Media Law

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  • ISIS Kills US Journalist, Threatens Another Reporter

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    20 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    The U.S. government has confirmed that ISIS militants have murdered reporter James Foley, who disappeared in Syria nearly two years ago. President Barack Obama addressed the nation, saying that both the U.S. and the world are horrified at this event....
  • Drone Law Enacted as Part of North Carolina Budget Bill

    Newsroom Law Blog
    Stephen Hartzell
    2 Aug 2014 | 12:35 pm
    On Saturday, August 2, the North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to the Appropriations Act of 2014. The 260-page budget bill—which is now on the Governor’s desk—contains several pages governing the use and operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS,” but known in common parlance as “drones”). The UAS provisions are similar to ones that were unanimously passed on June 25, 2014, by the North Carolina House, in the HB 1099. Assuming the budget bill becomes law , what does its passage mean for North Carolina—which, by the way, should…
  • Red Bull Settles False Advertising Suit

    Seller Beware Blog
    Neil Rosenbaum
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:38 am
    We know what you’re thinking, and no, this has nothing to do with Red Bull giving you wings. Last week, Red Bull reached a proposed settlement of a suit alleging that the company falsely claimed in its advertisements that Red Bull’s energy drink provided more benefits to consumers than a cup of coffee or a caffeine pill. The plaintiffs argued that these advertisements amounted to a breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and violations of over thirty state consumer protection acts, including New York’s Deceptive Acts and Practices Act (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §§ 349 and 350) and…
  • Want civically aware adults? Start with civically active young readers.

    Student Press Law Center
    Frank LoMonte
    17 Aug 2014 | 7:15 am
    What does a well-rounded civic education look like? One California group has an answer that looks remarkably like the curriculum for high school journalism. The California Task Force for K-12 Civic Learning, in a report issued Aug. 6 at the conclusion of a year-long study, declared a “crisis” in civic knowledge and participation, as measured by indicators […]
  • 'Criminal Minds' Actor Thomas Gibson Sued Over Manager's Commissions

    Hollywood Reporter - THR, Esq.
    Eriq Gardner
    20 Aug 2014 | 1:08 pm
    Frontline's Craig Dorfman demands 10 percent of the actor's $4.8 million annual salary for the CBS seriesread more
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    Media Law Prof Blog

  • ISIS Kills US Journalist, Threatens Another Reporter

    Media Law Prof
    20 Aug 2014 | 11:05 am
    The U.S. government has confirmed that ISIS militants have murdered reporter James Foley, who disappeared in Syria nearly two years ago. President Barack Obama addressed the nation, saying that both the U.S. and the world are horrified at this event....
  • Ofcom Investigates the (UK) Gold Channel Over Live Monty Python Show

    Media Law Prof
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:48 am
    Ofcom, the UK broadcasting agency, is investigating complaints on two fronts about the recent live Monty Python show, which aired on the Gold Channel. Some viewers objected to the swearing broadcast before the watershed, saying there was too much of...
  • British Police Officer Sentenced For Selling Info To Tabloid

    Media Law Prof
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:41 am
    The Guardian reports that Thomas Ridgeway, a Scotland Yard police officer, has been sentenced to one year in prison for for selling stories to the UK tabloid the Sun. The stories involved information about an actor who attempted suicide and...
  • FCC Extends Date To File Comments On Open Internet Rulemaking

    Media Law Prof
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:10 am
    The FCC has extended the opportunity to file comments on its proposed rulemaking on the Open Internet until September 15. More here.
  • FCC Chair Wheeler On OMB Collection of Data To Evaluate Marketplace Competition

    Media Law Prof
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:08 am
    FCC Chair Tom Wheeler issued this statement concerning the Office of Management and Budget plan to collect data in order to evaluate competition in the marketplace. “Special access service has become increasingly important in the digital economy, enabling businesses large...
 
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    Newsroom Law Blog

  • Drone Law Enacted as Part of North Carolina Budget Bill

    Stephen Hartzell
    2 Aug 2014 | 12:35 pm
    On Saturday, August 2, the North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to the Appropriations Act of 2014. The 260-page budget bill—which is now on the Governor’s desk—contains several pages governing the use and operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS,” but known in common parlance as “drones”). The UAS provisions are similar to ones that were unanimously passed on June 25, 2014, by the North Carolina House, in the HB 1099. Assuming the budget bill becomes law , what does its passage mean for North Carolina—which, by the way, should…
  • The Reporter's Privilege: Where Does The Proposed Federal Shield Law Stand And What Impact Would It Have?

