September 29, 2023

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Blogging – Are You Exposing Oneself To Authorized Liabilities?

In November 2006, Running a blog Asia: A Windows Stay Report released by Microsoft’s MSN and Home windows Stay On line Products and services Company unveiled that 46% or approximately 50 percent of the on the web populace have a website [Blogging Phenomenon Sweeps Asia available at].

Running a blog Asia: A Windows Stay Report was performed on-line on the MSN portal across 7 nations in Asia specifically Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Apparently, the report located that 56% of Malaysians blogged to specific their sights, although 49% blogged to maintain pals and loved ones current.

This short article focuses on Malaysian law on the other hand as the Web transcends boundaries and jurisdictions thus the guidelines of several nations around the world may utilize. In Malaysia, bloggers deal with legal risks that have civil or prison liabilities these kinds of as
(a) copyright
(b) trademark
(c) defamation and
(d) sedition.

Other than the higher than, a blogger need to take into account other lawful pitfalls this kind of as fraud, breach of confidentiality and misrepresentation which will not be dealt with in this write-up.

Copyright safeguards the way artists or authors specific their notion or simple fact on a piece of perform but not the fundamental concept or truth alone. Copyright guards originality of the operate and prohibits unauthorised copying. Copyright safety is qualified for the pursuing will work refer to Part 7 (1) of the Copyright Act, 1987:-
(a) literary will work, these as prepared is effective, novels, resource codes in computer system plan and internet web pages and content in multimedia productions
(b) musical and spectacular operates, such as musical rating, performs and television scripts
(c) inventive functions, this kind of as drawings, sculptures and photographs and
(d) seem recordings and movies, this sort of as movies (classic celluloid and different video clip formats), information, tapes and CDs of audio, drama or lectures.

Sadly, significantly of the copyright infringement occurring on the World-wide-web goes undetected. New blogs at situations use existing blogs for its content and this is completed through copying or linking. Aside from that, submitting copyrighted photographs, types, product or service photos or products packaging from a further website is also illegal.

There are “policies of thumb” to follow when creating or putting up contents this sort of as:- (a) generate one’s personal authentic image, graphic, code and text (b) use certified will work within just the scope of permitted use laid down by the owner and (c) use free of charge illustrations or photos off the Internet as long as the terms of the creator of the picture are adopted.

The identical “rules of thumb” implement when submitting programming scripts as it is ordinarily a violation of copyright regulation to acceptable programming scripts from 3rd parties. With regards to postings on one’s weblog by third parties, the web site proprietor might acquire an implied licence to the postings designed by third functions. When featuring podcast i.e. recorded and dowloadable audio file to be downloaded from blogs it is ideal that the podcast do not contain any copyrighted tunes belonging to others therefore guarding oneself from any copyright infringement suits.

If copyright protects the way strategies or facts are expressed, trademark on the other hand safeguards text, patterns, phrases, numbers, drawings or pictures associated with products and providers.

A trademark proprietor enjoys special right to use his mark in relation to his goods and companies refer Part 35 (1) of the Trademark Act, 1976. Trademark defense grants ideal to the trademark owner to reduce many others from applying identical trademark with similar merchandise or very similar goods that is possible to trigger confusion to the community refer Part 19 (1) and 19 (2) of the Trademark Act, 1976.

How does a blogger infringe trademark belonging to one more? A person instance is when a blogger posts hyperlinks on logos belonging to a trademark operator. When a visitor clicks on the trademark it will right lead the customer to the blogger’s site alternatively of directing the visitor to the trademark owner’s web-site.

This kind of linking may possibly result in confusion or deception as it raises significant threat that the site is in some way connected with or linked to the trademark owner’sproducts and products and services.

Normally, the phrase defamation refers to a wrong assertion manufactured about another person or an firm that is harming to their reputation. The person publishing the statement need to have recognized or need to have known that the assertion was wrong. While the World-wide-web gives the arena in which defaming statement can be built or revealed, there is no particular legislation that specials with defamation on the Net in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Defamation Act, 1957 applies to publications in printed supplies and broadcasting via radio or tv. Since the legislation applies to posted or broadcast supplies, as a result in principle it applies to materials these types of as weblogs and sites printed on the Net.

