Saturday, July 22, 2006

7. Resolving the Legal Implications of Blogging

To resolve the legal issues of blogging, there is a need to create awareness for all bloggers (in Singapore especially), of the legal issues arising from their online diaries, particularly in the light of the recent cases involving seditious remarks made online by bloggers that resulted in jail terms and fines.

The following are ways to prevent from flouting the law, by blogging "legally", as published by Law Gazette, an official publication of the Law of Society of Singapore:

Thou Shalt Not Defame or Spread Malicious Falsehood
- Comment positively and truthfully
- Avoid identifying names
- Set a password for your blog, only giving access to people whom you trust

Thou Shalt Not Negligently Miscommunicate
- Verify the accuracy of the information being put up so as to avoid negligent mis-statements which may expose one to a negligence lawsuit

Thou Shalt Not Breach Thy Contract
- Contract for sale or services (familiarise yourself with the Electronics Transactions Act (Cap 88) if you wish to sell products or services on your blog)
- Employment (not advisable to blog in the office, as you may be sued for breach of confidentiality or breach of your employment contract or of your duties as an employee)
- Confidence and privacy (avoid revealing information that you are contractually bound to keep confidential, especially work-related matters)

Thou Shall Not Steal
- Bloggers must beware of intellectual property right infringement
- Do not upload music files or provide links to illegal download sites (copyright infringement)
- When hyperlinking or quoting, give credits to the original creators or authors
- Avoid copying logos and trademarks

Thou Shalt Not Commit Crimes
- Do not make serious threats to others, or upload pornographic or other offensive or objectionable materials or images, online (doing so would mean commiting an offence contained in the Penal Code (Cap 224), which contains the general criminal offences in Singapore)
- Do not spread viruses or worms, or do anything against the Computer Misuse Act (Cap 50A)
- Do not make seditious remarks (such as racist postings) online in contravention of the Sedition Act (Cap 290)
- To be extra safe, act according to rules of good conscience and decency and inculcate good netiquette

Source:
Bloggers Beware: The Five Commandments for Bloggers
http://www.lawgazette.com.sg/2005-11/Nov05-feature1.htm

3 Comments:

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10:11 PM  
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11:53 PM  
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8:30 PM  

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