[this post is one of a series covering the Leg@l IT Conference]
Me Bernard Brun presented the session titled “Le blogue: équilibre délicat entre communication et responsabilité”. This is a topic of particular interest to lawyers, as they may be called upon to provide legal advice on the responsibility of blog authors.
Before the issue of responsibility was considered, Me Lebrun explained what is a blog, situated the “blogosphere” in context of other media, noted that the blogosphere counts as many as 75 million blogs and is still growing at a fast rate.
Blogs come in many themes – some are personal; others can be professional, political or corporate. The latter type is of special interest to lawyers, as companies have varying attitudes concerning blogging by their employees. The following topics were discussed and simplified:
- A blogger should be considered an editor, or a member of the media?
- The topics, considered in a blogging context, of free expression, dignity, honor and reputation; the impact of posts and comments;
- The control of an author (on content) being a factor that courts consider when evaluating responsibility;
- The permanence of posts on the internet being considered an aggravating factor by the courts, in some cases.
Me Lebrun concluded by asking “would-be bloggers” to be careful of not sharing privileged corporate information, as the sharing of such information can have significant legal repercussions.