    Eric David
    7 Jul 2014 | 7:23 pm
    The right of journalists to refuse to testify regarding information or sources obtained as part of the news-gathering process, known as the reporter’s privilege, has been recognized by 49 of the 50 states and the District of Colombia. However, these existing protections are only applicable in state court. Federal law offers no statutory reporter’s privilege, leading to high-profile federal court cases in which a journalist is forced to choose between revealing confidential sources or spending time in jail for contempt of court. The most prominent recent example is the case of New…
  • N.C. Public Records Case Opens up Access to Agency Database

    Laura Chipman
    9 May 2014 | 7:36 am
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently decided a landmark case for public records law in the state. In that case, the panel of three appellate judges determined that the Automated Criminal/Infraction System (“ACIS”) database is subject to public disclosure under the North Carolina Public Records Act. The North Carolina ACIS database is a database of criminal records compiled in real time maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts (the “AOC”) for the clerks of superior court across the state. The database contains real-time criminal records entered by…
  • First in Flight, Tops in Tech, Ascendant in UAS: Drones and North Carolina

    Stephen Hartzell
    26 Mar 2014 | 12:05 pm
    The next time you go for a long hike in a national forest with no cell phone service, you might want to take a drone with you so that you can send for help when you break your leg, dehydrate, and need help. While you, as a non-commercial drone “hobbyist” or “modeler,” might—emphasis on might—not violate any state or federal law if you were to send a drone to facilitate your rescue, the same cannot be said for many other potential drone operators.  In fact, law enforcement in some states may not be able to send a drone to determine your specific…
  • Second Circuit Denies En Banc Review of Aereo Decision

    Charles Coble
    16 Jul 2013 | 11:30 am
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied today a petition for review, en banc, of an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the Court that had ruled in favor of Aereo and against broadcasters in a case that originated in the Southern District of New York. On April 1, 2013, the panel concluded in the case that Aereo’s service did not violate the broadcasters’ exclusive right to “publicly perform” their copyrighted television programs. Broadcasters asked the full Second Circuit Court to review that decision, but a majority of judges declined to…
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    Seller Beware Blog

  • Red Bull Settles False Advertising Suit

    Neil Rosenbaum
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:38 am
    We know what you’re thinking, and no, this has nothing to do with Red Bull giving you wings. Last week, Red Bull reached a proposed settlement of a suit alleging that the company falsely claimed in its advertisements that Red Bull’s energy drink provided more benefits to consumers than a cup of coffee or a caffeine pill. The plaintiffs argued that these advertisements amounted to a breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and violations of over thirty state consumer protection acts, including New York’s Deceptive Acts and Practices Act (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §§ 349 and 350) and…
  • FTC: Made in USA Certifier Must Actually Certify (or Disclose Self-Certification)

    Neil Rosenbaum
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:57 pm
    As we have discussed in several posts (for example, here, here, here, and here), the FTC has stringent standards for “Made in U.S.A.” claims.  On July 22, 2014, the FTC reached a settlement with Made in the USA Brand, LLC, which charges companies to use its “Made in USA” certification mark and to be listed on its website as a company whose products are made in the United States.  Made in the USA Brand says that it uses the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement for U.S. Origin Claims as its accreditation standard to determine whether a company can license its certification…
  • Bundled & Loyalty Discounts Under the Microscope at DOJ/FTC Workshop

    Neil Rosenbaum
    12 Jul 2014 | 10:06 am
    On June 24, leading antitrust economists and attorneys participated in a workshop held by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division on conditional pricing practices, including loyalty and bundled discounts.  The agencies’ objective for the workshop was to advance the economic understanding of the potential harms and benefits of these types of discounts, and to reexamine their treatment under the antitrust laws. Antitrust plaintiffs sometimes claim that discounting by dominant sellers (i.e., sellers with market power), facilitates…
  • FTC Requires ADT To Monitor Spokesperson Endorsements Of Its Home Monitoring Systems

    Neil Rosenbaum
    11 Jul 2014 | 6:55 am
    ADT, LLC, a home security company, must now monitor its own spokespersons’ endorsements more closely.  ADT recently settled charges by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it had misrepresented endorsements by paid spokespersons as independent product reviews from safety and technology experts.  ADT used paid spokespersons to promote its ADT Pulse Home Monitoring System, a product which allows consumers to monitor their homes and control various functions, such as turning off lights or adjusting the thermostat, remotely.  These spokespersons endorsed the product on…
  • NYC’s Supersize Soda Ban Falls Flat, But Soda Industry’s Fight Not Over

    Neil Rosenbaum
    10 Jul 2014 | 6:59 am
    New York City’s last ditch effort to save its supersize “soda ban” came up empty at the end of last month when the New York Court of Appeals held that the city health board lacked the regulatory authority to limit the sales of extra-large sugary drinks in the city.  The controversial and well-publicized “soda ban,” championed by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, attempted to limit to 16 ounces the size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants, delis, food carts, movie theaters, and sporting events in the city.  With strong opposition from soft drink manufacturers and…
 
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    Student Press Law Center

  • Want civically aware adults? Start with civically active young readers.

