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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blog Commenters Rights

For our international readers, this is regarding U.S. law...the state of Illinois, to be exact. Your mileage may vary.

Since many writers love to blog, here is an interesting SlashDot article about a judge's ruling regarding the rights of commenters on blogs. In summary, a law enforcement agency had requested that a newspaper reveal the identities of some commenters to a blog who claimed to know information regarding a homicide case. The newspaper refused, citing Illinois' news source protection laws. The judge ruled that commenters to blogs had no such protection as they were not sources. The article gives a link to the judge's ruling (PDF), warning that the judge repeatedly used "blogger" and "blogger commenter" interchangeably and incorrectly, though he apparently knew the difference. There was also a separate legal issue touched on in the article regarding associating IP addresses with the people who used them.

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