untrue,incomplete or misleading data pertaining to racial disturbances or contents that lead to hatred or contempt in the direction of the government or the ruler. In Malaysia, several offences are provided for in the Sedition Act 1948 these kinds of as it is an offence for any particular person to print, publish or distribute any seditious publication- see Section 4 of the Sedition Act, 1948 for other offences. Whether or not the provisions in the Act apply to publications on the Online have not been judicially identified.

In Singapore the sedition legislation was used in 2005 where the Singapore court docket jailed two customers for posting seditious remarks on the World-wide-web- Two jailed for ‘sedition’ on world wide web, South China Early morning Post, Saturday, Oct 8, 2005. The South China Morning Put up noted that the situation is viewed as a landmark circumstance underscoring the government’s makes an attempt to control on the net expression and crack down on racial intolerance. The two scenarios represented the first time Singaporeans had been prosecuted and convicted for racist expression underneath its Sedition Act.

Arising from the case of the racist bloggers, on 8 November 2006 the Singapore Federal government proposed adjustments to its Penal Code using into account the effect of technological know-how these kinds of as the Web and cell phones- refer to Singapore Ministry of Dwelling Affairs, Consultation Paper on the Proposed Penal Code Amendments at web site 2. The amendments deal with offences committed via electronic medium such as Section 298 (uttering text, etc with deliberate intent to wound the spiritual inner thoughts of any man or woman) to cover the wounding of racial feelings as nicely, Part 499 (defamation) and Segment 505 (statements conducing to general public mischief) to broaden and include things like those “printed in prepared, electronic or other media” see Singapore Penal Code (Amendment) Invoice at web pages 8 and 20. These amendments when handed empower the police and condition prosecutors to prosecute these with offending weblogs- Cf.Sections 298, 499 and 505 of the Malaysian Penal Code (Revised 1997).

There are factors why the authorities are taking running a blog seriously as 50 percent of the people that took part in the Running a blog Asia: A Windows Live Report survey imagine that website contents are as trustworthy as regular media and a quarter of the respondents think blogs to be the fastest way to discover about information and present affairs.

With these reliance on blogs, contents that contains fake, incomplete or misleading information posted on weblogs not only may perhaps induce worry, anger, contempt or political scandals it may also result in political and financial instability.

The Internet offers issues to existing laws that are gradual to supply adequate safety to a social gathering with regard to the use and articles of weblogs. At this time, codes of practice for World-wide-web consumers which includes bloggers have not been proposed as part of the World wide web regulatory routine currently working in Malaysia.

Alternatively, bloggers need to have to practise self-regulation and realize the legal implications of blogging to be certain that their weblogs are penned in a dependable and lawful method. In buy to shield them selves, bloggers could offer terms of use and correct disclaimer to offer some diploma of comfort and security from 3rd parties postings on their blogs.

For those bloggers who are not self-knowledgeable of the lawful threats, initiatives should really be designed to teach and elevate awareness to those bloggers. Most likely the social obligation lies on the Web assistance companies and web page assistance vendors to generate a blogger’s code of ethics to teach its bloggers to be ethical towards their viewers, the persons they create about and the lawful ramifications of their actions.

First Released at Latest Legislation Journal April Aspect 2 [2007] 2 CLJ i

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