Legal Tips: What You Can Get Away With

A Panel Discussion

BlogHer 2005
43 minutes, 19.7mb, recorded 2005-07-30
Collins, Gelman and Seltzer
In the current litigious age, anyone who publishes needs to be aware of the legal implications if their work. Bloggers are no exception to this rule, and in some cases, blogs are a clearer target for cease and desist letters.

At BlogHer 2005, lawyers Lauren Gelman and Wendy Seltzer talk with moderator Jennifer Collins about legal rights and obligations for bloggers. They discuss a blogger's liability for comments left on the blog by third parties and the liability of web hosts for content hosted on their servers. The speakers offer solutions for bloggers who have received cease and desist letters or who find that their own work is being used by others without permission.

Copyright law covers anything written, including blogs and unless you have express permission to use a copyrighted work, you have no permission at all. With Creative Commons licenses, however, creators can easily give express permission to share their works. This discussion offers resources for bloggers who want to use content legally and protect their own work.

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Jennifer Collins is the Content Director for ALM's website. Previously, she worked for CNET in several product management roles, including as the Executive Producer of community/user-generated content. She also worked for Disney's Go Network, where she oversaw the launch of numerous sites including Go News, which generated over 1 million page views per day. Jennifer started her career as a local television news producer and as a newspaper reporter. Her stories have appeared in The Washington Post, CBS and She's a graduate from the Columbia School of Journalism's new media program.

Lauren Gelman is the Associate Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society (CIS), where she writes and speaks about the interaction of new technologies and the law, represents clients in Internet litigation and advocacy matters, and supervises students in the Cyberlaw Clinic. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Stanford's School of Engineering and teaches "Understanding and Participating in Cyberlaw and Policymaking." Prior to joining CIS in 2003, Ms. Gelman was Corporate Counsel for RealNames Corporation. She also spent six years in Washington, DC as the Public Policy Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and as the Associate Director of Public Policy for ACM, the largest association of computer scientists in the world.

Ms. Gelman received a B.S. in Biology and Society from Cornell University, an M.S. in Science, Technology and Public Policy from George Washington University, and her law degree from Georgetown University. She currently serves on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Secure Flight Working Group at the Department of Homeland Security.

Wendy Seltzer is an attorney and Special Projects Coordinator with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where she specializes in intellectual property and free speech issues. This fall, she heads to Brooklyn Law School as a visiting professor of law. As a Fellow with Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Wendy founded and leads the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, helping Internet users to understand their rights in response to cease-and-desist threats.

Prior to joining EFF, Wendy taught Internet Law as an Adjunct Professor at St. John's University School of Law and practiced intellectual property and technology litigation with Kramer Levin in New York. Wendy speaks frequently on copyright, trademark, open source, and the public interest online. She has an A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from Harvard Law School, and occasionally takes a break from legal code to program (Perl).


This program is from the BlogHer Conference held in Santa Clara, California, July 30, 2005, and was recorded by Elice Bauer.

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This free podcast is from our BlogHer series.