Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's all fun and games till someone loses a law suit

So the party is over?  Shit, man, I just got here!  Seems you can't randomly libel people on the interwebs anymore.

I mean, I was just getting into the blogging thing, ranting about things no one cares about, telling jokes only my friends get.  And now it seems you can't randomly say nasty things about people without backing it up.

Well, shit.

Not that libel is a huge part of what we write here... is it?  I mean, the first thing that springs to mind is my rant when Iron City moved to Latrobe.  There's some unflattering comments in there about Tim Hickman and small dogs.  I thought people would realize that it was intended as a joke, but when it came time to publish, I started to have my doubts, so I thought I'd add something to cover my ass:

But it wasn't something I'd heard.  It was completely made up, and as far as I know, untrue.  And unbelievable.  In fact, I'm not entirely sure the person I intended to aim my rapier-like wit at is Tim.  I think he's the director or CEO or something like that, but it might be someone else; but I didn't do any serious research on it.  I mean, I thought this was just blogging, not real journalism. It's not like anyone believes something like that.  It's not like anyone takes this shit seriously. It's not like someone could sue you over stupid shit like that, right?

So do I have to check facts now? Do I have to go out and interview people and spend hours in a library photocopying shit with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford? Cause I'm often drunk when I write these. I've never been drunk in a library, but it seems to me like a good way to lose your library card.

And that's another thing. Do I need to start like, using images that aren't owned by other people? Cause I just randomly take stuff from whatever Google Image Search brings up.

But back to the libel thing, how far does this go? If someone were to take the comments about Tim seriously, I suppose that could be libel. But what about the videos and pictures of drunk people at PSU? Those weren't staged, they're the real thing. And while I tried to remove stuff like time and date stamps from the photos, I guess someone might know who the chick vomiting green stuff into the trashcan is. Someone might recognize the guy breaking everything at the tailgate party. Could they sue me?

 And what about the booze reviews? If I say I don't like a particular alcoholic beverage, is that libel? Or just my opinion? Do I need to hire a lawyer to write a damn blog?

Ok, I've got an idea. Let's try a disclaimer.

There's a pretty good chance that anything I or any other author writes on this blog is either poorly researched, merely opinion, or total bullshit. We're not real journalists and this isn't supposed to be a factual reporting. Much is intended as editorial opinion. Much is not intended to be taken seriously. Much is intended to be humorous, metaphoric, sarcastic, hyperbolic, or silly.

There. I hope that at least mostly covers our asses. As for the pictures? Well, we don't make any money off this site... not many people read it in the first place. And if you're angry that your picture is on the Internet at all... hey, I wasn't the first to post it. Yell at your friend who took the picture. Or if you took the picture yourself and posted it, perhaps you've learned your lesson. And if you're worried about copyright, just contact us and we'll be more than happy to give you full credit and link back to your website from the picture of you passed out on the shitter with your head in a trashcan full of puke.

1 comment:

  1. Cracked.com has an amazing article and how-to guide on this very subject. I highly recommend giving it a read.