While your average blogger might think that no liability is attached to writing one’s opinions, bloggers face law suits all the time, whether for invasion of privacy, libel, copyright issues, or any manner of other things.
With more and more regularity, they are being sued due to comments on their posts, usually complete strangers!
The risks for bloggers and other online publishers are vastly more dangerous because what might be fine in the United States could be illegal in other countries, and the blogger may not even be aware. For example, in some countries, defamation is a serious criminal act.
In Canada, for example, defamation is anything which might lower the respect of the subject in the public’s mind, and political opinions are not excluded from prosecution. Furthermore, lack of malice is not presumed, making accidental defamation a crime if the blogger cannot prove it was not intentional.
And in some places, linking to an off-site page is considered republishing, making linking to a libelous or defamatory web page elsewhere in the internet fodder for litigation.
The irony is that the more successful one’s blog becomes, the more danger is associated with it, and online publishers are even more at risk than traditional publishers and authors, because the internet allows international viewing, and thus, international suing, and many countries have laws which put bloggers at far greater financial risk and laws which are far less friendly to the blogger.
Some of the items a blogger’s liability insurance cover are legal fees, judgements and settlements due to content, and defense costs.
It is not yet commonplace for bloggers to have bloggers’ liability insurance, but it most certainly is a wise choice which will only wiser and wiser until it is absolutely necessary.