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Bloggers Offered Insurance, Legal Training

A project spearheaded by the Media Bloggers Association will provide bloggers access to first-of-its-kind liability insurance along with free training in media law. The insurance program, called BlogInsure, will provide coverage for claims against bloggers involving defamation, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement. According to the MBA's announcement, its members will be eligible to purchase liability insurance at a "significant discount." Offered through Media/Professional Insurance, a division of AXIS Insurance, the policy will cover costs and damages for claims against bloggers and will parallel coverage offered to tradition media organizations.

In conjunction with this announcement, the MBA has partnered with The Poynter Institute's News University and the Berkman Center's Citizen Media Law Project to create a free e-learning course on media law designed specifically for bloggers and other online publishers. Bloggers wishing to join the MBA and take advantage of its insurance program will be required to take this course and take a test on what they learn (and pay an MBA membership fee of $25). But the course is open to anyone to take, free of charge, by registering at News University.

The course, "Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Online Publishers," was written by David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project, and Geanne Rosenberg, chair of the journalism department at City University of New York's Baruch College. It covers defamation, privacy and copyright and can be completed in one to two hours. More information is provided in this News University announcement and CMLP blog post.

As if all that was not enough, bloggers who join the MBA and purchase insurance will have access to a legal hotline, at least temporarily. The hotline is being operated on a beta basis by the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal under the direction of partner Blaine Kimrey. After operating the hotline on a test basis, the firm will decide whether to continue it permanently.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 22, 2008 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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