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Working Paper on the Law & Economics of Blogging

Larry E. Ribstein of University of Illinois College of Law has written a very interesting paper entitled, "Initial Reflections on the Law and Economics of Blogging" (April 2005, 19 pages) It is part of the University of Illinois Law and Economics Working Papers series.

If you are interested in the economic and legal implications of blogging, this is definitely worth a read.

ABSTRACT:

Weblogs, or blogs, have proliferated and developed rapidly in recent years, and have attracted significant attention. Moreover, blogs have started to generate significant legal issues. Yet there is so far no coherent economic framework for addressing those issues. This article begins to develop such a framework. Building on blogs' technical features, it identifies the unique aspects of blogs that should have legal ramifications. It then briefly applies this framework to a variety of legal issues.

Table of Contents:

I. THE TECHNOLOGY OF BLOGGING II. THE ECONOMICS OF BLOGGING A. PRIVATE COSTS B. PRIVATE BENEFITS 1. Self-expression 2. Reputation and marketing 3. Blogging as for-profit ventures C. SOCIAL BENEFITS: BLOGGING AS DECENTRALIZED KNOWLEDGE D. SOCIAL COSTS 1. Low-quality information 2. Political and social discourse E. ALIGNING SOCIAL AND PRIVATE VALUE F. THE PUBLIC CHOICE OF BLOGGING III. SPECIFIC LEGAL ISSUES A. THE JOURNALISTS' PRIVILEGE B. APPLICATION OF THE ELECTION LAWS C. COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE D. MEDIA OWNERSHIP RESTRICTIONS E. DEFAMATION LAW F. LICENSING LAWS G. VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF CO-BLOGGERS H. OTHER BUSINESS ORGANIZATION ISSUES IV. CONCLUSION

Thanks to UW Prof. Mark Suchman for the link