Legal Consequences of Co-Blogging, Part 1
Bloggers often work collaboratively with other bloggers, a phenomenon I call "co-blogging." The decision to co-blog may seem casual, but it can have significant and unexpected legal consequences for the co-bloggers. This series looks at some of these consequences under partnership law, employment law, and copyright law, explaining how each of these legal doctrines can lead to counterintuitive results. Part 2 of this series discusses some recommendations to mitigate the harshness of these results.
Beginning a blog seems tantalizingly easy. Google’s Blogger service invites users to create a blog  in three easy steps:
- Create an account.
- Name your blog.
- Choose a template.
This solicitation suggests that the decision to blog can be made casually, but it’s hardly a trivial decision. The adverse consequences of blogging can be severe, ranging from being fired  to being sued, and bloggers—and the service providers catering to them—rarely discuss these risks.  Therefore, a new blogger can start a blog without contemplating these consequences.
A blogger can work solo, with other bloggers in a joint or group blog, or as a "guest" at someone else’s blog. All these various types of collaborative blogging activities are "co-blogging." As with the initial decision to blog, many bloggers form co-blogging relationships casually, without considering the legal implications. 
The law inevitably will blindside some of these co-bloggers. Bloggers may experience unexpected liability for their co-bloggers’ posts or actions. Co-bloggers may decide to separate, and only then find that default legal principles allocate the bloggers’ rights and responsibilities in counterintuitive ways.
Let’s examine the law of co-blogging and some of the unexpected consequences of that law. In part 2 of this series, I’ll make some recommendations to mitigate the harshest consequences, but I can’t really identify or propose any great solutions. Blogger blindsiding can be avoided only by readjusting bloggers’ expectations so that they better appreciate the significance of their decisions. Well-publicized legal incidents have this effect, but at significant personal cost for the subject bloggers. Perhaps this article can help you to avoid being an unlucky test case.