Libel Primer

by Fred Ray on April 4, 2009 · 0 comments

One of the nice things about writing about the Late Unpleasantness is that most of the primary source material is long out of copyright and all of the participants are dead, which means you can’t libel them. Say what you will about US Grant, Phil Sheridan, George Pickett or anyone else, neither they or their descendants can touch you.

However, if you say something uncomplimentary about an author or fellow blogger, or if your battlefield preservation group issues a statement calling a developer a dirty so and so, you may hear from their barrister.

The group Public Citizen has posted a succinct little guide to the law of libel, written in layman’s terms, which you should take a look at if you’re a blogger or associated with an activist non-profit or heritage group. They recommend a legal review, which most individual bloggers won’t need, but which a group dabbling in political activism might be well advised to consider.


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