Legal Concerns with blogging

Discussion in 'Legal and HR' started by kyle429, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. kyle429

    kyle429
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have recently created a blog about making money online. In this blog I promote certain cites, and say which sites are better at making money than others. Eventually I will be saying which sites are just scams.

    Recently someone brought up that there might be legal issues associated with my blog, due to how I am saying that some sites are not as good as others, they might want to sue me for defamation, or slander (or something like that, I am not a lawyer, so I dont know for sure). I have a disclosure, but I am not sure if this is enough. Its a fairly long and thorough, you can check it out here if you would like:

    http://economicredundancy.blogspot.com/p/disclaimer.html

    My question to all of you is if this is enough? And if it isnt, what else do I need to include on it? And what else do I need to legally worry about? And how would I just be able to avoid needing a disclosure in the first place? (even though I would of course keep it no matter what) And is there anything else I can do to protect my self?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!
     
  2. jcworlditsme

    jcworlditsme
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    13
    I wouldn't have thought this to be a problem as it comes under free speech rules, but I'm not sure.
     
  3. gmichel

    gmichel
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    11
    There are many sites where people give their opinions about products: electronics, trip adviser, etc...
    Do they get legal problems?

    People just give their opinion, I do not see any problem with that. This of course depend on the country you live, if there is free speech or not.
    Defamation would be if you give the name of someone and write things that are untrue. I do not think there is a problem with sites.
    You should give a chance to the persons in charge of the sites you discribe to post a reply on what you say if they do not agree.

    My 2 cents.

    Michel
     
  4. Sahil

    Sahil
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    45
    I've had several of my own blogs providing review about several products and sites. The necessary thing in it is it'd require a Disclosure policy page which is necessary as per the recent FTC regulations. And I can see a discourse page of your's and that is all enough, I don't see you facing any kind of troubles.

    Also, one of the main advantages of blogging is freedom of speech and so you won't face any kind of trouble from anyone as because you are writing your own views in your own blog and you can write anything positive/or negative it's all your wish. No one can take any kind of legal actions on you in that case.

    Just a suggestion for your blog will be to add up two new pages; One is Privacy Policy and other is Terms of Use. It isn't very necessary but it will help you gain the trust of your readers and also Search Engines will love your site due to those pages.

    Sahil
     
  5. Mark T

    Mark T
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,201
    Likes Received:
    230
    Probably adding a disclaimer under each of your blog posts noting that those were only your opinions and views of the sites that you review, and does not mean to legally destroy their integrity and credibility to people. But also, keep track of what yo are saying. Though you have a freedom of speech or to tell your opinions, knowing to stay tactful is way better than just saying all you want to say. When you don't, then it may spark a legal file against your blog and yourself.
     
  6. ThirdSEO

    ThirdSEO
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    52
    To be honest with you, I think you're completely safe. As long as you live in America
    you have the right to express your opinion about any website or service. If doing what
    you're doing was wrong, people wouldn't be able to write bad reviews for products on
    Amazon without getting sued. If you're really worried about it, just put an easily
    accessible link to your disclaimer at the bottom of your website and be done with it.
    You definitely don't need a disclaimer in every one of your posts. It's a fact, not every
    website can be the best, so some sites are obviously going to be better than others.
    If the companies don't like your reviews, there's not much they can do about it other
    than try to scare you or try to bribe you. You're safe man, keep posting away.

    But you do know that the "making money online" niche is one of the most
    competitive markets is one of the hardest to actually make money in, right?
     
  7. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    289
    Disclaimers only work up to a point. If you make false statements of facts and actually defame someone, you are potentially liable for damages. You can't state false facts and injure someone with impunity.

    Opinions are not facts, and therefore your statement of your opinion can never be a false statement of facts. So, to the extent you only state opinions you should be OK.

    The problem is that most people support their opinions with facts. If those facts are wrong, then also stating an opinion doesn't somehow take away the defamation.

    For example, let's say you wrote that Product A is not as good as Product B because it did not have Feature 1. In fact, Product A did have Feature 1. Your opinion that Product A is not as good as Product B is simply your opinion, not a fact, and therefore cannot be defamatory. Your statement of FACT, that Product A did not have Feature 1, is false and if it meets the other elements of defamation could render you liable for libel.

    If you say something is true, you'd better use reasonable efforts to make sure it is true. A disclaimer won't protect you from your own defamatory actions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. kyle429

    kyle429
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks everybody! This was very helpful and informative.

    I do now, and if I wouldve known that when I started, I probably would have chosen another topic.

    This is good to know, thank you for this.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ThirdSEO

    ThirdSEO
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    52
    Everything will be great as long as you enjoy writing about it. Nothing's worse than having to write about a topic you don't care about.
     

Share This Page