Mark Terry

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lawsuits & such

May 20, 2011
No, not scaring anybody, but I get the Freelance Success newsletter, and today they had a short piece by Christopher P. Beall, who is a partner with the law firm of Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz, discussing things that might be relevant to people who publish online and on their blogs. Much of it caught my attention, but in particular:

Be careful when you talk about your business online. You probably learned in J-school Libel 101 that the First Amendment protects the right to publish — and say — almost anything. But recent court decisions have narrowed that right when it can be proven that the published piece — based on the speaker, the intended audience and the content of the message — is really commercial speech. For instance, Nike tried to defend itself against allegations that it was running sweat shops by publishing pieces on its website about the conditions in its factories. Kaske sued Nike for false advertising. Nike's defense was the First Amendment, but Nike lost Kaske vs. Nike. The court ruled that any time you're talking about what you do for a living, it is considered commercial speech, and that removes most protections.


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Authors better stop slamming their publishers. Kind of amusing that commercial enterprises get protection that people don't when it comes to having nasty things said about them. Hey, after all, in our society money is more important than human beings. Here's another example.

9:05 AM  

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