Most writing on law is like a gas: it expands to fill the space given to it. But a new ebook by journalism trainer Cleland Thom bucks the trend, and it’s all the better for it.
Internet Law for Journalists, Bloggers, Students, Social Media Users … is as impressively succinct as its title is long. The book provides a tour through the expanding range of laws you need to consider when you publish online, illustrated with copious and simple examples, along with guidance for what you should do to avoid being added to the list.
The issues covered range from how traditional concerns such as defamation and contempt play out online, to increasingly important areas such as harassment, copyright, terms and conditions and protection of sources. Forthcoming legislation is highlighted and the book includes numerous examples of cases from the past year, particularly with regard to ‘offensive’ use of social media under the Communications Act.
Sourcing images from social media is covered both in terms of both copyright and privacy laws and guidance, and the strict legal context is complemented with how Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission have handled similar issues.
Making the most of the ebook format, Thom provides plenty of links to more information online. This allows the book itself to focus on communicating the key points clearly and succinctly.
If I was to recommend one book on law for people publishing online, this would be it. Essential.