Media Law

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  • ABA Forum on Communications Law 2015-2016 First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition Now Open

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:43 am
    The ABA Forum on Communications Law has announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2015.2016 First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition. The forum is offering $5000 in prize money this year. Here's more about the...
  • SEC Releases Results of Cybersecurity Exam Sweep

    Digital Media & Data Privacy Law
    David Smyth
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:18 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. We’re behind on this, but better (a little bit) late than never. Last month the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations released the first results of its Cybersecurity Examination Initiative, announced in April 2014 (and discussed here). As part of the initiative, OCIE staff examined 57 broker-dealers and 49 investment advisers to better understand how these entities “address the…
  • Makers of Products Claiming to Have Nano-Scale Ingredients Should Be Aware of Two Recent EPA Actions

    Seller Beware Blog
    Neil Rosenbaum
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:08 am
    During March 2015, EPA announced two actions taken under separate statutes that are likely to affect companies that make and market products that claim to contain elements that are manufactured on a “nano-scale”.  Increasingly, makers of consumer products are marketing their items as containing certain elemental chemicals (such as silver and copper) that have been produced on a “nano-scale”.  Chemical substances that have structures with dimensions at the nano-scale are generally to considered to be produced at approximately 1-100 nanometers (nm) in size.  Chemical…
  • The LEADS Act and Cloud Computing

    Media & Communications Policy
    Patrick Maines
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:52 am
    Bipartisan legislation, introduced last month in the House and Senate, promises to reform and update the antiquated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and in the process push back against the practice by agencies of government to gain access to personal data stored on U.S. corporation servers abroad. The legislation, called the LEADS Act, is co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and in the House by Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.). Short for “Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad,” the…
  • Jay Z Likely Headed to Trial in 'Big Pimpin' Sampling Lawsuit

    Hollywood Reporter - THR, Esq.
    Austin Siegemund-Broka
    30 Mar 2015 | 12:53 pm
    A California federal judge on Monday was inclined to reject Osama Ahmed Fahmy's bid for early judgment of his copyright claims against the rapper.read more
 
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    Digital Media & Data Privacy Law

  • SEC Releases Results of Cybersecurity Exam Sweep

    David Smyth
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:18 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. We’re behind on this, but better (a little bit) late than never. Last month the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations released the first results of its Cybersecurity Examination Initiative, announced in April 2014 (and discussed here). As part of the initiative, OCIE staff examined 57 broker-dealers and 49 investment advisers to better understand how these entities “address the…
  • FTC Commissioner Comments on Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

    Elizabeth Spainhour
    9 Mar 2015 | 9:45 am
    Last week, we posted about the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights “discussion draft” released by the Obama Administration. On Thursday, March 5, at the annual U.S. meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (which I attended), FTC Commissioner Julie Brill answered questions about her take on the bill and other policy issues. Here are just a few comments from that discussion that merit a follow-up post: Commissioner Brill stated in no uncertain terms that the draft bill is not protective enough of consumers. At various times, she said there are…
  • Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act - A Mixed Bag

    Elizabeth Spainhour
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:33 pm
    Late last week, President Obama released a “discussion draft” of the Administration’s long awaited Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act.  At first blush, the results are a mixed bag:  some good, some not so good, much work among stakeholders left to be done. It didn’t take long for consumer advocates, and even one FTC Commissioner, to say the draft legislation doesn’t go far enough.  The Internet has been rife with posts this week about the bill’s problems and shortcomings.  In summary, for most, the bill landed like a lead balloon.
  • Two-Factor Authentication May Be Coming to a Bank Near You

    David Smyth
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:11 am
    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. When I was at the SEC and online broker-dealers’ customers were the victims of hacking incidents, I used to wonder, why don’t the broker-dealers require multi-factor authentication to gain access to accounts? It was a silly question. I knew the answer. Multi-factor authentication is a pain and nobody likes it. Do you know what it is? Here’s what Wikipedia says, so it must be true: Multi-factor…
  • Big Announcement, Small UAS: FAA Launches Commercial Drone Proceeding

    Stephen Hartzell
    16 Feb 2015 | 9:09 am
                Unless you have been completely disconnected from all media, you are probably already aware that on Sunday, February 15, 2015, the FAA announced the release of its long-awaited rules to govern commercial sUAS (small unmanned aircraft systems) operations in the United States. The FAA’s proposed sUAS rules arrived like a barely-late valentine or box of candy, with the recipients hoping to read loving prose and enjoy fresh, rich chocolates. At this point, of course, the rules are merely a proposed regulatory…
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    Seller Beware Blog

