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Can we write whatever we want in Blogs?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by olddocks, May 14, 2008.

  1. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #21
    In the USA, you can write whatever you want, with the following restrictions:

    1. You cannot advocate the commision of a crime, because "when speech becomes the vehicle with which to commit a crime, the 1st Amendment does not apply. Never has, never will". cite: A few years ago, Paladin Press published a book on how to commit a murder and get away with it. Someone bought the book to do just that, and someone at Paladin was successfully prosecuted (my quote is from the judge's decision)

    2. You absolutely cannot under any circumstances whatsoever advocate the overthrow of the American government (sedition) or, worst of all, promote counterfeiting (don't even joke about counterfeiting). This is a violation of the US Constitution. You'll get a very short Federal trial, and a guaranteed prison sentence with a large man named Leroy that will make you his puppy.
    SEMrush
    #2 also applies to Canada, Australia, Great Britian, and most European and Asian countries.

    3. You will receive unwanted attention from black helicopters if you write about violating either the US Patriot Act or the Canadian Patriot Act (which includes sedition and counterfeiting). This includes promoting acts of terror.

    4. You cannot slander (or is it libel?). that is to say, you can't make baseless CLAIMS about people, things, or events (examples: "Mister John Smith kills babies in his spare time"; "My neighbor assisted in the 9/11 attacks"; "Poopsie Cola causes your hair to fall out"). This is actually where most people screw the pooch and wind up in court.

    5. You risk court if you write about #4 with relation to someone in government, or in a position of power.

    6. Remember to obey the Terms of Service (TOS) of your web host provider.

    As Xemiterx wrote above, you can't present something as a fact if it is not. If it's your opinion, remember to use the phrase "In my opinion..." (don't use "IMO"). Also, the use of the word "alleged" can keep your ass out of court.

    Some countries have something like Canada's Officlal Secrets Act, which states that you cannot disclose confidential government information, even accidentally.

    If you are serious about writing a lot on the internet, you might want to take a local class in journalism and the law. I happen to be a professional journalist with many published works, which gives me only a little more legal protection than others.

    I leave you with the wise words of my attorney: "Can you sue? Of course, you can always sue. The correct question is, can you win?"
     
    Corwin, May 16, 2008 IP
    SEMrush
  2. web-master

    web-master Peon

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    #22
    Yeah as long as you are within the hosts guidelines for content, YAY for free speach and all that.
     
    web-master, May 16, 2008 IP
  3. TheHuetIsOn39

    TheHuetIsOn39 Banned

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    #23
    You sure as hell can, as long as you don't violate the rules.
     
    TheHuetIsOn39, May 16, 2008 IP
  4. nelisx

    nelisx Peon

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    #24
    you are entitled to your opinion and you can share it. at least in the us. be sure to differentiate between fact, fiction, and opinion.
     
    nelisx, May 17, 2008 IP
  5. wanya

    wanya Banned

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    #25
    yes,you do but in theory.In practice,you need to be careful and you need to learn to take precautions because the law is very flexible
     
    wanya, May 18, 2008 IP
  6. kg_lew

    kg_lew Peon

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    #26
    recommended not to offend your surfers!! ... but if you have an opinion that you can back up.. .then by all means.. go for it!
     
    kg_lew, May 18, 2008 IP
  7. Dreads

    Dreads Well-Known Member

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    #27
    Also remember the fair use law, which enables you to write and review products :D
     
    Dreads, May 18, 2008 IP
  8. oneawesomeguy

    oneawesomeguy Peon

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    #28
    In the U.S., you can only be sued for slander if the person's reputation is ruined and that person was not already famous (a public figure) in the first place. You have freedom of speech, as in you will not go to jail for saying anything (unless it treason like giving away the secret location of some nuclear weapons or something like that), but can still be sued for libel. Oh also what you said has to have been false before someone can sue you for libel or slander.

    In other countries, I am not as certain. In England you are not allowed to say anything bad about the royal family (remember the gay rumors a while back?). In China... well China is communist so half the things you think are probably illegal anyways. :)
     
    oneawesomeguy, May 22, 2008 IP
  9. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #29
    The only correct part of this is the statement about Chine. The rest is horribly inaccurate and should be ignored (sorry, guy).
     
    Corwin, May 23, 2008 IP
  10. oneawesomeguy

    oneawesomeguy Peon

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    #30
    You are wrong and do not know anything (sorry, guy).

