Media Law

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  • The SEC's Investment Management Division Has Some Things to Tell You about Cybersecurity

    Digital Media & Data Privacy Law
    David Smyth
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:57 pm
    Ed. Note: This entry is cross posted from Cady Bar the Door, David Smyth's blog offering Insight & Commentary on SEC Enforcement Actions and White Collar Crime. Lots of agencies and organizations want to boss you around about cybersecurity.  In April, the SEC and the Justice Department published more directions on the issue.  We’ll cover the very brief guidance issued by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management first, and then turn to DOJ in a later post. First, as with everyone else, the IM Division thinks cybersecurity is very, very important for investment…
  • An Overview of Media Reform

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:51 am
    Des Freedman, University of London, Goldsmiths College, and Jonathan A. Obar, University of Toronto, Faculty of Information, & Michigan State University, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, have published Media Reform: An Overview as the introductory chapter in Strategies for...
  • California Court Rejects Bid to Re-Examine Motion to Dismiss Based on Fourth Circuit’s False Advertising Decision

    Seller Beware Blog
    Neil Rosenbaum
    23 Jul 2015 | 11:47 am
    We recently told you about the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in In re GNC Corporation holding that plaintiffs can’t state a claim under state law that an ad is literally false just because there is a reasonable difference of scientific opinion.  But don’t consider the issue closed.  A recent effort to expand this ruling to California was just rebuffed. In the Central District of California case, Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co., Gerber sought reconsideration of the court’s denial of its motion to dismiss based on the GNC decision.  The plaintiff alleged that Gerber…
  • The First Amendment and Free Speech Under Assault

    Media & Communications Policy
    Patrick Maines
    15 Jul 2015 | 5:00 am
    If you’re not alarmed by the assault on the First Amendment and free speech generally, you’re not paying attention. Consider the list of offenses committed by the government.  They range, in recent times, from the Department of Justice’s spying on the phone records of reporters at the Associated Press, to the National Security Administration’s domestic call tracking, and from the IRS’s targeting of conservative nonprofit organizations, to the suggestion by the ranking Democrat on the Federal Elections Commission that political speech on the Internet should be regulated. Other…
  • MPAA Testing the Limits of Pirate Site Blocking in MovieTube Lawsuit

    THR, Esq.
    Eriq Gardner
    30 Jul 2015 | 8:24 am
    On Wednesday, studio giants argued for an interpretation of copyright law that runs counter to legal advice the MPAA received.read more
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    Media Law Prof Blog

  • An Overview of Media Reform

    Media Law Prof
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:51 am
    Des Freedman, University of London, Goldsmiths College, and Jonathan A. Obar, University of Toronto, Faculty of Information, & Michigan State University, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, have published Media Reform: An Overview as the introductory chapter in Strategies for...
  • Rappers and the First Amendment

    Media Law Prof
    29 Jul 2015 | 9:09 am
    Eugene Volokh (Washington Post) and Eric Zorn (Chicago Tribune) on the police shutdown of Chief Keef's holographic performance at CrazeFest on July 25 in Hammond, Indiana. Police and Hammond's mayor may have feared craze-y-ness should Chief Keef appear, given his...
  • Digital Copyright and the Two Culture of Communication On the Internet

    Media Law Prof
    29 Jul 2015 | 7:18 am
    Alexander Peukert, Goether University Frankfurt, Faculty of Law, Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders, has published Copyright and the Two Cultures of Online Communication in Intellectual Property Law and Human Rights, 3d ed. 365-393 (Paul L. C. Torremans, ed., 2015). Here...
  • FCC Chair's Testimony Before Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, July 28, 2015

    Media Law Prof
    28 Jul 2015 | 2:11 pm
    FCC Chair Tom Wheeler's testimony before the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearing on Continued Oversight of the FCC," delivered July 28, 2015.
  • Does Copyright Induce Artists To Create?

    Media Law Prof
    27 Jul 2015 | 2:26 pm
    Jiarui Liu, Stanford Law School, is publishing Copyright for Blockheads: An Empirical Study of Market Incentive and Intrinsic Motivation in volume 38 of the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts (2014). Here is the abstract. Copyright law is widely...
 
