The often criticized Media Bloggers Association may have just found a way to redeem itself in the eyes of many by launching the first comprehensive insurance product for bloggers.
The BlogInsure liability insurance is offered through Media/Professional Insurance, a business unit of the Select Markets Division of AXIS Insurance. The insurance will cover costs and damages for claims of defamation, copyright infringement and privacy violation. Under the program, insured bloggers will have access to a new legal hotline beta program and web extranet where they can submit queries and get answers to legal questions before problems arise.
Coupled with the insurance is a new course offered in partnership with The Poynter Institute’s News University, Online Media Law: The Basics for Bloggers and Other Online Publishers, co-authored by David Ardia of the Citizen Media Law Project, which is jointly affiliated with Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Center for Citizen Media and Geanne Rosenberg of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and Baruch College. The course is being offered for free, and those who successfully complete it will be offered discounts on BlogInsure.
The full details aren’t available on Media/Professional Insurance’s site, so extent of liability, cost or coverage isn’t yet available from what I can find, but those points aside, any step to offer this sort of insurance for bloggers is a positive step forward. The course itself certainly can’t do any harm, and those in the United States in particular who are making any significant sums from blogging, and therefore in harms way in terms of copyright, defamation or other legal issues would be wise to at least check it out.