  • Makers of Products Claiming to Have Nano-Scale Ingredients Should Be Aware of Two Recent EPA Actions

    Neil Rosenbaum
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:08 am
    During March 2015, EPA announced two actions taken under separate statutes that are likely to affect companies that make and market products that claim to contain elements that are manufactured on a “nano-scale”.  Increasingly, makers of consumer products are marketing their items as containing certain elemental chemicals (such as silver and copper) that have been produced on a “nano-scale”.  Chemical substances that have structures with dimensions at the nano-scale are generally to considered to be produced at approximately 1-100 nanometers (nm) in size.  Chemical…
  • FTC Pursues Telemarketing Scammers Targeting Spanish Speakers

    Neil Rosenbaum
    18 Mar 2015 | 6:27 am
    At the end of February of this year, the FTC settled deceptive and unfair practices charges with various individuals and Florida-based companies targeting Spanish-speaking consumers.  The defendants were engaged in the advertising, marketing and sale of weight loss products, English-language courses, cell phones, and various other items.  According to the FTC, the defendants would pressure consumers to purchase goods, and then send them defective products, incomplete orders, or products that failed to perform.  However, when customers attempted to return or exchange the…
  • CFPB Releases Report on Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses; Prepare to be Regulated

    Neil Rosenbaum
    13 Mar 2015 | 8:55 am
    On Tuesday morning, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a much anticipated report regarding the use of mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in customer-service agreements.  These clauses require consumers to arbitrate disputes instead of litigating them in court or as part of a class action.  As an example, a consumer subject to an arbitration clause who wants to sue his bank over credit card charges he disputes must arbitrate instead of suing in court.  The use of these clauses is fairly common in the consumer financial services sector, appearing…
  • UPDATE: Herbal Supplement Manufacturers Continue to be Targets, as State AGs Conduct Probe and Plaintiffs Bring Consumer Class Actions

    Neil Rosenbaum
    11 Mar 2015 | 6:37 am
    Last month, the Seller Beware blog covered New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s well-publicized demand that certain retailers stop selling some store-brand herbal supplements.  This week, a group of state attorneys general, led by the NY AG, went public with their plans to form a coalition for an expanded probe of the herbal supplement industry.  So far, Connecticut, Indiana, and Puerto Rico have joined with New York in the coalition. While the NY AG’s announcement was shy on details, he did indicate that the coalition would . “[seek] to enhance transparency and…
  • "Comcast" Continues to Change the Damages Class

    Neil Rosenbaum
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:07 am
    The impact of the Supreme Court’s Comcast decision on certification of class actions, first discussed here, continues to be felt across courtrooms nationwide.   Comcast made clear that a trial court must evaluate the merits of plaintiffs’ claims at the certification stage to ensure that the proposed method for measuring damages fits plaintiffs’ theories of liability.  A judge in the Northern District of California recently decertified a class action (and declined to reconsider that decision), after expert discovery showed that Plaintiff’s damages model did not…
 
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    Media & Communications Policy

  • The LEADS Act and Cloud Computing

    Patrick Maines
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:52 am
    Bipartisan legislation, introduced last month in the House and Senate, promises to reform and update the antiquated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and in the process push back against the practice by agencies of government to gain access to personal data stored on U.S. corporation servers abroad. The legislation, called the LEADS Act, is co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and in the House by Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.). Short for “Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad,” the…
  • What Changed the FCC Chairman’s Mind?

    Patrick Maines
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:41 am
    On the occasion last week of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s passage of “net neutrality” regulations, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Commission, announced that it was “the proudest day of my public policy life.”  It’s not known whether that statement is a reflection of how little Wheeler feels he’s accomplished in life, or an embarrassing attempt to take credit for something that was forced on him. What we do know is that the regulation that passed with his vote – and those of the other two Democrats on the Commission – was not the much sounder one Wheeler…
  • Who’s Behind the Push for Net Neutrality?

    Patrick Maines
    23 Feb 2015 | 8:19 am
    If “net neutrality” were a life form, it would be classified as a simple organism.  And that lack of complexity, as it happens, is its very appeal to certain “progressives,” garden-variety regulators, and large Internet companies, who see in government regulation of the Internet opportunities to cement and extend their franchises. The brave and gifted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai, and former commissioner Robert McDowell, are doing all they can to point out the many already identifiable problems, as well as potential pitfalls, that line the path of…
  • ‘Forbearing’ the Constitution: Net Neutrality and the FCC

    Patrick Maines
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:29 am
    So the latest word is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a branch of government that, amusingly, is still referred to as an “independent” agency, is about to enact so-called net neutrality regulations under Title II of the Communications Act. This, because according to its fans at the Commission, such regulations are needed in order to ensure a “fair and open” Internet.  Because, however, even the most passionate among them understand the many problems this would otherwise cause, the majority Democratic commissioners are said to be poised to enact regulations that…
  • We Are Not Charlie. We Are Weak.