    According to Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988), the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that a public figure cannot sue you for damages unless he or she can prove you knew the statements made were false (which is extremely difficult to do and I cannot think of a single case in which that has since occurred).

    Notice the bold parts. Go look it up...

    So Corwin, no offense to you, but please make sure you know something before libeling me. :)
     
    oneawesomeguy, May 24, 2008 IP
  11. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #31
    (sigh!) O.K., now I gotta explain to the rude and ignorant what is wrong with this:

    Wrong in sooooo many ways it's cute! First of all, you can be sued regardless. The issue is, as I have written, can they win? Because what's horribly wroing with "guy"'s statement is that yes, you can be sued, and you can win the lawsuit. Even if you are in the right, they can still sue you. But depending on who that person is, you can hope to win before your money runs out. Just look at how litigeous Scientology is.

    Putting that aside, "guy"'s charmingly naive statement "you can only be sued for slander if the person's reputation is ruined" is wrong. You cannot be successfully sued even if the person's reputation is ruined if you can PROVE that what you claim is true.

    Whether or not that person is "famous" is immaterial. "Famous" is not a legal term, it's a silly PR term. Your reputation can be damaged sufficiently so that the small handful of people you do business with do not want to do business with you anymore. You don't have to be "famous" at all.

    Embarrassingly Wrong. Since the USA does not have an Official Secrets Act, unless you hold a government clearance, you cannot go to jail for exposing classified information such as the secret location of some nuclear weapons or something like that. Back in the 70's, news magazines would occasionally reveal classified information. The reporter writing the article did not commit a crime (but the clearanced person who leaked the information did).

    Let me make this simple: The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights found in your Constitution guarantees you freedom of speech. That right is guaranteed UNLESS PROHIBITED BY ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CONSTITUTION. Got it? And those sections apply to sedition, counterfeiting, (and possibly piracy).


    Awww, what a cute and charmingly naive thing to write.:)

    No, what you said does NOT have to be false before you can be sued. You can still be sued. But you can lose the lawsuit if you cannot PROVE what you wrote is true.

    If you witness someone kill a baby, and then you write that you saw that person kill a baby, you can be successfully sued and lose your savings if you cannot prove what you saw, even if from what you had observed the killing actually did take place. That can happen if the other lawyer can, say, prove that you are a liar and shred your credibility into little tiny pieces.


    In England you can say something bad about the Royal Family. People do it in pubs every day.

    But you can be successfully sued if you publicly libel or slander a Royal OR ANYONE ELSE and you cannot prove it - just like anyone else. The British Royals do not have more or less rights than anyone else when it comes to speech.

    Got it?
     
    Corwin, May 24, 2008 IP
  12. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #32
    You are wrong and do not know anything. Please make sure you know something before writing.

    It's wrong to claim that you can be sucessfully sued if the other side can "prove you knew the statements made were false" - that's just silly! Under that twisted logic, you can claim any ridicuous thing without evidence because you are too ignorant to know if it's true! Under your logic, you can't be sued because you didn't know it was false.

    Evidenciary procedures do not work like that.

    However, you can be SUCCESSFULLY sued if you cannot produce EVIDENCE in your defense that demonstrates to the court that you knew what you wrote was true.

    BTW, in "Hustler Magazine v. Falwell", Hustler KNEW that what they wrote was probably false!!! The issue wasn't whether or not Hustler's silly ad statements were false, the issue was whether or not Hustler could write what they wanted as PARODY, even if they knew the statements made were false.

    So, stop embarassing yourself by making things up.
     
    Corwin, May 24, 2008 IP
  13. oneawesomeguy

    oneawesomeguy Peon

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    #33
    You're damn right you do! Before you start saying everything I say is incorrect. Why don't you just answer what the thread starter asked instead of making personal attacks (see your first well-crafted post)? So now, I welcome everyone reading this to do their own research before just making things up out of their mind like Corwin does.

    Yes, you are correct you can always sue, but stop being retarded. If you sue for an idiotic reason the judge will just throw out your case and maybe even fine you for wasting the court's time (I wish I could fine you for wasting mine...).

    Oh my God, here you go again. I think everyone here also knows "famous" is not a real legal term. Look did you just see that there. It is a period. I don't think they defined a period in any legal books I have read recently. Maybe I should switch to only using plus signs?

