In November 2006, Blogging Asia: A Windows Are living Report launched by Microsoft’s MSN and Windows Are living On the web Providers Organization unveiled that 46% or practically 50 % of the on the internet inhabitants have a web site [Blogging Phenomenon Sweeps Asia available at].

Running a blog Asia: A Home windows Are living Report was done on line on the MSN portal across 7 international locations in Asia namely Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Interestingly, the report uncovered that 56% of Malaysians blogged to convey their views, whilst 49% blogged to hold buddies and household up to date.

This post focuses on Malaysian regulation nevertheless as the Online transcends boundaries and jurisdictions as a result the rules of lots of nations around the world may well utilize. In Malaysia, bloggers experience authorized hazards that have civil or criminal liabilities these kinds of as
(a) copyright
(b) trademark
(c) defamation and
(d) sedition.

Other than the earlier mentioned, a blogger ought to take into consideration other authorized challenges this kind of as fraud, breach of confidentiality and misrepresentation which will not be resolved in this write-up.

Copyright shields the way artists or authors categorical their notion or truth on a piece of do the job but not the underlying thought or point alone. Copyright shields originality of the function and prohibits unauthorised copying. Copyright protection is eligible for the adhering to will work refer to Part 7 (1) of the Copyright Act, 1987:-
(a) literary is effective, these kinds of as penned is effective, novels, resource codes in laptop or computer plan and world wide web webpages and written content in multimedia productions
(b) musical and remarkable will work, this sort of as musical score, plays and tv scripts
(c) creative works, this sort of as drawings, sculptures and photos and
(d) audio recordings and films, these kinds of as movies (classic celluloid and various video formats), data, tapes and CDs of songs, drama or lectures.

Regretably, a lot of the copyright infringement occurring on the Internet goes undetected. New weblogs at times use existing blogs for its information and this is carried out by way of copying or linking. Aside from that, publishing copyrighted photos, styles, product shots or merchandise packaging from one more internet site is also unlawful.

There are “policies of thumb” to abide by when generating or submitting contents these types of as:- (a) make one’s have unique graphic, graphic, code and terms (b) use accredited works within just the scope of permitted use laid down by the proprietor and (c) use cost-free visuals off the Web as prolonged as the phrases of the creator of the picture are adopted.

The exact “regulations of thumb” utilize when publishing programming scripts as it is typically a violation of copyright regulation to proper programming scripts from third get-togethers. With regards to postings on one’s weblog by third get-togethers, the weblog owner might acquire an implied licence to the postings built by third parties. When supplying podcast i.e. recorded and dowloadable audio file to be downloaded from blogs it is ideal that the podcast do not have any copyrighted audio belonging to others so preserving oneself from any copyright infringement suits.

If copyright safeguards the way suggestions or information are expressed, trademark on the other hand guards text, types, phrases, figures, drawings or shots affiliated with items and companies.

A trademark operator enjoys special ideal to use his mark in relation to his products and solutions refer Segment 35 (1) of the Trademark Act, 1976. Trademark security grants proper to the trademark operator to protect against some others from using equivalent trademark with identical merchandise or related items that is most likely to cause confusion to the community refer Segment 19 (1) and 19 (2) of the Trademark Act, 1976.

How does a blogger infringe trademark belonging to one more? A person illustration is when a blogger posts links on logos belonging to a trademark operator. When a visitor clicks on the trademark it will specifically guide the customer to the blogger’s site as a substitute of directing the visitor to the trademark owner’s website.

This kind of linking may perhaps bring about confusion or deception as it raises serious threat that the web site is in some way related with or linked to the trademark owner’sproducts and services.

Frequently, the expression defamation refers to a bogus assertion designed about another person or an firm that is damaging to their standing. The human being publishing the assertion ought to have recognized or really should have recognised that the statement was false. Whilst the Online gives the arena in which defaming assertion can be created or released, there is no distinct legislation that bargains with defamation on the Web in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Defamation Act, 1957 applies to publications in printed materials and broadcasting via radio or tv. Due to the fact the legislation applies to published or broadcast supplies, that’s why in basic principle it applies to resources these types of as weblogs and web-sites posted on the Net.

