Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Not Always Fun and Games

Blogging has become a very important tool. As we all know, several people have taken up this new form of media recently (including myself). However, some people have been losing their jobs over blogging, as this CNN article shows. Note the weirdly threatening title: "Blogging is All Fun and Games, Until the Boss Finds Out." (A related note: I found this article earlier today, but the link was sent to me again through AIM. It could be perceived as intimidation by the sender, but since I don't work for anyone, I assume it's just a link submission. Many thanks to whoever sent this to me.)

The article really doesn't tell the whole story. Mark Jen, the ex-Google employee who serves as the focal point of the piece, was not fired because he ran a blog; in fact, he was fired because he used his blog to openly compare Google's employee benefits with Microsoft's. To say the least, Google came up short in the comparison. If my memory serves me correctly, Jen was fired even after the offending post was removed at his boss's request. As Jen himself said on his blog, "I'm not insubordinate. If I was told to shut down this blog, I would have."

Although employees don't have very much in the way of legal protection for this, non-employees do. The article quotes Eugene Volokh as saying that "there's just no way that Apple can win" a lawsuit against three websites that posted supposedly proprietary information about the iPod. First Amendment grounds apply here, and while there are certain limits on any form of press (namely libel), Apple had better have one heck of a defense team on this one.

Note: I'm almost done with my Blogroll! I still need to make minor changes, but the links are staying as they are. I've added more lefty bloggers, and I made sure to add Ry Rivard's blog as well. Rivard is one of the better writers for the DA, and one of his recent posts links to most major West Virginia bloggers, including Dr. Hanson and myself. Check him out; his writing can be a bit over my head at times, but he has great style with it.


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