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    Digital Media & Data Privacy Law

  • The SEC's Investment Management Division Has Some Things to Tell You about Cybersecurity

    David Smyth
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:57 pm
    Ed. Note: This entry is cross posted from Cady Bar the Door, David Smyth's blog offering Insight & Commentary on SEC Enforcement Actions and White Collar Crime. Lots of agencies and organizations want to boss you around about cybersecurity.  In April, the SEC and the Justice Department published more directions on the issue.  We’ll cover the very brief guidance issued by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management first, and then turn to DOJ in a later post. First, as with everyone else, the IM Division thinks cybersecurity is very, very important for investment…
  • FIN4 May Have Embarked on a Risky Hacking/Insider Trading Strategy

    David Smyth
    1 Jul 2015 | 2:47 pm
    I haven’t yet turned to a life of crime, so far be it from me to criticize actual criminals’ profit-maximizing strategies.  It’s easy for me to nitpick, but I’m not the one strapping on my mask and trying to earn a (dis)honest dollar every day.  But have a look at this Reuters story from Tuesday.  In it, we learn that the SEC and the Secret Service are investigating a sophisticated computer hacking group known as “FIN4” that allegedly “has tried to hack into email accounts at more than 100 companies, looking for confidential information…
  • FCC Stakes Out Privacy Territory in Broadband Privacy Workshop

    Elizabeth Spainhour
    29 Apr 2015 | 7:38 am
    If you thought all the action in privacy regulation centered around the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission would like you to think again. Yesterday, April 28, the FCC held a 3-plus hour workshop that started the regulatory “conversation” on the manner in which the FCC can or should regulate consumer broadband privacy. Chairman Wheeler kicked off the event with opening remarks that included this unequivocal statement: “Privacy is unassailable.” He also said that “changes in technology do not affect our…
  • Physician Practices Be Alert: You Might Be Violating HIPAA If You Produce Medical Records In Response To State Court Subpoenas

    Forrest Campbell
    21 Apr 2015 | 8:20 am
    Over the past months, my experiences with physician practices have made me realize that many practices do not understand how HIPAA applies to subpoenas for medical records.  More worrisome, I suspect that many practices nationwide routinely violate HIPAA when they receive a subpoena. Here’s what I’ve observed:  Practices receive state court subpoenas that are signed by lawyers and that demand the production of medical records, and the practices automatically assume they must produce the records.  This is a dangerous assumption—the production of the records may…
  • BYOD: Five Things To Consider When Creating Your Policy

    Elizabeth Spainhour
    2 Apr 2015 | 7:12 am
    “BYOD” or “bring your own device” (also known as the “consumerization of IT”) is a fact of life in today’s workplace. BYOD refers to the practice of using personally owned devices—like smartphones, tablets, and laptops—for work purposes and allowing these devices to connect to company networks and applications. According to a Gartner study released in late 2014, 40% of U.S. employees working for large companies use personally owned devices for work purposes. Of those who reported using personally owned devices, only 25% were…
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    Seller Beware Blog

  • California Court Rejects Bid to Re-Examine Motion to Dismiss Based on Fourth Circuit’s False Advertising Decision

    Neil Rosenbaum
    23 Jul 2015 | 11:47 am
    We recently told you about the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in In re GNC Corporation holding that plaintiffs can’t state a claim under state law that an ad is literally false just because there is a reasonable difference of scientific opinion.  But don’t consider the issue closed.  A recent effort to expand this ruling to California was just rebuffed. In the Central District of California case, Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co., Gerber sought reconsideration of the court’s denial of its motion to dismiss based on the GNC decision.  The plaintiff alleged that Gerber…
  • What Is Your Company Doing to Prevent Slavery? The UK (like California) Wants to Know

    Neil Rosenbaum
    22 Jul 2015 | 6:20 am
    The United Kingdom Government has recently enacted legislation similar to California’s groundbreaking Transparency in Supply Chains Act to address the issues presented by modern day slavery and human trafficking.  All companies carrying on business in the UK are potentially affected by the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the UK Act), which includes new requirements for businesses to publish a statement setting out the steps that they adopt to prevent slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains.  The UK Government has indicated that these provisions will come into force in…
  • Fourth Circuit Embraces Strict Pleading Requirement for False-Advertising Claims

    Neil Rosenbaum
    21 Jul 2015 | 9:13 am
    On June 19, 2015, the Fourth Circuit held that to state a claim for false advertising based on a theory that representations about the health effects of a product are actually false, a plaintiff must allege that all reasonable experts in the field agree the representations are false. In re GNC Corp.; Triflex Prods. Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig.   In that case, plaintiffs filed putative class actions alleging that GNC and Rite Aid violated state consumer protection laws by marketing health supplements as promoting joint health, even though many studies showed that the main…
  • Search and Confuse: Potential Trademark Liability for On-line Retailers

