Bloggers have rights, and it’s important for them to know about them. It’s becoming more common for companies to issue cease and desist letters to bloggers who print negative reviews of their products or services. But bloggers don’t have to be bullied! There is a right of free speech in America, and that gives bloggers the right to state their opinions on anything.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an organization that helps bloggers know their legal rights so they’re not abused by companies that just don’t want others to know that you think their programs, products, or services suck.
Below is some helpful information put out by EFF, and I recommend that you visit their site for more information on your rights. Don’t let a company bully you into keeping your opinions quiet!
Bloggers can be journalists (and journalists can be bloggers) – We’re battling for legal and institutional recognition that if you engage in journalism, you’re a journalist, with all of the attendant rights, privileges, and protections. (See Apple v. Does.)
Bloggers are entitled to free speech – We’re working to shield you from frivolous or abusive threats and lawsuits. Internet bullies shouldn’t use copyright, libel, or other claims to chill your legitimate speech. (See OPG v. Diebold.)
Bloggers have the right to political speech – We’re working with a number of other public-interest organizations to ensure that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) doesn’t gag bloggers’ election-related speech. We argue that the FEC should adopt a presumption against the regulation of election-related speech by individuals on the Internet, and interpret the existing media exemption to apply to online media outlets that provide news reporting and commentary regarding an election — including blogs. (See our joint comments to the FEC; [PDF, 332K].)
Bloggers have the right to stay anonymous – We’re continuing our battle to protect and preserve your constitutional right to anonymous speech online, including providing a guide to help you with strategies for keeping your identity private when you blog. (See How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else).)
Bloggers have freedom from liability for hosting speech the same way other web hosts do – We’re working to strengthen Section 230 liability protections under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) while spreading the word that bloggers are entitled to them. (See Barrett v. Rosenthal.)