Those who join social network sites and share information and materials run the risk of being held responsible to others as a “publisher”.
Users who publish content can be liable for their publication just like any other content publishers like radio, print and TV.
The law creates responsibilities for internet service providers (ISPs) which act as “hosts” to the blogging platform to respond to complaints about illegal activity on the site. They are not immune from liability. To understand the full extent of the legal risks that can arise from blogging, and increase familiarity with these issues, so that preventative steps can be taken before a problem develops, the following questions should be considered by all those who contribute to the web –
- Are you defaming anyone?
- Are you violating anyone’s copy right?
- Are you invading anyone’s personal privacy?
- Are you violating anyone’s trade mark rights?
- Are you breaching anyone’s confidentiality agreements?
- Are you familiar with the acceptable use policy of the site?
- Are you familiar with the terms and conditions of the site and do you agree with them?
For web site owners it is also necessary to consider the following –
- Have you an acceptable use policy to inform users of what is allowed on your web site?
- Have you included terms or conditions to exclude or limit the potential liability of the web site?
The above checklist contains practical steps that should be taken before anyone publishes on the web.