    Frank LoMonte
    17 Aug 2014 | 7:15 am
    What does a well-rounded civic education look like? One California group has an answer that looks remarkably like the curriculum for high school journalism. The California Task Force for K-12 Civic Learning, in a report issued Aug. 6 at the conclusion of a year-long study, declared a “crisis” in civic knowledge and participation, as measured by indicators […]
  • Defending your digital turf: What to do if a media outlet broadcasts your video without permission

    Frank LoMonte
    16 Aug 2014 | 12:26 pm
    The drop-and-drag availability of online material makes it oh-so-tempting to “borrow” a photo, video or article from the Web — even for professional media outlets that ought to be especially protective of copyright. Idaho college journalist Farzan Faramarzi understandably felt violated when, without asking, a local FOX affiliate rebroadcast a clip from his YouTube-posted video. Faramarzi […]
  • Nightly purge of Pennsylvania Department of Education emails condemned

    Dani Kass
    7 Aug 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Staff members of the Pennsylvania Department of Education “delete and cleanse” their emails each night, a policy which the state’s Office of Open Records and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association have condemned. Acting state Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq told ABC27 WHTM in Harrisburg about the policy in a story about former Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis, according to Pittsburgh’s […]
  • North Carolina congressman introduces act to exempt student workers from Affordable Care Act

    Dani Kass
    6 Aug 2014 | 11:39 am
    In the latest issue of The Report, the SPLC explored the uncertainty facing student journalists following the implementation of the the Affordable Care Act. The Act would require any employer with more than 50 full-time workers or equivalents to offer health insurance to employees who average 30 hours per week, or pay a fine, beginning in […]
  • Court: Legal challenge to campus police raid can’t proceed in secret

    Frank LoMonte
    19 Jul 2014 | 6:58 am
    If you want to pursue a misconduct claim against campus police, be prepared to do it in public, a federal district judge ruled last week. U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann of the Western District of Pennsylvania refused to entertain a “John Doe” lawsuit by six present and former Bucknell University students who say a university-approved drug […]
 
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    Digital Media Law

  • An Actor's Cautionary Tale: Cancer Diagnosis and a Drawn-Out Battle Over Residuals

    14 Aug 2014 | 12:58 pm
    Actors often complain about late residuals checks, although SAG-AFTRA has cut processing delays lately. But few stories compare to the battle waged by Alex Doe (a pseudonym), a voice actor who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and endured a 3-1/2-year residuals runaround from Warner Bros. and SAG-AFTRA that ultimately  threatened Doe's health insurance.(Residuals are royalties that are paid to actors, writers, directors and musicians when movies and TV shows are rerun or are released in other media such as DVD or the Internet. They're not small potatoes: residuals can amount to 40…
  • Review: NudeAudio Super-M and aiia SSSSSpeaker on Kickstarter

    7 Aug 2014 | 8:28 am
    Two new Bluetooth speakers offer a great reason to jet on over to Kickstarter.The NudeAudio Super-M ($99, campaign ending on August 15) offers great sound in a package thin enough to slip in a back jeans pocket. During my recent visit to the company’s South of Market offices, a head-to-head comparison showed that the unit delivered deeper bass and higher volumes without loss of fidelity than the Jambox Mini and was more rugged.NudeAudio is the same company that offers the delightful Move S, Move M (which I reviewed last year) and Move L speakers and the Studio 5 Lightning Dock with…
  • How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’

    1 Jul 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Driverless cars are on the road now – Google’s fleet has logged about 700,000 miles of autonomous driving – and the California DMV will be issuing regulations in a matter of weeks allowing self-driving cars to be sold to the public, possibly setting the regulatory pattern for the rest of the country (video). Google has predicted 2017 for first commercial availability, while Nissan and Mercedes say it will be 2020. The cars are highly complex systems whose sheer quantity of software surely exceeds the hundred million lines of source code in today’s non-autonomous vehicles. They weigh…
  • 2030 May Be The Year They’ll Take Your Driver's License Away

