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Friday, December 19, 2008

It was fun while it lasted, that blogging thing

Un oh.

I’ve just received some information that could have major consequences for bloggers. My understanding is that a green paper will be published in the New Year setting out plans to make it easier for people to sue for defamation. The idea is to cut down the disproportionate costs of bringing a libel action and there’s even a suggestion that there could be a small claims court for libel.

[From » Blog Archive » Is Labour about to clamp-down on the blogsphere?]

It's only a matter of time before South West Trains or Woking Borough Council take umbrage and shit me down. If you think this might be an exaggeration, remember that Labour have form here. They've wanted to get hold of the interweb for a while.

Answering questions from the floor at the Royal Television Society conference in London last month, Minister for Truth Andy Burnham said: "The time has come for perhaps a different approach to the internet. I want to even up that see-saw, even up the regulation [imbalance] between the old and the new."

[From says: Regulate the internet • The Register]

Oh dear. I suspect that the green paper (or the "Proposed Full Employment Act for Lawyers" as it should more properly be called) will have no effect other than to destroy the UK web hosting industry as everyone moves their servers to the US and stops using their real name to publish. I actually have a friend who is already involved in a bizarre law suit that originates in the US. A guy in the US (let's call him "The Nutter", for short) is trying to sue a guy here in the UK for using the same name as him in a social network context (don't ask me for details, I won't give them).

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. I suspect that if/when it happens it won't be overnight. Initially there'll most likely be some high-profile bloggers publicly sued to send a message to the great unwashed that freedom of speech really is dead in this country. The rest of us that want to carry on blogging will need wallets the size of Bernard Madoff's to pay for the legal fees or more realistically the ability to get their message out another way. I don't see US hosting as a viable option because of the cost, but maybe with the proliferation of WiFi there could be an alternative, in which case "local blogging" could have a very different meaning!