Bloggers In Lebanese MSM

Lebanese Main Stream Media (MSM) is starting to pay attention to us.

Hillal Shuman pointed out to me an article in a Lebanese Newspaper (Al Akhbar). The Article's main topic is (drum rolls) me..

I don't approve of some of the stuff the writer said about me, he didn't interview me and he didn't ask for my permission, yet he went ahead and published it in Lebanese newspaper.

I could of course savage the writer on BeirutSpring, (which I think has more readers than Al Akhbar at this point), but I was thinking that maybe it was time for us Lebanese bloggers to think of mechanisms to avoid this kind of stuff from happening. In my case it was bearable, but what if an article in Annahar for instance seriously defames one of us? I don't think the Lebanese law covers us,

Any inputs?


At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:01:00 AM, Blogger maha said...

More readers than al-akhbar? I think you'd be surprised Mustapha.

Regardless, slander is slander. Legal means are the only way.

At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:10:00 AM, Blogger hillz said...

yeh. " I don't think the Lebanese law covers us" either.
but in the same time we can't stop that from happening. I mean our situation is clearly like a tv show that can be criticized in a news paper without an interview or any question to us and based on our posts and responces to comments.
This is expected to rise as I think newspapers will give more space to bloggers in the upcoming days (depending for sure on their policies).

I really can't see how we can forbid them. One thing we can do (if they twisted our words) is to end them feedback which they are foced to publish it under lebanese journalism law.
Another thing we can object in future is when they extract some of our posts without permission and put it the way the want, is to clearly object on that again and again so that won't happen. It's very probable to happen since it was the case in egypt in the past.

waiting for ur feedback..

At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:11:00 AM, Blogger hillz said...


At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:27:00 AM, Blogger linalone said...

I have had a problem with al nahar, a journalist have published an article i have sent to the newspaper (3/4 of it) withtout even mentionning my name or my blog. They are taking quotations from our blogs without permission w ma fi 7ada y2elloun la2.

At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Mirvat said...

did any of you try writing the editors to these journals?
i guess once it's done it's done but then at least you'll make them understand inno mish saybe for next time.

At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:52:00 AM, Blogger Eve said...

kint 3am 2ella la linalone inno mustapha won't like it kteer :)

I know what you mean. in my case, the same author didnt twist my words but shed light on just one part of my opinion. in the general case, im not sure this can be solved legally bima 2inno what a blogger posts on his blog is made available to everyone, there are no legal copyright issues w heik. the journalist can just argue inno it's his point of view, he's covering the story like any other theme. bass you're right, the issue is very delicate, some lines should be set. but as long as blogs have this unformal status, im not sure there's much to be done here.

At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Mustapha said...

Well I guess the best way is to write the editors. Thx Mirvat.

I mean we chose to publish our stuff, some of us chose to be anonymous (or semi anonymous like me), and, frankly, we are also guilty of cutting and pasting articles from other sources sometimes ;)

Funny to think that most of us started blogging as an intimate, private activity. Who could have thought that we're now talking about misquotes, journalism law and publishing rights :)?

(PS: Maha, you'd be surprised how many people come into The Beirut Spring every day ;) )

At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 1:29:00 PM, Blogger BOB said...


Per say what we write on our blogs is not protected by any law or rules. However you can remedy this, there is several international organization that offer a certain degree of protection like: http://creativecommons.org
Maybe you need to adhere to their organization, but I doubt that the Lebanese law offer any protection. But as long as you have been quoted or misquoted by someone or some organization that is available on the net the CC (creative common) can be of help…


At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 1:53:00 PM, Blogger raf* said...

dear all,

like many other bloggers, i have put a "creative commons" label on my blog, and it is thus covered by copyright laws just like any newspaper, book, t.v. show, movie, painting, etc.

the issue here is not whether it is legally covered, but whether one can actually force someone else (like, a newspaper) to adhere to the law.

try suing someone for copyright infringement or slander @ a lebanese court ...

that's one of the problems when moving in the public sphere - the danger of being misrepresented is rather high.

the only true protection is to write to those editors about their "mistakes" and become so influential that there is a "natural deterrance". i highly doubt that the current status of journalistic "professionalism" in the mideast allows for that, though.

people can write whatever they want, claim anything that suits their fancy. the only ones protected against this are zu'ama who have the (political, financial, or even physical) means to "deter".

good luck,


At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 6:16:00 PM, Blogger hashem said...

an interesting point.
with bloggers being quoted more and more, copy right issues are becoming increasingly important. Yet, just like alot of stuff on the web, this is lagging far behind the written media.
Mustafa- The comment on Alakhbar is a personal opinion of its write (Mr. Kontar) that the newspaper hold no reponsibility for. I guess all you can do is to write a reply that the newspaper is obliged to publish in a reasonable time, and in almost same place.

This is our maximum we can do for the moment, I guess, awiting better legislation of all this blog thing.
It's amazing how this thing started so personal and with personal things to end up being portrayed in CNN, and all over the world's newspapers.
This is in my opinion should be looked at as a big success for Lebanese bloggers, who managed to put up to a challenge during the war.


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