    Neil Rosenbaum
    15 Jul 2015 | 7:14 am
    Search engines have become essential tools for consumers as they look for products and make purchases online.  On July 6, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment in a trademark lawsuit brought against Amazon.com, potentially signaling greater rights for trademark owners in the search context.  Multi Time Machine, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. et. al.. Multi Time Machine, Inc. (MTM) manufactured upscale military-style wristwatches and owned a registered trademark for MTM SPECIAL OPS.  MTM sued online retailer Amazon based on the way…
  • Important EPA Update for Makers of Consumer Products that Include Nano-Scale Materials

    Neil Rosenbaum
    29 Jun 2015 | 6:39 am
    The use of nano-scale materials in consumer products has exploded in recent years, with applications in apparel, electronics, cosmetics, energy, and many other fields. Nano-scale materials exist as tiny particles (measured in billionths of a meter), and can exhibit commercially valuable properties (such as increased electrical conductivity) that may differ considerably from than their conventionally-sized counterparts. Since our March 2015 update, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has significantly advanced its efforts to regulate nano-scale substances to better understand and…
 
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    Media & Communications Policy

  • The First Amendment and Free Speech Under Assault

    Patrick Maines
    15 Jul 2015 | 5:00 am
    If you’re not alarmed by the assault on the First Amendment and free speech generally, you’re not paying attention. Consider the list of offenses committed by the government.  They range, in recent times, from the Department of Justice’s spying on the phone records of reporters at the Associated Press, to the National Security Administration’s domestic call tracking, and from the IRS’s targeting of conservative nonprofit organizations, to the suggestion by the ranking Democrat on the Federal Elections Commission that political speech on the Internet should be regulated. Other…
  • Decline of Legacy Media, Rise of the Conservatives?

    Patrick Maines
    2 Jun 2015 | 8:59 am
    For the legacy news media, the bad news just keeps on coming.In recent days, for instance, the Pew Research Center released a piece titled “The Declining Value of U.S. Newspapers,” chronicling the extraordinary decline in the purchase and sale price of major U.S. dailies. Some of the examples given are so extreme they look like misprints.  The New York Times Co., for instance, purchased The Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette for a little over $2.2 billion, and sold them both in 2013 for $71 million – a valuation change of minus 96 percent! Not far behind are newspapers…
  • Net Vitality Should Be the Cornerstone of U.S. Broadband Policy

    Guest Author
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:17 am
    By guest blogger PROF. STUART N. BROTMAN, faculty member at Harvard Law School and author of the study Net Vitality: Identifying the Top-Tier Global Broadband Internet Leaders published by The Media Institute.  Prof. Brotman is a member of the Institute’s Global Internet Freedom Advisory Council.  The full version of this article appeared in The Hill on April 24, 2015. The Federal Communication Commission’s recent Open Internet Order is intended to develop an enforceable regulatory scheme to ensure that net neutrality would be achieved.  One of its rationales is that unless such…
  • The FCC’s Wheeler of Fortune

    Patrick Maines
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:44 am
    LAS VEGAS – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s speech yesterday to broadcasters attending the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show here dealt primarily with broadcast-specific subjects.  But as expected, he also used the occasion to tout the Commission’s new Open Internet Order, arguing that broadcasters should support it because, like the must-carry rules, the order “assures that your use of the Internet will be free from the risk of discrimination or hold-up by a gatekeeper.” To characterize this claim as 100-proof claptrap would be to…
  • Is This What Net Neutrality Is Really About?

    Patrick Maines
    7 Apr 2015 | 7:40 am
    Recent congressional hearings held in the wake of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality ruling provide a glimpse into what is so deeply wrong with this regulation, and why so many activist groups were behind it. It’s an aspect of this matter of which you were perhaps unaware while the FCC was considering its regulatory strategy. Perhaps you thought net neutrality meant what was said of it: that it was intended to prevent the blocking or throttling of websites, or of “paid prioritization.” Silly you.  Actually, those were the interests of those…
 
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    media law news - Google News

  • Activists petition international court over media law - New Vision

    30 Jul 2015 | 12:37 pm
    New VisionActivists petition international court over media lawNew VisionCoordinator for Eastern African Media Institute –Uganda Chapter (EAMI-U) chats with the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Daniel Fred Kidega as the Head of Legal, from Human Rights Network for journalists – Uganda Catherine Anita ...
  • Why Social Media Matters for Law Firms - Bloomberg Big Law Business