    Patrick Maines
    16 Jan 2015 | 8:27 am
    The worst aspect of the Charlie Hebdo affair is that human beings were murdered for practicing free speech.  A distant second is the way this affair, and the earlier hacking of the Sony Pictures studio, has exposed the pieties and inadequacies of so much of the media. Speaking the other day at the Consumer Electronics Show, Kazuo Hirai, CEO of Sony Corp., is reported to have said that he was proud “of all of the employees of Sony Pictures for standing up against the extortionist efforts of those criminals that attacked” the company. Really?  No acknowledgment that the studio belatedly…
 
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    media law news - Google News

  • Internet Reacts to Indiana's New 'Religious Freedom' Law - ABC News

    30 Mar 2015 | 4:07 pm
    ABC NewsInternet Reacts to Indiana's New 'Religious Freedom' LawABC NewsIndiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act has quickly ricocheted to the top of Internet chatter and is the focus of tweets and posts from a range of public figures. Although potential Republican presidential candidates remained mum on social "The Big Lie The Media Tells About Indiana's New 'Religious Freedom' Law"ThinkProgressMedia Stirs Up Controversy Over Indiana's Religious Freedom LawThe New AmericanIndiana religious objections law slammed on social mediaFox NewsMedia…
  • Virginia's social media law continues growing trend - Lexology (registration)

    29 Mar 2015 | 1:37 pm
    Virginia's social media law continues growing trendLexology (registration)To ensure compliance with the law, Virginia employers should review their hiring, monitoring, and investigatory procedures as they pertain to employees' and prospective employees' social media accounts and make any necessary adjustments.and more »
  • Pence: Coverage of religious freedom law 'shameless' - Politico

    29 Mar 2015 | 8:58 am
    PoliticoPence: Coverage of religious freedom law 'shameless'PoliticoMike Pence on Sunday sternly defended his state's new religious freedom law from what he called “reckless” and “shameless” media coverage, claiming Indiana has been hit with “an avalanche of intolerance.” Pence, a Republican who is weighing a White ...and more »
  • New Religious Freedom Law in Indiana Prompts Hashtag #Boycottindiana on ... - KTLA

    28 Mar 2015 | 10:04 pm
    KTLANew Religious Freedom Law in Indiana Prompts Hashtag #Boycottindiana on KTLASocial media focused its ire on the Indiana Statehouse after Gov. Mike Pence signed into law far-reaching freedoms for religious beliefs, protecting those whose beliefs forbid them from serving same-sex couples. It became the 20th state to pass such ...Can Connecticut Criticize Indiana When It Has Its Own 'Religious Liberty' Law?MediaiteConnecticut to ban state-funded travel to Indiana over religious freedom lawThe Hill (blog)Indiana Religious Freedom Law Debate Heating Up With Calls For Further Tech…
  • Law enforcement officials use social media to help solve cases, bond with ... - Sioux City Journal

    28 Mar 2015 | 8:35 pm
    Sioux City JournalLaw enforcement officials use social media to help solve cases, bond with Sioux City JournalLaw enforcement agencies have found lots of uses for Twitter and Facebook. The social media have become a valuable tool in solving crimes, but sometimes just as important provide people a glimpse of the personal side of law enforcement personnel.
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    Laurence Kaye on Digital Media Law

  • 2015 - The Digital Media Law Battle Lines Are Drawn

    LaurenceKaye
    29 Mar 2015 | 10:56 am
    Dear reader Make no mistake, this year marks the start of the real showdown for copyright law in Europe, alongside parallel debates taking place in the US and elsewhere. The momentum for change in Europe comes from the inclusion of copyright (as well as data protection, telecoms regulation, digital infrastructure et al) as part of Commissioner Oettinger's Digital Single Market Agenda portfolio. You can get the picture from the Commission's Digital Single Market infographic - here - and the words in the Commission's Press Release issued on March 25th here, which set out…
  • Data protection and the digital agenda

    LaurenceKaye
    2 Mar 2015 | 11:00 am
    Dear reader For as many years as I can remember, my mantra at the beginning of the year has been that "This year, privacy and data protection will be high on the Board agenda." And each year, with a few exceptions, it hasn't. But perhaps 2015 will be different. For instance, there were quite a few comments at Davos about loss of trust in the US consumer technology giants, drawing parallels with the banking industry. For other reasons, privacy and data protection is in the news, as the terrorist attacks in France have brought into focus the rights of the State to intercept and…
  • Rights in databases: IP rights 0: Contracts 1