    The correct legal term is "public figure+" If you talk about a public figure, then you actually get more rights to talk bad about him or her+ I never said someone has to be "famous" to be sued+ Please read+


    Wow, if you did not understand that was supposed to be humor, I hope you understand the humor in this post+ Nice, information, but seriously dude+++



    Hey, that's the second time you called me cute and charming+ What's your number big boy?

    Again, here you need to read what I stated again+ The person suing you needs to prove you knew what your were writing was false+ That is the exact conclusion of the Larry Flint case from '88+ Please look it up+



    You are probably right here+ I do not know anything about England, but I do recall there being a plaza where you couldn't say anything bad about the royal family but you were protected from slandering anyone else+

    Again, here you are not understanding+ Maybe, you have not had enough schooling to understand my words, yet+ I only come to this conclusion through your poor spelling+ I have bad spelling too, but come on, every sentence?

    Anyways, to answer to this claim: One again, please, please read+++ I was clearly talking about libel when I said that, and it only applies in libel cases+ Ironically, under your previous logic, where you can successfully sue anybody for anything if you have enough money, this twisted logic would work+

    I'm sorry, but isn't that what I have been saying?

    I love how you even spelled embarrassing wrong :)

    From Wikipedia (I know, not the best source, but I am lazy):

    Last note: Another great counter-point to your argument that you can sue anybody is that you can usually overturn a bad verdict like Flint did (True, you do have ot have some money)+
     
    oneawesomeguy, May 24, 2008 IP
  14. timarcher52

    timarcher52 Peon

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    #34
    I'd guess that you can write whatever you want, but also use common sense for your area. If you make someone mad enough, you may get your hosting company to cancel your account, a request to take down a post or your site, or even worse, somebody to personally stalk and come after you. I would just recommend to use reason when posting.
     
    timarcher52, May 26, 2008 IP
  15. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #35
    Here's another way to view it.

    You definitely can write anything you want. However, certain laws and parties
    might hold you accountable for your actions.

    Whether you'll be sued or not, much more found liable or not, isn't for anyone
    to say except the judge. Last thing you'd want to do is give someone a viable
    or "provable" cause to sue you...or worse.

    I wish I could say use common sense as the others have said. However, even
    common sense isn't so common nowadays, it seems...
     
    Dave Zan, May 26, 2008 IP
  16. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #36
    oneawesomeguy, it's clear from reading your most recent post that you need to learn more about the law and what a lawsuit actually is.

    A court proceeding in front of a judge is about proper meaning.

    Walmart, as well as Disneyworld in Florida, are sued all the time. Most are thrown out of court, and almost all lawsuits against Disneyland fail because the plantiff fails to make their case ("I was splashed by water from the logjam ride and the water got in my eye and I want $250,000". Disneyworld has a tough reputation for fighting all lawsuits.)

    It's vital and necessary to understand that there are miles of difference between the statements "you can be sued" verses "you can be successfully sued". It's a common mistake to think that they are the same, but it's the difference between shooting a bullet, or throwing it.
     
    Corwin, May 27, 2008 IP
  17. oneawesomeguy

    oneawesomeguy Peon

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    #37
    /obvious (And were you talking about Disneyland or Disney World since you are all about the technicalities? Good thing you're not in court, huh?)

    What about the other 100 points? Let it go dude. If you feel like discussing this further, PM me; I am unsubscribing from this thread. Hope the OP got his answer.
     
    oneawesomeguy, May 27, 2008 IP
  18. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #38
    Look, "oneawesomeguy", the intention of the detailed posts I wrote that are being scrutinizing here are NOT to score "points", or to stupidly waste anyone's time discussing ridiculous minutia like spelling mistakes, insults, or making childish accusations such as not having enough schooling.

    You seem to be the person disturbingly obsessed with that, "oneawesomeguy".

    I'm posting here to help good people stay out of bad legal trouble by carefully repeating the advice of my excellent lawyer. If you read my first post on this topic, you'll see that exactly what I am here for.

    On the other hand, if you are seriously uninformed on the difference between filing a lawsuit, and winning one, it makes me anxious that someone might read your advice and get themselves into trouble - while you seem unconcerned on that point.

    At the end of the day, the people here need to decide who's heart is in the right place by trying helping them with the best possible advice.
     
    Corwin, May 27, 2008 IP