    30 Jul 2015 | 10:40 am
    Bloomberg Big Law BusinessWhy Social Media Matters for Law FirmsBloomberg Big Law BusinessMuch of the technology we use to communicate today did not exist when I began my law career more than 30 years ago. Gone are the days of pagers, faxes and pay phones, and forget about sharing files on floppy disks or presentations using slide projectors.
  • Blackbeard's Law would clarify control of media rights to shipwrecks - Greensboro News & Record

    29 Jul 2015 | 4:07 pm
    Blackbeard's Law would clarify control of media rights to shipwrecksGreensboro News & RecordRALEIGH - Legislation pending in the state Senate could be called “Blackbeard's Law” because it appears inspired by an ongoing legal battle over the famous pirate's nearly 300-year-old shipwreck off the North Carolina coast. The bill includes a passage and more »
  • Media advocates: Law doesn't need changes for body cameras - Washington Times

    29 Jul 2015 | 9:26 am
    Media advocates: Law doesn't need changes for body camerasWashington TimesMADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin's open records law doesn't need a substantial rewrite to address police body camera videos, media advocates argued at a state Department of Justice summit on the statutes Wednesday. The meeting brought local ...and more »
  • CTC Media Sales Seen Shrinking on Russian Economy, Ownership Law - Bloomberg

    28 Jul 2015 | 4:04 pm
    CTC Media Sales Seen Shrinking on Russian Economy, Ownership LawBloombergCTC Media Inc., which has tumbled to a record low in 2015, will struggle to convince investors they should reconsider the stock when it reports second-quarter results Wednesday as a slowing economy and tighter government control weighs on the TV ...and more »
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    Shear on Social Media Law

  • Facebook User To Be Fined Under Spanish Social Media Gag Law For Police Comments

    30 Jul 2015 | 9:08 am
    Social Media in its infancy was hailed as a great equalizer for everyone's voice to be heard. Years ago, at conference after conference, I heard so called "futurists" and other "prognosticators" proclaim social media as the best invention since air conditioning or the microwave.So many social media "evangelists" (a fancy term for some consultants who are full of s*#t) shouted from the roof tops how digital platforms would make the world a safer and freer place to exchange ideas and increase the freedom of speech.  Unfortunately, many of these "evangelists" don't understand how some…
  • Hulk Hogan Tries To Pre-Empt the Wrath of Social Media Via An Apology

    24 Jul 2015 | 12:12 pm
    Reacting appropriately during a crisis in the Social Media Age is extremely important.  In fact, its a must for corporate executives, small and large companies/organizations, politicians, celebrities, professional athletes, amateur athletes, etc...  Its imperative to understand the importance of properly reacting to a situation that has not just public relations implications but also major legal ramifications as well.In the Social Media Age, the right reaction may determine whether your brand is permanently damaged like Paula Deen's or Anthony Weiner's or if you can  make a…
  • NY Court: Facebook has no standing to challenge search warrants

    23 Jul 2015 | 1:56 pm
    Earlier this week, a New York state appeals court ruled that Facebook had no legal standing to challenge search warrants on behalf of its customers.  The court stated that only the defendant may challenge the search warrant and not Facebook.The court's unanimous opinion stated that, “[f]here is no constitutional or statutory right to challenge an allegedly defective warrant before it is executed.”  This ruling was not surprising because the law usually takes years to catch up to the technology.  Will other courts around the country follow this ruling?As more of these types…
  • Google Forced to Change Its Privacy Policy in the Netherlands

    10 Jul 2015 | 8:38 am
    According to Telecompaper, Google has changed its privacy policy in the Netherlands to comply with its data protection laws.  The Dutch privacy regulator (the "CBP") determined last year that Google combines and uses the personal data of internet users without first obtaining permission according to its laws.  Google acquires personal information about its users when they are logged into Google and from other data sources, such as Internet searches, location data, videos, and emails. While this is a welcome development, why did the CBP have to threaten Google with a multi-million…
  • IACP Releases Updated Guidance On Police Bodyworn Camera Video Data Storage

    18 Jun 2015 | 5:36 am
    Privacy and cybersecurity go hand and hand.  Therefore, it is imperative that policy makers on the local, state, and federal level adopt policies and enforce practices that promote these principles.  This is especially important due to the increased amount of data that governments are collecting.During the past decade, law enforcement agencies around the world have begun to implement police body cameras to assist in evidence gathering, transparency, and accountability.  In the United States, several incidents during the past year have prompted local police departments to test…
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