March 6, 2011

Blog Law

Blind Justice photo

As you may know, I am an attorney in real life. I have received quite a few emails and have been asked at blogging conferences about legal issues. I get emails and tweets daily asking me about various issues that bloggers, online professional, and entrepreneurs experience with regard to legal, regulatory, and ethical situations relating to the online world.

I have created the Digital (Online) Rights and Blog Law™ series to address these questions. It’s an ongoing series and I encourage your comments and questions. [August 2013] I have create a separate website for my legal writing. I hope will you read my work at

I have also written for other online publications, with the following being my most highly read articles.


Disclosure: While I am a lawyer, I am not offering legal advice. Posts on legal matters are intended to provide legal information and do not create an attorney/client relationship nor are they to be considered legal advice.

{ 8 trackbacks }

Stealing Other People's Work is Bad Social Media Karma -
July 26, 2011 at 2:25 am
Top 5 Legal Tips | Charlene Chronicles
February 14, 2012 at 5:52 am
If Emily Posted: Don’t Copy, Right?* | alexandrawrote
February 28, 2012 at 2:37 am
5 Laws Every Crisis Manager Needs to Know
February 18, 2013 at 5:54 am
5 Top Legal Issues for Authors and Self-Publishers by Sara Hawkins — The Book Designer
March 8, 2013 at 1:08 am
More Resources for Legal and Copyright questions | BookWorks
March 8, 2013 at 10:36 am
About » Kate Eschbach
August 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm
5 Top Legal Issues for Authors and Self-Publishers by Sara Hawkins — The Book Designer
December 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy @ Delighting in the Days March 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I’m glad you are answering questions. I have found it hard to find straight forward information on blogging and the law! Thank you :)
Stacy @ Delighting in the Days recently posted..My Morning Nest


Dayna March 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for posting this information! What a resource for a total newbie like me!
Dayna recently posted..golden


Sara March 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

Dayna, thanks for letting me know you find my series helpful. I strive to provide information for both new and seasoned bloggers to institute best practices. I appreciate you stopping by.

~ Sara


Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography Blog June 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Thank you so much! I heard a news story yesterday about a blogger who made a comment about a someone and was sued. She wouldn’t give up her source and learned that we don’t have that type of protection.

Harsh lesson to learn. I’m now seeing how important it is to educate myself on the legalities of what I’m doing!
Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography Blog recently posted..Digital Photography School- Guest Blogging


Sara June 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm

According to a 2005 court ruling out of California found that bloggers are not journalists. There was an appeal, and it applied only to the specific facts of that case and determined the bloggers involved in that particular case were indeed journalists and covered by the laws protecting journalists.

It is a harsh reality though, that the majority of bloggers are not, in fact, journalists and would need to overcome the general rule that we are not.

Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing this important part of blogging.



Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier June 9, 2011 at 6:25 am

Thanks for the additional details. I’m astounded by what I’ve learned in this short time about blogging + the law.


Pete March 8, 2013 at 7:45 am

That’s California, Sara – contrary conclusions are reached in other states, based on an examination of the blog, the blogger, the subject matter, etc.

Another interesting aspect in the blogger-journalist difference is their relative treatment under state anti-SLAPP law. I’ll send you an email.


Sara March 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

Pete, yes, I did reference California law because it was one the first and is often being used by other courts as guidance. You’re right that other states are now reaching different conclusions based on a number of different factors. And it is this growing difference between that states will eventually lead this matter to the US Supreme Court (years down the road). Anti-SLAPP laws don’t often treat all users alike, which I believe stems from those who create the law not understanding what it’s really for or how the technology is used. Looking forward to your email. ~ Sara


Rita November 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

A friend introduced me to your blog and it is WONDERFUL. I am learning so much! Thanks for all you do!


Alexander February 21, 2012 at 3:09 am

Thanks, that’s interesting.
What about the other way round, what do you advise to do when you find your content, text or graphics, ‘stolen’, i.e. used without your knowledge or permission. I know that many simply can’t be bothered.
Sorry, if you’ve already covered it and I missed the post.


Sara February 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Alexander, you’ll want to check out this post I did –


Honey September 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Ok…this is awesome. I’ve already shared a post on g+,tagged another….I’m following you now. This is/you are awesome!



Nevalyn September 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thank you! Very useful


Nevalyn September 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I’ll keep all that info in mind. Thank you.


Albuquerque Personal Injury Attorney October 9, 2012 at 2:13 am

I really appreciate your effort to provide useful legal information to people. As an avid blogger, I often find it hard to find authentic legal information. I’ll be addressing my queries to you in future.


Derrick May 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

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