“The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.” – Walt Whitman

So, the libel reading of my book is finally done and my editor at Orion has sent me the lawyer’s report. It’s all very amusing with loads of things that I thought were fine being flagged and lots of things I’d have flagged being fine. But by far my favourite part is the summary at the top where the lawyer has to describe the nature of the material.

It reads, in part:

“In this book the journalist and internet entrepreneur, Paul Carr, gives an insight into his life as he pursues various innovative ventures on the Web. Interesting stories are told, not just about his own ventures, but those of others involved in internet businesses. It is a very enjoyable read, upbeat and witty, and the views he expresses are often explicitly extreme.”

So, in the eyes of the law my views are explicitly extreme. That, I like.
Apologies to anyone who is in the book and is now shitting themselves about whether I’ve been explicitly extreme about them.

Possibly the weirdest flag is my mention of the Daily Express. In the second chapter I talk in passing about the rate with with British newspapers moved online. It’s far from the most exciting paragraph of the book but I can’t resist joking that ‘Even the Daily Express got there in the end, and they’ve still barely worked out how to be a
newspaper.’

This was flagged – they might sue for defamation.

However, a few chapters later, I talk about the ThinkOfTheChildren spoof site I created years ago and specifically the diary listing fake mob events, post Maxine Carr’s trial. And I quote…

“Event: The Soham Mob (Maxine Carr Trial)
Date: TBC
Type: Taunting
Details: Please do come along to what promises to be an enjoyable afternoon’s taunting. Children welcome.

Our thanks to the Daily Express and Manchester United Plc for supporting this event.”

This, apparently is absolutely fine.

I’d tell you some of the people who got flagged too, but that would spoil the fun. Sufficed to say that some of the requests to ‘perhaps check with him/her that he/she doesn’t mind what you’ve written’ had to be met with a polite explanation of why that might not be a good idea.

Apologies again.

Oh, and the title is going to be…

“How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Web 2.0″

Indeed.