Thursday, June 26, 2008
Professors Sunstein and Volokh had an interesting video debate about who owns comments posted on blogs. That is an important issue and is likely to become more important as the use of blogs continues to increase. There debate can be viewed here.
Professor Leiter, who runs multiple blogs and who discussed this on his Law School Report Report Blog, offers a simple solution to limit liablity. Limit who could post and pick and choose which comments are actually posted on your blog.(For example, Brian has rejected a number of my comments in the past). That is exactly the problem, however. With respect to Professor Leiter, if a blog editor moderates what could be posted he or she is making a value judgement that later may be challenged.
One thing blog editors could do would be to include a disclaimer on their blog. I have one on mine which readers of this posting are authorized to copy if they would like. I am frankly stunned that most law professors do not include such disclaimers. I would even go a step further and recommend that Network owners include disclaimers. I have mentioned this to several well known professor bloggers, but no one seems to be listening. Perhaps, the Sunstein/Volokh debate may open up some professor's eyes.
In any event, this is also an excellent issue that is ripe for law review commentary.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein