Leslie Richard, owner of a small home-based eco-fashion business, called a company a spammer in a blog post and was sued for $20 million. Blogger Lance Dutson was sued for pointing out (correctly) that the incorrect telephone number in a Maine Tourism ad actually led to a porn site. Litigious companies figured there’d be no pushback from a lone blogger. But there’s no longer such thing as a lone blogger. At least not for bloggers who are members of the Media Bloggers Association.
The MBA has launched BlogInsure, a low-cost libel insurance plan to provide its member bloggers with a first-of-its-kind liability insurance program. BlogInsure covers all forms of defamation, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement or similar allegations arising out of blogging activities.
Said NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen, publisher of Press Think, on Twitter this morning,
“One by one, the competitive advantages big media had over indy providers have eroded. Legal help was one of the last.”
The insurance is part of the MBA’s comprehensive new program provides access to the same sort of legal and financial resources long available to traditional media organizations. The cornerstone of the new program is an online course in media law developed by the Media Bloggers Association in partnership with The Poynter Institute’s News University. MBA membership is $25.
The cornerstone of the new program is an online course in media law developed by the Media Bloggers Association in partnership with The Poynter Institute’s News University. The course, Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Online Publishers, was co-authored by David Ardia of the Citizen Media Law Project, which is jointly affiliated with Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Center for Citizen Media and Geanne Rosenberg of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and Baruch College. Scott Swift of Media/Professional Insurance created an assessment to evaluate the student’s understanding of the material.