This event happened 2 weekend ago and I was asked to moderate the forum while having a slot to myself. It was held at an auditoriom of a university in the island of Penang, an island in the north of Peninsular of Malaysia which take 4 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.
The topic that were covered are basically about blogging and its relevant to the law of copyright and defamation. Both were covered before in an event held earlier the year in a university in Kuala Lumpur. You can access that post here. The presenter changed with a lawyer who was a journalist became the second speaker talking to us about the law of defamation in journalism. As he had the experience of being a journalist, he brought the best way to approach writing and not being sued needlessly.
The first presenter is Mr. Foong who did a good job talking what is copyright and how does it affect the blogging world. Of course, shared pictures, music and even writings were the examples how bloggers were sued and dragged to court. Surprisingly, for a small country like us, there is quite a lot of cases which are linked to blogs currently being pursued in court.
Mr. Stephen Tan, a lawyer who was a journalist for 20 years basically told the audience to be moderate when writing something. If even you have a hot story, do it subtlely and let the people decide of whether to believe it or not. Some secret should never be let out. Always weight the consequences of your writing. He was really comparing blogs to newspaper as that was his experience. However, one can relate to his take on the matter as a blog is as important in disseminating information as a newspaper or whatever media out there.
Stephen Tan making a point
As for me, when I was on the stage, I basically bullshit my way of how I started blogging and what I think of bloggers before I became one. I then told them what my blogs are all about and why I think they are important in my career and relationship. As I talked, I saw the audience being able to connect and understand the feeling of what I have experience. I really hoped it was a good presentation.
During the Question & Answer session, we were asked question ranging from what we thought the current standing of certain law on issues such as defamation to sedition and certain judgement by the courts here in Malaysia. Our audience was effluent enough that arguments broke between us trying to convince them of the right way to do things according to lawyers which may stiffle creativity or good reporting.
For more pictures and reports on the event, you can visit the blogs of the sponsors here and here. There are also reports by those who were in the audience. You can visit their blogs here and here. The second one has a very comprehensive report on what was presented.
Here is a group photo at the end of the event :