As defamation regulation is complicated there is a need to distinguish irrespective of whether a defamatory assertion is a libel (published sort) or slander (spoken words and phrases). In a scenario of libel, if it is decided that the statement is defamatory then there are presumptions from the creator or the publisher. In the case slander, there is typically the requirement to evidence genuine damages or special damages endured owing to the defamatory assertion. Hence, slander regulation does not use to weblogs as it does not tumble in the ambit of broadcasting the slanderous phrases by indicates of radio or tv.

Due to swift improvements to the Online and the convergence of systems, one will marvel whether or not the courts will apply the libel regulation or slander law when blogs transformed from text to speech format are transmitted on the Online. On the other hand, all this depends on proving defamation and locating the identity of the blogger which can be an great job because of to the anonymity of the Web and its around the world scope.

A different authorized risk is when blogs are made use of to disseminate false,incomplete or deceptive information and facts concerning racial disturbances or contents that induce hatred or contempt in direction of the federal government or the ruler. In Malaysia, various offences are provided for in the Sedition Act 1948 such as it is an offence for any individual to print, publish or distribute any seditious publication- see Section 4 of the Sedition Act, 1948 for other offences. No matter if the provisions in the Act use to publications on the Net have not been judicially identified.

In Singapore the sedition legislation was used in 2005 exactly where the Singapore courtroom jailed two end users for posting seditious remarks on the World-wide-web- Two jailed for ‘sedition’ on net, South China Morning Publish, Saturday, October 8, 2005. The South China Early morning Write-up claimed that the case is regarded a landmark case underscoring the government’s makes an attempt to regulate on the internet expression and crack down on racial intolerance. The two instances represented the initially time Singaporeans had been prosecuted and convicted for racist expression underneath its Sedition Act.

Arising from the case of the racist bloggers, on 8 November 2006 the Singapore Federal government proposed variations to its Penal Code having into account the impression of technological know-how these kinds of as the World wide web and cell phones- refer to Singapore Ministry of House Affairs, Consultation Paper on the Proposed Penal Code Amendments at webpage 2. The amendments cover offences fully commited by way of digital medium these kinds of as Section 298 (uttering terms, etc with deliberate intent to wound the religious emotions of any person) to go over the wounding of racial feelings as effectively, Section 499 (defamation) and Part 505 (statements conducing to community mischief) to grow and incorporate people “printed in written, digital or other media” see Singapore Penal Code (Modification) Bill at webpages 8 and 20. These amendments when passed empower the police and state prosecutors to prosecute those with offending blogs- Cf.Sections 298, 499 and 505 of the Malaysian Penal Code (Revised 1997).

There are good reasons why the authorities are getting blogging critically as fifty percent of the individuals that took part in the Running a blog Asia: A Home windows Are living Report survey think that blog contents are as trusted as regular media and a quarter of the respondents consider weblogs to be the quickest way to master about news and recent affairs.

With these kinds of reliance on blogs, contents containing untrue, incomplete or misleading info posted on blogs not only could lead to stress, anger, contempt or political scandals it may possibly also cause political and financial instability.

The World-wide-web provides issues to current guidelines that are slow to provide sufficient security to a celebration with regard to the use and material of blogs. At present, codes of exercise for Online people which include bloggers have not been proposed as portion of the Online regulatory routine at the moment functioning in Malaysia.

Instead, bloggers have to have to practise self-regulation and fully grasp the authorized implications of running a blog to assure that their weblogs are published in a responsible and lawful way. In buy to shield on their own, bloggers could offer conditions of use and good disclaimer to offer some degree of comfort and security from 3rd events postings on their blogs.

For those people bloggers who are not self-mindful of the legal dangers, attempts need to be created to teach and raise awareness to those people bloggers. Potentially the social accountability lies on the Internet provider suppliers and web-site provider vendors to produce a blogger’s code of ethics to educate its bloggers to be moral to their visitors, the individuals they produce about and the authorized ramifications of their actions.

First Published at Present-day Legislation Journal April Section 2 [2007] 2 CLJ i