    18 Jun 2014 | 6:34 pm
    I was stuck in traffic yesterday, which I didn’t really mind because I have a fun little yellow convertible, and I was thinking about Uber ($17 billion! – that’s the company’s valuation, not the price of a ride) and Google’s driverless cars (development cost unknown), and I decided it was time to connect the dots: once a car learns to drive, there’s no need to own it and there’s no need for a driver. That’s because the car can come when called, take you to your destination, then go off and pick up someone else. That sounds great and I’m hardly the first to connect those…
  • New Website -- jhandel.com

    20 Apr 2014 | 11:13 am
    My new website is up at jhandel.com. It tells everything you always wanted to know (and more!) about my background and entertainment/technology law practice. Give it a look!Check out “The New Zealand Hobbit Crisis,” available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and audiobook. Visit my website (jhandel.com), follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. 
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    Laurence Kaye on Digital Media Law

  • Innovation, copyright and the role of policy

    LaurenceKaye
    28 Jul 2014 | 8:06 am
    Dear reader Thanks to my friend the 'IPKat', I was alerted to the fact that the Directorate General for Internal Market and Services of the European Commission released its Report on the 9,500 responses to the its Public Consultation on the Review of EU Copyright Rules. You'll find all your favourite topics, including copyright exceptions and harmonisation, territoriality, the workings of the 'making available' right amongst many others. In my next post, I am going to comment on the debate about whether the 'exhaustion' principle and whether it should…
  • The '3 Digital Elements' - a balanced future for copyright

    LaurenceKaye
    24 Jun 2014 | 10:44 pm
     Dear reader Things will be hotting up soon on the copyright front, with the European Commission's white paper on Copyright due at the beginning of July. In the meanwhile, I'm really pleased to welcome publication by the European Publishers Council (EPC) of its new vision paper on copyright, entitled "From Vision to Reality: Copyright Enabled on the Network" to which I was a contributor as EPC's copyright advisor. You can find a link to the Press Release, the Paper itself and an Executive Summary here. The paper has been presented to EC Vice President Michel…
  • Copyright, private copying and unlawful users - are we clear?

    LaurenceKaye
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:48 am
    Dear reader The "lawful user" is a really important person in the world of private copying. Put another way, if I am not a "lawful user", can I make private copies of copyright works under a private copying exception? This is really significant for content businesses built on online distribution. It's a pertinent question, especially as  The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014 are due to come into force very soon - June? - as one of the key changes to UK copyright law following the Hargreaves Review. A long running…
  • Copyright, fair use and the advance of culture

    LaurenceKaye
    2 Feb 2014 | 11:32 am
    Dear reader A couple of things I read today awoke me from my blogging slumber, and prompted me to post. First, I heard that the European Commission has sensibly extended the date for submitting replies to its  Consultation on EU Copyright Rules from February 2nd (which was ridiculously tight) to March 5th. The other was reading Dr Rimmer's excellent post on the fair use doctrine under US copyright law on TechDirt. The problem with a lot of the debate about copyright is that it becomes polarised. It's 'big media' vs. the 'little guy'.. It's 'closed…
  • Copyright - Of content, technology and copyright (continued)

    LaurenceKaye
    8 Dec 2013 | 9:14 am
    Dear reader I'd be sad if - as is quite possible - you hadn't noticed an absence of posts from me since October. But if you have been wondering, my humble apologies. I plead pressure of client work. Before I get into the subject matter of this post, together with my friends Hugh Jones and Florian Koempel of the Publishers Association, I'm giving a talk on Wednesday December 11 from 4-6pm at Roberts 421 LT, Roberts Building, UCL, immediately followed by a reception in Foster Court, G24, Arts faculty common room. The title is 'Tools, not rules: copyright in the digital…
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    Media Law Journal

  • Did Nicky Hager “make stuff up”?

    Steven
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:13 pm
    As many of you know, I act for Nicky Hager. I vetted his book, Dirty Politics, and the three before that. It is a surreal experience watching what happens to Nicky’s books in the days after their publication. It often seems as if the book that’s being discussed by politicians and in the media is entirely different from the one I’ve just spent weeks vetting. What’s more amazing is that politicians who admit they haven’t read the book and don’t intend to are given free rein to speak authoritatively about its content. Often they say things that are completely…
  • New book by Nicky Hager

    Steven
    10 Aug 2014 | 2:53 pm
    For those who haven’t heard, Nicky Hager has a new book coming out this week. It will be launched at Unity Books (57 Willis St) at 5pm on Wednesday. Nicky and others will start speaking at 5:15pm and the book will be made available for sale after that. All are welcome to attend.
  • I am not a bully, says Nick Smith. And if you call me one, I’ll sue you.

