Thursday, April 28, 2005

Blogs and the Bill of Rights...

Democracy Guy has a piece about blogs and the FEC. I'm not a lawyer, so I may be way off on this, but it seems that the Bill of Rights applies to individuals only. Corporations, whether they be for-profit or non-profit, are not individuals. They partake of the legal benefits of incorporation (i.e. tax filing, fund-raising, etc) and are also subject to the regulation of incorporation. In my opinion, a blogger can praise and plug any cause or candidate he likes without restriction. However, once a blogger becomes an agent or proxy of a corporate entity (for-profit, non-profit, whatever), then that blogger becomes subject to regulation, of course.

This runs along the same lines as certain media groups decrying the assault on press freedoms in the wake of the premature departure of Dan Rather and Eason Jordan. Keep in mind the decision to jettison Rather, Jordan, Rush Limbaugh from ESPN, and Bill Maher from ABC were made by executives at a for-profit corporation. Those decisions were probably made to protect credibility and, as an extension, ad revenues.


Blogger AlanK said...

Nice post there

I agree with that assesment about supporting candidates, but because blogging is still relatively new it is leading into some problem areas

One problem is what counts as supporting a candidate. I seem to remember blogging on the subject that in the US, one ruling seemed to imply that just linking to a candidate website counts as advertisment and could possibly be restricted

4:46 PM  

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