In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Bloggers Be Aware (And Beware): Legal Pitfalls Abound
2. Today's Top Story
- What's The Greatest Web Software Ever Written?
3. Breaking News
- Update: Reports Say Microsoft Eyeing Deal To Buy Yahoo
- YouTube Begins Paying Its Best Filmmakers
- Astronaut Wally Schirra Crosses Final Frontier
- EDS First-Quarter Profits Soar, But Outlook Disappoints
- WorldGate Debuts Video Phone On Home Shopping Network
- Danish Consumer Board Finds Defect In Apple iBook G4
- Verizon Stockholders Deadlocked On Top Exec's Pay Package
- India Looks To Produce World's First $10 Laptop
- Bugs And Unstable Code Threaten Second Life's Future
- Nokia Licenses Moore Microprocessor Patents
- European Governments Urged To Bail Out Sat-Nav System
- Intel Road Map Stretches From Quad Cores To Mobile Internet
4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
- Will The Monster Of Instability And Bugs Devour Second Life And Grind Up Its Bones?
- The Muppets' Cookie Monster Eats A Computer In A 1971 Video
- Digg Does The Right Thing
- Mail Should Be More Relevant (Call Me Mr. Obvious)
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
- Philanthropy And The Send Button: Nonprofits Use E-Commerce As A Fund-Raising Tool
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Freedom is poetry, taking liberties with words, breaking the rules of normal speech, violating common sense. Freedom is violence." -- Norman O. Brown
One myth of the blogosphere is that anything goes. After all -- or so conventional wisdom says -- that's what distinguishes bloggers from their colleagues in traditional media. Because they aren't hampered by timid editors, journalistic conventions, or even manners, they provide the public with unfiltered access to important events and opinions in a way that is both powerful and empowering. Indeed, the recent storm of hysteria over the proposed blogger code of conduct perpetrates the myth of the unfettered virtual reporter/pundit as someone who must be protected against lily-livered censors.
Titled "12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs To Know," the piece goes well beyond just trotting out the normal platitudes about the ways that laws governing traditional media relate to cyberspace. Instead, in plain, nonjargony English, the authors lay out the potential problem, explain the current law, and provide helpful hints on how to stay out of trouble. Ambiguities in current law are carefully documented. This is required reading for any blogger or indeed anyone involved in creating content for or managing a Web site.
Some of the points are to be expected: for example, on the need for bloggers to obey copyright law for both text and graphics, and what responsibilities/liabilities a blogger has for feedbacks to posts. But others surprised me. The section on "deep links" -- or the practice of linking from a blog to deep within another Web site -- took me into legal territory I hadn't previously considered. The explanation of limited liability laws makes for a fascinating read. And with Web sites' increased dependence on user-generated content, the section on who owns what -- and how that content can legally be edited, manipulated, or copied -- should be required reading for anyone who regularly solicits user input.
Do you blog? Do you think at all about your legal responsibilities and/or vulnerabilities? Let us know by responding to the InformationWeek blog.
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Will The Monster Of Instability And Bugs Devour Second Life And Grind Up Its Bones?
You ever have the experience of moving to a new city -- a great city, like New York, Los Angeles, Paris, or London? For a couple of months, just walking down the street is magic, but then one day you wake up and, well, you notice the uncollected trash and the panhandlers and the fact that public transit is never on time. You still love it there, but you also wish that your bus stop didn't smell like pee. That's kind of where I am with Second Life.
The Muppets' Cookie Monster Eats A Computer In A 1971 Video
Well, actually, it's not the Cookie Monster, but a precursor. The Muppets created the skit for an IBM training video and later performed a version on the Ed Sullivan Show, says Boing Boing, which also links to a Wikipedia entry about Cookie Monster. There's a Wikipedia entry about Cookie Monster?
Digg Does The Right Thing
Digg found itself in the middle of a classic journalistic dilemma, and it made a decision that gives me hope for the future of journalism on the Internet: It decided that its first obligation was to the free flow of information. It's especially interesting since Digg was responding to a censorship demand based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, because it came on the same day that Google invoked the DMCA as a defense in a similar case. Wouldn't it be ironic justice if the DMCA, which Hollywood bought from Congress in 1998, turns out to be the Internet's best defense against Hollywood?
Mail Should Be More Relevant (Call Me Mr. Obvious)
What if your e-mail program were more intelligent, able to let you know only when you got important e-mails, but not unimportant ones? And I'm not talking a spam filter. The unlikely company spurring this blog: AOL.
Philanthropy And The Send Button: Nonprofits Use E-Commerce As A Fund-Raising Tool
Experts say that nonprofits will eventually depend heavily on the Internet, from allowing online giving to event registration and even fund-raising auctions. It's time for nonprofits to begin building an online presence, not just to save money -- which they will -- but to spur donations by making it easier for people to reach into their pockets.
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