Media Law

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  • Free Speech Week: Not a Moment Too Soon

    Media & Communications Policy
    Patrick Maines
    18 Oct 2014 | 7:25 am
    With two and a half months still to go, 2014 has been one of the toughest years on record for freedom of speech in the USA. In February, for instance, two “climate change” groups collected 110,000 names on a petition they then sent to the Washington Post.  The petition demanded that the Post stop publishing “editorial content denying climate change.”  In a press release issued by one of the groups, columnists George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and the Volokh Conspiracy blog were singled out by name as “climate change deniers.” Happily, the petition went nowhere, though the Los…
  • Facebook and the News

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:41 am
    The New York Times on how Facebookers get their news.
  • California Highway Patrol Nude Photo Theft Scandal May Create Hundreds of Millions In Legal Liability

    Shear on Social Media Law
    27 Oct 2014 | 6:46 am
    The Contra Costa Times is reporting that a California Highway Patrol officer has been "accused of stealing nude photos from a DUI suspect's phone" and "that he and his fellow officers have been trading such images for years."  This behavior is not only very troubling, it may violate multiple federal and state computer theft laws and may even trigger California's revenge porn statute.  The Contra Costa Times further states, "[i]n the search warrant affidavit [for the matter], senior Contra Costa district attorney inspector Darryl Holcombe wrote that he found probable cause to show…
  • BBC Nixes Green Party Participation In Debates

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    30 Oct 2014 | 2:56 pm
    The BBC has refused to include Green Party candidates in three upcoming televised debates, on the grounds that the party does not have enough support among voters. The party has responded by launching requests that voters sign a petition on...
  • Voters and Legislators Consider Requirements for Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

    Seller Beware Blog
    Neil Rosenbaum
    29 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Food labeling is on state ballots in the West again this November.  This year, it is Oregon and Colorado after similar initiatives failed in California and Washington. Most crops and many manufactured food products in the U.S. contain modified genetic material (“GM”).  This includes 80-90% of certain foods grown in the United States, which are sometimes modified to be more tolerant of herbicides applied in the field.  There are no federal labeling requirements for foods with GM.  To the contrary, the FDA concluded in 1992 that it “had no basis for…
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    Media Law Prof Blog

  • BBC Nixes Green Party Participation In Debates

    Media Law Prof
    30 Oct 2014 | 2:56 pm
    The BBC has refused to include Green Party candidates in three upcoming televised debates, on the grounds that the party does not have enough support among voters. The party has responded by launching requests that voters sign a petition on...
  • Garcia v.Google and Related Rights

    Media Law Prof
    28 Oct 2014 | 9:49 am
    Jacob M. Victor, Yale University, Information Society Project, has published Garcia v. Google and a 'Related Rights' Alternative to Copyright in Acting Performances at 24 Yale Law Journal Forum 80 (2014). Here is the abstract. A recent Ninth Circuit case,...
  • EU Copyright Law and Private Copying

    Media Law Prof
    28 Oct 2014 | 9:45 am
    João Pedro Quintais, University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law (IViR), and University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, is publishing Private Copying and Downloading from Unlawful Sources in the International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (2015). Here...
  • Ebola and the 'Net

    Media Law Prof
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:45 am
    Where do you get your information about Ebola? According to the New York Times' Noam Cohen, if you are like a lot of U.S. readers, you turn to the World Health Organization, WebMD, and Wikipedia. Wikipedia? Well, says one physician...
  • Facebook and the News

    Media Law Prof
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:41 am
    The New York Times on how Facebookers get their news.
 
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    Seller Beware Blog

  • Voters and Legislators Consider Requirements for Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

    Neil Rosenbaum
    29 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Food labeling is on state ballots in the West again this November.  This year, it is Oregon and Colorado after similar initiatives failed in California and Washington. Most crops and many manufactured food products in the U.S. contain modified genetic material (“GM”).  This includes 80-90% of certain foods grown in the United States, which are sometimes modified to be more tolerant of herbicides applied in the field.  There are no federal labeling requirements for foods with GM.  To the contrary, the FDA concluded in 1992 that it “had no basis for…
  • FTC Alleges Bitcoin-Mining Ads Were More Than a Bit Misleading

    Neil Rosenbaum
    15 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    On September 23, a federal court in Missouri granted a Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) request to freeze the assets of Butterfly Labs, a company specializing in Bitcoin-mining computers.  “Bitcoin mining” is the use of a particular type of computer software to solve difficult math problems that require significant processing power, which results in issuance of “Bitcoins” or virtual, software-based currency.   According to the FTC, Butterfly Labs marketed its products and services mainly through online advertising, touting the power of its computer equipment and the…
  • Fashion Faux Pas? Lawsuits Challenge Pricing and Practices at Outlet Stores