    LaurenceKaye
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:26 am
    Dear reader Apologies for the rather cryptic title of this post which concerns this month's decision of the European Court of Justice in Ryanair Ltd vs PR Aviation BV. This goes back to 2010 and Ryanair's complaint to a Dutch Court about PR Aviation 'scrapping' the Ryanair database. PR Aviation operate a price comparison and booking site for flights, for which purpose it scraped data from the Ryanair website. The case illustrates that in an age of 'machine to machine' communications, contracts and licences may trump intellectual property rights. Ryanair argued…
  • Copyright & Innovation - let's get this right

    LaurenceKaye
    24 Jan 2015 | 10:47 am
    Dear reader 2015 is set to be the year of copyright debate. My friends at the IPKat Blog describe here how things are hotting up, following the European Commission publishing its Report on responses to last year's Copyright Consultation, and, as IPKat reports, the  EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, once again made clear on Twitter that having “modern copyright rules” is one of the key goals for 2015. You'll know how quickly the copyright debate becomes polarised. But I'm going to take the risk of being labelled 'luddite' when I take issue…
  • Google News - hasta la vista

    LaurenceKaye
    12 Dec 2014 | 9:21 am
    Dear reader I've written on a number of occasions over the years on how the liability position of Google and other intermediaries is shifting from a simple "I'm just a host, so don't look to me" to one of increasing responsibility. In the Court of Justice of the EU's decision in Google Spain and Google, Inc vs. AEPD (Spanish Data Protection Authority) and Snr. Gonzalez, the Court was clear that Google, Inc was a 'data controller' and so within scope of European data protection law. Yesterday, Google announced that it is shutting down Google News in…
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    Shear on Social Media Law

  • Radio Shack's Proposed Sale Of Customer Data Violates Its Privacy Policy

    24 Mar 2015 | 6:55 pm
    Radio Shack is on life support and will soon no longer exist in its current format.  Its unfortunate that a store I grew up going to with my grandfather will soon be out of business.  Its last great hurrah was its awesome Super Bowl ad that brought back its glory days from the 1980's.  Radio Shack is losing so much money that it has resorted to selling one of its most prized assets.  Its customers' personal information.  What is most disturbing is that despite its long stated privacy promise that "[w]e will not sell or rent your personally identifiable…
  • New York Times Facebook Content Deal Is A Threat To Personal Privacy

    23 Mar 2015 | 8:02 pm
    The New York Times is one of the world's most respected news organizations and one of the most popular destinations for news on the Internet.  However, I was dismayed to read in The New York Times that it may strike a deal to house some of its content inside Facebook.This is a very troubling development for not just the media landscape but also for the freedom of thought and expression.  The ramifications of this potential deal will erode the privacy of The New York Times' readers and it will enable data brokers and their clients to create richer profiles of those who read the paper…
  • WSJ: Key FTC staff wanted to sue Google after finding ‘real harm to consumers and to innovation’

    19 Mar 2015 | 1:51 pm
    The Wall Street Journal has uncovered a never before released bombshell report that "concluded in 2012 that Google Inc. used anti-competitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and competitors."  These revelations are very troubling and raise serious questions about Google's business practices that appear to warrant further investigation.The unreleased 160-page report concluded that Google’s “conduct has resulted—and will result—in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.”  This internal…
  • Warrants Should Be Required For Email Access

    10 Mar 2015 | 8:30 pm
    Last week, I attended the International Association of Privacy Professional’s Washington DC conference and I was impressed with the topics that were discussed.  The keynotes by journalist Glenn Greenwald and Harvard Professor Michael Sandel were top notch and so were all of the sessions that I attended.  One panel that I found interesting was titled, “Search Warrants vs. Privacy Laws: Can They Live Together”.  The session was moderated by Professor Peter Swire of Georgia Tech and included Bruce Brown, the Executive Director of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the…
  • White House Releases Disappointing Consumer Privacy Draft Bill

    27 Feb 2015 | 6:18 pm
    Privacy in school, at home, and at work has become a very hot topic over the past several years due to the increased amount of our everyday activities that are being digitized.  Earlier today, The White House released an administration discussion draft of the President's vision for enhanced consumer privacy protections.  Unfortunately, the proposal appears to fall short.  According to Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, the draft is "a big victory for the tech industry because it really sidelines the FTC and removes it as an effective force." …
 
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