While I tend to focus on the design side of website publishing here at AWSOM.org, there is another major side to the act of creating a website–the legal side. It’s probably true that most people will never run into a major legal hassle running their website–especially if you are an artist or comic creator and simply want to post your work online (assuming you aren’t actually stealing anyone else’s work!). There are times though when you might feel like speaking out on a subject that might be controversial, or mention an experience you had with a product or person that was negative–now you’re suddenly in an area where you may really need to know your legal rights to what you can, and most importantly can’t, say in a protected manner.
This is where the following link comes in: http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/.
The above link is to an excellent information page maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which if you’ve never heard of them are a group of people fighting to keep technology and the internet free of unnecessary legal restrictions (i.e. to maintain free speech and the like). Reading the above page will give you a good idea of what you can and can’t say, and what is and isn’t protected speech. The EFF are a good group and have excellent legal advice–and are willing to hear if you are ever in a situation that they might be able to provide assistance in legal and court related matters.
I can’t stress enough that knowing your legal rights is important. Know your rights BEFORE you get hit with a cease and desist letter…..