MBA Launches Blogger Legal Defense Project

    January 11, 2005

As bloggers increasingly face the ire of corporate lawsuits (witness Apple’s recent maneuvers) and until the courts set a precedent, there is an opportunity for the legal community to rally to assist bloggers in defending themselves.

The Media Bloggers Association (MBA), which I am a member, today took a giant step toward organizing such an effort by by appointing Ronald D. Coleman, of the Coleman Law Firm, PC as general counsel. Coleman will now build a team of attorneys from around the country who will provide MBA members with first-line counsel on matters relating to the use of intellectual property, defamation and other issues arising from their blogging.

Coleman, a former legal journalist who specializes in intellectual property litigation, wrote the first article on Internet law published in the American Bar Association Journal in 1995. He has been involved in free-speech issues relating to the Internet since his representation of Steven Brodsky in the Jews for Jesus v. Brodsky case in 1998, and recently successfully represented The National Debate in its dispute with the New York Times over a parody of the Times’s corrections page.

Coleman, whose firm maintains offices in New York and northern New Jersey and is involved in litigation throughout the U.S., also maintains a blog called Likelihood of Confusion focusing on Internet law and trademarks. He is also an active advertiser and publisher on the Internet.

A welcome move indeed! I applaud the efforts of the MBA to organize programs like this. It is well worth the $10 I paid to join.

Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.