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The first post to this blog promised three series of posts addressing what I see as the principal legal issues that can arise in the context of three different kinds of sites, namely, your own or your organisation’s sites, employees’ sites, and other third party sites over which neither you nor your employees have direct control. This post marks the beginning of the first series of posts on your own or your organisation’s sites.

When considering such sites, it may be helpful to look at the legal issues arising at four stages of the site and content lifecycle. Those stages are site design and set-up, content creation, content moderation and content distribution.

In this post I’ll address site design and set-up. Future posts will address content creation, content moderation and content distribution.

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Creative Commons is a good thing. It is good for individuals, non-profits and commercial players alike. And here’s something I hadn’t thought of much before. It’s good for schools. This set of slides by Australian-based Mark Woolley provides food for thought on that front. In keeping with the nature of his presentation, Mark has made it available by way of a CC Attribution Non-Commercial License. (The hand-drawn image here by karindalziel is licensed under a CC-BY 2.0 (generic) licence. Thanks Karin!)

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For those new to the legalities surrounding podcasting, there’s an interesting and well-presented rundown – albeit from a US law perspective – on the Creative Commons wiki. Some of it may need to be treated with a measure of caution given differences between US and NZ law, but it provides a good outline of the sorts of issues to be considering.

In the forthcoming series of posts on legal issues relevant to your or your organisation’s social media site, I’ll use the phrase “social media sites and tools” quite often. As such, I thought it best to explain, up front, what I mean. For many, what follows will be a statement of the obvious, but for others at least some of it may be new.

The phrase “social media sites and tools” refers to the likes of blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking sites, RSS feed manipulation and parsing tools, feed creation tools and embeddable multimedia; in essence, all manner of sites and tools that enable and facilitate online interaction, sharing and collaboration.
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