In this and the next few posts I'll talk in some depth about the various projects we are working on.
One of the first things we'll be doing is putting together a legal guide that will focus on the specific needs of citizen media creators and will address, among other things, business formation and governance; access to government information, records, and meetings; risks associated with publication; newsgathering; intellectual property; and how to respond to legal threats. You can see a tentative list of the subject areas we are working on here. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am sure we haven't thought of everything, so I'd love to hear your suggestions and comments.
Presentation of the information in the legal guide will be critical to its usefulness so we want to make the material is accessible in as many ways as possible. We will be starting with a hierarchical outline of subject areas that will look like a linked table of contents with the various categories and subcategories listed in outline form. Under this approach, if someone wants to read about fair use, they would need to find it under Intellectual Property: Copyright.
Obviously, this presupposes that people who come to the site will already know enough about the law to have an idea of where to look. This isn't going to be the case all the time (or even most of the time) so we think it's essential to provide an alternative way to access the information. For those who may not know where to look, we are building an interactive set of questions/steps that will lead them to the right part of the legal guide. We are still working out the questions/steps in this interactive process, but the flow will look something like this:
Here, again, we really want your input. What kinds of questions do you think people will want to have answered?