    Steven
    27 Jul 2014 | 8:44 pm
    Conservation Minister Nick Smith is being accused of political interference for trying to discourage NZ Fish and Game from publicly advocating for cleaner lakes and rivers. Now he’s threatening to sue those who made the claim. Now, I don’t know what happened at the meeting, and it’s clear there are different recollections of exactly what went on. But on the basis of what’s been reported, I very much doubt Nick Smith will sue. Why not? There are three main defences to a defamation action. The first is truth. Radio NZ is reporting that there are four people who were at…
  • Throwing the book at the Chief Judge II

    Steven
    9 Jul 2014 | 9:31 pm
    Former Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane also criticises the High Court order requiring Kim Dotcom to seek documents from author David Fisher under the Privacy Act so that he can turn them over to the Crown. But he takes a different tack to mine. He argues (very persuasively, I think) that these documents are not really under the power of Dotcom, even though he can request access to them, since that access is subject to a number of conditions and processes. This is pretty similar to the point Ewan Morris makes in the comments in my previous post. The proper process here would have been for…
  • Throwing the book at the Chief Judge

    Steven
    2 Jul 2014 | 8:00 pm
    News media activities are exempt from the strictures of the Privacy Act, which generally requires that people gather information directly from those concerned, explain what they’ll do with it, keep and securely, and don’t use or disclose it for unauthorised purposes. The Privacy Act also allows those affected to access information about them, and seek to correct it if it’s wrong. The media lobbied hard for exclusion from these rules, arguing that they would make the media’s task unworkable. Parliament agreed, and journalists breathed a sigh of relief. But what does…
 
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    Shear on Social Media Law

  • Online Bullies Target Robin Williams Daugther

    16 Aug 2014 | 11:31 am
    I grew up watching Robin Williams and loved his work.  When I ran into him in New York City late one night with a friend of mine about 11 years ago he was gracious and funny and even said, "nano nano".  My condolences go out to his family.  It saddened me to read in the New York Daily News that Robin Williams daughter Zelda Williams was tormented and harassed online for the sole reason she is Robin Williams daughter.  Due to disgusting and hateful things people said about her and/or her father, she stated that she will not utilize her public digital accounts…
  • Foursquare App Update Harms User Privacy

    6 Aug 2014 | 8:43 pm
    According to the Wall Street Journal, as of 8/6/2014, "users who download or update the Foursquare app will automatically let the company track their GPS coordinates any time their phone is powered on. Foursquare previously required users to give the app permission to turn on location-tracking.....Foursquare’s app goes beyond location-tracking features offered by competitors. Social apps like Twitter collect GPS coordinates to give users the option of sharing their location with friends, but don’t collect this data when the app is off."To justify Foursquare's privacy changes, founder…
  • Union Street Guest House Social Media Wedding Agreement Failure

    4 Aug 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Many companies still don't understand  social media and the viral nature of the Internet.  The latest corporate social media failure appears to have been brought to you by the hotel Union Street Guest House in Hudson, New York.According to the New York Post, the Union Street Guest House allegedly inserts into its wedding agreements the phrase:  “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event . . . and given us a deposit of any kind . . . there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review . . . placed on any…
  • U.S. Protecting Student Privacy Act Needs More Teeth

    31 Jul 2014 | 12:57 am
    The bipartisan "Protecting Student Privacy Act" was introduced yesterday by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and according to the bill's press release, it "would help safeguard the educational records of students" because, "[r]ecent changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) have allowed for increased sharing and use of student data in the private sector."  As part of the rationale behind the need for the legislation it is mentioned that, "one survey found only 25 percent of districts inform parents of their use of cloud services and 20…
  • Social Media Evidence May Determine Who Shot Down Malaysian Plane

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:37 am
    It appears that a Malaysian passenger jet may have been mistakenly shot down in the skies above territory that is in dispute between Ukraine and Russia.  USA Today is reporting that rebels who may be backed by Russia may have arms capable of downing a passenger jet that is flying 20,000+ feet in the sky.Photos of the tragedy have appeared online and it leads me to believe that the crash site may become contaminated. In this hyper-sensitive and viral world everything posted online about this tragedy is put under a microscope.  For example, American Pie actor Jason Biggs Tweet…
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