New Network Gives Smaller Online Publishers Free Legal HelpBy: Mike Sachoff - November 19, 2009
The Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP) has launched the Online Media Legal Network (OLMLN) that will offer free legal advice to online journalists and bloggers.
Lawyers participating in OMLN will provide smaller online publishers with free and reduced legal help on a broad range of issues, including business formation and governance, copyright licensing and fair use, employment and freelancer agreements, access to government information, pre-publication review of content, and representation in litigation.
"Unlike established media organizations that have the resources to pursue important reporting in the face of legal challenges, many online ventures lack the expertise and financial resources to protect themselves and thrive in an uncertain legal environment," said David Ardia, director and co-founder of the CMLP.
"In order for these new media ventures to survive and flourish, they need a legal safety net, and OMLN aims to provide that safety net with the help of lawyers interested in promoting a vibrant online media environment."
OMLN said its staff will pre-screen prospective clients and prepare summaries so that participating lawyers can decide if they want to take on a question, case, or transaction. The summaries will be sent out to network lawyers via a bi-weekly email newsletter and will be available any time on the password-protected OMLN website.
Network lawyers will be able to search the website and filter client and case information based on client location, type of assistance needed, and legal help required.
"We are proud to launch OMLN and look forward to collaborating with lawyers and journalists to help ensure that journalism thrives on the Internet," said Ardia.