I took the NewsU course about Online Media Law, which is the basics for bloggers and any kind of online publishers. This course was helpful as I am new to the blogging world and really don’t know much about online media rules.
The first section of the course discusses the issue of defamation and the two types. Libel is written defamation, and slander is spoken defamation. Both of these can be extremely harmful to a person’s reputation, which is why anyone who does any sort of publishing has to be extremely careful in what is written or said.
The second section that I learned about was the invasion of privacy. This happens when you publish private or personal information about a person without his or her permission, and this can cause many legal or liability issues for the publisher. Some people may publish information that will tarnish a reputation, or will exploit the person for the sake of making money; both of these would be cases of invasion of one’s privacy.
The third topic discussed in the course was the issue of copyright infringement. This is important for any blogger, photographer, or reporter or anyone who publishes online. Copyright laws protect the original works of authorship so that proper due is given to the proper person. Without copyright laws, the wrong people would be receiving the credit for work they did not do.
I liked this course because it applied not only to my public relations class and to my blogging, but also to the writing I do for the school newspaper. I have to be very careful that I do not misquote someone, or that photos are properly credited to the person who took them. Much of the information the course offered, I will apply in my work for the paper.
The case studies surprised me a bit just because it can be difficult to decide whether or not something is considered infringement or invasion. It may seem easy when you’re just talking about it, but when it comes to a real situation, the lines are blurred and what’s right and what’s wrong isn’t always easy to distinguish.