Friday, June 6, 2008

Tales of a Cyber Lawyer

Case circa September 2007: In an AOL People Connection chatroom, an AOL member has been logging and copying the AOL chat dialogue and pasting it (with the AOL screen names attached) to her personal blog. I was informed that: "A chat log can be considered copyright content as long as it is the original chat communication that is being re-published without any changes or modifications to it."
So, if the chat communication is pasted without changes, the blog owner is in copyright violation. If she changes the chat communication and attaches an AOL SN, it is libel. I have asked to be removed from the owner’s blog and she has not complied. I do not want the material, comments, or jokes that I type in an AOL chatroom saved to her personal blog. I feel lines are posted at the blog which are out of context and not in a complete interactive frame of reference. You have to realize that when dialogue is copied for the purpose of pasting, comments can easily be altered, enhanced, and changed with no credible proof of the original typed comment as it existed in the original form. When an AOL SN is attached to the text without permission, this makes the AOL member responsible and culpable for the text, which in certain cases can be unflattering, humiliating, and even rather egregious. The agenda of the blog can fall under the umbrella of ridicule, intimidation, and bullying... especially since material appears in many cases without consent.
What do we have: plagiarism? copyright violations? invasion of privacy? libel? slander? none of the above? It's all moot. The blog owner took down the blog. It's my opinion that a blog should be created with mostly individual material. Who wants to read idiotic chat dialogue which consists mostly of roomies fighting and trying to get each others' goats. The highlight of their day is to type an insulting "comeback!" It's such a form of low level entertainment for people who have nothing else to do. I go in and enable them. They dance for me like my marionettes. They drink my special blend of Kool-Aid. I provide activity for bored people so I make them a tax deduction for my charity work. Who says I am self-involved?

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