As defamation law is sophisticated there is a want to distinguish whether or not a defamatory statement is a libel (published form) or slander (spoken phrases). In a situation of libel, if it is decided that the assertion is defamatory then there are presumptions from the writer or the publisher. In the circumstance slander, there is often the prerequisite to proof true damages or unique damages experienced because of to the defamatory statement. Hence, slander regulation does not utilize to weblogs as it does not drop in just the ambit of broadcasting the slanderous words and phrases by usually means of radio or tv.

Thanks to immediate adjustments to the Net and the convergence of systems, just one will question no matter whether the courts will use the libel regulation or slander regulation when blogs transformed from textual content to speech format are transmitted on the Internet. Even so, all this is dependent on proving defamation and finding the id of the blogger which can be an massive process because of to the anonymity of the World-wide-web and its globally scope.

One more authorized danger is when weblogs are utilised to disseminate bogus,incomplete or misleading facts concerning racial disturbances or contents that bring about hatred or contempt toward the govt or the ruler. In Malaysia, different offences are presented for in the Sedition Act 1948 these types of as it is an offence for any particular person to print, publish or distribute any seditious publication- see Part 4 of the Sedition Act, 1948 for other offences. No matter if the provisions in the Act utilize to publications on the Net have not been judicially determined.

In Singapore the sedition law was used in 2005 where by the Singapore courtroom jailed two consumers for submitting seditious remarks on the World wide web- Two jailed for ‘sedition’ on internet, South China Morning Write-up, Saturday, Oct 8, 2005. The South China Morning Article noted that the case is regarded a landmark circumstance underscoring the government’s makes an attempt to control online expression and crack down on racial intolerance. The two circumstances represented the to start with time Singaporeans experienced been prosecuted and convicted for racist expression under its Sedition Act.

Arising from the case of the racist bloggers, on 8 November 2006 the Singapore Government proposed alterations to its Penal Code using into account the effect of know-how these kinds of as the World wide web and cellular phones- refer to Singapore Ministry of Property Affairs, Consultation Paper on the Proposed Penal Code Amendments at webpage 2. The amendments protect offences committed via electronic medium such as Portion 298 (uttering terms, and so on with deliberate intent to wound the spiritual emotions of any particular person) to include the wounding of racial emotions as effectively, Area 499 (defamation) and Segment 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) to extend and involve those “posted in penned, electronic or other media” see Singapore Penal Code (Modification) Bill at web pages 8 and 20. These amendments when passed empower the law enforcement and condition prosecutors to prosecute those with offending weblogs- Cf.Sections 298, 499 and 505 of the Malaysian Penal Code (Revised 1997).

There are motives why the authorities are taking blogging critically as 50 % of the people today that took part in the Blogging Asia: A Home windows Are living Report study consider that blog site contents are as honest as regular media and a quarter of the respondents believe weblogs to be the quickest way to find out about information and current affairs.

With this kind of reliance on blogs, contents containing phony, incomplete or deceptive information posted on weblogs not only could cause panic, anger, contempt or political scandals it may perhaps also bring about political and economic instability.

The Online provides troubles to existing guidelines that are sluggish to give satisfactory protection to a bash with regard to the use and material of blogs. Currently, codes of observe for Online end users which include bloggers have not been proposed as section of the Net regulatory routine presently working in Malaysia.

Alternatively, bloggers require to practise self-regulation and have an understanding of the legal implications of running a blog to guarantee that their blogs are penned in a responsible and lawful fashion. In get to protect themselves, bloggers may perhaps give terms of use and proper disclaimer to give some diploma of ease and comfort and protection from 3rd get-togethers postings on their weblogs.

For all those bloggers who are not self-aware of the legal threats, efforts really should be created to teach and raise recognition to individuals bloggers. Maybe the social responsibility lies on the Net services companies and web-site assistance companies to produce a blogger’s code of ethics to educate its bloggers to be ethical to their viewers, the people today they publish about and the lawful ramifications of their actions.

To start with Posted at Present-day Regulation Journal April Element 2 [2007] 2 CLJ i