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    Sarcasm - Legal considerations


    I am planning to develop a website that contains sarcastic content - similar to the Onion.com

    The types of organisations I will be 'targetting' will include Microsoft, Adobe, Apache etc. I do not intend to put malicious material on the site, however it is possible that the material will be percieved as being slanderous.

    Can anybody point me out into the type of legal 'homework' I should consider before developing such a site?

    Thanks in advance
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    Originally Posted by conoroleary
    I am planning to develop a website that contains sarcastic content - similar to the Onion.com
    You need to do some homework and have a lawyer on retainer if you're going to do this on a serious scale, and be prepared to get lots of nasty letters from expensive suits.

    Business slander is not the same as personal slander and you have to ask yourself whether it will be worth the hassle you're sure to get if your site gains any level of popularity.

    Your best bet is to hire a lawyer to look over that part of it, Borders/Amazon has a fair number of basic weblaw books, so read those first.
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    The bottom line is: there is ALWAYs a way somebody can sue you. So, if your site gets on a large scale, expect something of that nature popping up.

    If your attacking a person in particular, you can get defamation of character suits brought against you. I'm not to sure on organizations though.

    As long as you present yourself as an editorial, I wouldn't worry about it. The US constitution grants free speech, which will likely protect you.

    Where you can get into trouble, is if you re-use somebody's logo without permission to smear them (or another use). An example is http://booble.com, who has "similarities" to googles logo. (read up)

    Anyway, I wouldn't advise making a 'look alike' logo of "Micro****", but feel free to express your opinion. Be sure to post your URL, I want to see this!
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    Here it is from my Media Law class.

    First off, you'd better get a lawyer on retainer. People will sue you on the basis you are the little guy and chances are they can out spend you in legal fees. Second off, The People Vs. Larry Flynt wasn't about p0orn, it was about parodie and he won. Basically if you have a disclaimer and can show you are making fun of or a parodie about someone/thing, then technically the law is on your side.

    Still with deep pockets will try and sue you out of scorn more than anything..
    Why? Because Forms just look cooler in OS X...

    Dutch, it's like German...but not!

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