Nose to the ground, sniffing out truth, justice, and freedom of information, the Berkman Center announced today that its Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) is “…partnering with the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) to assist with freedom of information lawsuits and to provide online journalists with FOI information and assistance.”
The OMLN serves “online publishers and creators of digital media who innovate, create, and inform.”
[As an aside, I think there’s something interesting in the nouns that emerge from the action verbs innovate, create, and inform. You got your basic innovation and creation. Creations and innovations are products spun up by creators and innovators. Information seems more abstract. An innovation or a creation can be described. The description itself is information attendant upon some thing‘s existence, real or imagined. Information seems more abstract and intangible than creations and innovations. It reflects a different state of being. The information conveys or at least portrays knowledge about the thing. But that’s all higher order thinking that we can leave to David Weinberger, Clay Shirky and others with a philosophical bent, or bent philosophy perhaps, depending on your perspective.]
In 2004 Robert Cox and others formed the Media Bloggers Association to provide legal support services to bloggers facing legal threats. The group seems to have gone dormant, but the ideas behind it have been refreshed, formalized, professionalized and expanded by the OMLN/NFOIC alliance. Here’s more, well… information from the press release:
OMLN, which launched in November 2009 with funding from the Knight Foundation, is a referral network for lawyers and law school clinics that wish to offer legal assistance to online journalists and other digital media creators. Lawyers participating in OMLN provide qualifying clients with free and reduced fee legal assistance on a broad range of legal issues, including business formation and governance, copyright licensing and fair use, freelancer agreements, access to government information, pre-publication review of content, and representation in litigation.