    Neil Rosenbaum
    8 Oct 2014 | 10:21 am
    Even in the age of online shopping, outlet malls and brick-and-mortar factory stores have remained hot shopping destinations and successful options for luxury and mainstream designers alike.  But several major retailers—including Nordstrom, Michael Kors, and The Gap—have recently been hit with class action lawsuits alleging that they employ deceptive and misleading practices at their retail outlet and factory store locations.  We’ve counted eleven such class action lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts in California and New York since July of this year. The…
  • FTC's Robinson-Patman Act Guidance: Updated but Mostly Unchanged

    Neil Rosenbaum
    6 Oct 2014 | 8:23 am
    On September 29, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission published updates to its “Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services” (also known as the Fred Meyer Guides, in honor of the Supreme Court case that prompted the Commission to issue them).  The Guides are non-binding guidelines designed to help businesses comply with Sections 2(d) and 2(e) of the Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibit businesses from discriminating among competing retailers when offering payments or services to promote the resale of products.  Although the Commission has not…
  • FTC Operation Full Disclosure: Mission Possible

    Neil Rosenbaum
    2 Oct 2014 | 6:44 am
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receives information about consumer protection issues from various sources, from consumer and competitor complaints, to referrals from states and self-regulatory bodies, to the agency’s own monitoring initiatives.  It was the latter -- named Operation Full Disclosure -- that resulted in the FTC sending warning letters to over 60 companies about their advertising disclosure practices.  Although the FTC didn’t name names, it did say that among the recipients were 20 of the top 100 advertisers and advertisers of a wide range of products and…
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    Media & Communications Policy

  • Free Speech Week: Not a Moment Too Soon

    Patrick Maines
    18 Oct 2014 | 7:25 am
    With two and a half months still to go, 2014 has been one of the toughest years on record for freedom of speech in the USA. In February, for instance, two “climate change” groups collected 110,000 names on a petition they then sent to the Washington Post.  The petition demanded that the Post stop publishing “editorial content denying climate change.”  In a press release issued by one of the groups, columnists George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and the Volokh Conspiracy blog were singled out by name as “climate change deniers.” Happily, the petition went nowhere, though the Los…
  • ‘Freedom From Speech’

    Patrick Maines
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Evidence that the human race is not yet won, as a former colleague used to say, is coming in the windows.  From murder in the name of religion, to widespread crime, greed, and violence, to the bottoming of popular culture, it’s pretty clear that this is not mankind’s finest hour.  But enough about mankind, generally speaking. The subject of today’s tutorial is that little slice of homo erectus living in the USA, and practicing the politics of proto-fascism.  And who are such people, you wonder?  Well, they’re to be found among  activists, journalists, college professors;…
  • ProPublica and the Problem With Journalism

    Patrick Maines
    21 Aug 2014 | 12:34 pm
    It’s symptomatic of the syndrome: So many people who presume to speak for and about journalism’s shortcomings misdiagnose both the problem and its solutions.  So it is that individuals of a certain mindset promote the idea that “corporate influence” is a problem, and nonprofit media are an answer. One of the most prominent purveyors of the wrong stuff is the Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, the nonprofit “newsroom” that produces investigative journalism “in the public interest.” ProPublica has received funding from such birds of a feather as George Soros and the Knight…
  • The Udall Amendment: When Politics Mean More Than the Constitution

    Patrick Maines
    14 Jul 2014 | 6:22 am
    It came as no surprise when, in June, Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and 41 other U.S. senators, Democrats all, proposed a campaign finance amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, Democrats and their surrogates in the media and allied advocacy groups, worried that the case would work to their political disadvantage, have been on a mission to find some way around it. So what’s the amendment all about?  S.J. Resolution 19, as it’s called, proposes to allow Congress to regulate contributions to candidates for federal office, and to extend…
  • Dropping George Will Is a Bad Way To Arrest That Subscriber Decline, Post-Dispatch

    Patrick Maines
    10 Jul 2014 | 11:01 am
    Even as such things are becoming commonplace, the sacking of George Will’s syndicated column by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sets a new low in mainstream journalism’s race to the bottom. In case you’re unfamiliar with the situation, Will wrote a piece (“Colleges become the victims of progressivism”) in which he ridiculed, in the context of a new Education Department mandate, some phony math and dubious cases being cited to demonstrate that America suffers from a rape epidemic. Will’s larger point was that the DOE mandate threatens the loss of federal funding to colleges that do not…
 
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    media law news - Google News

  • Changes made to self-defense, firearm, social media laws - KOCO Oklahoma City

    30 Oct 2014 | 11:29 am
    KOCO Oklahoma CityChanges made to self-defense, firearm, social media lawsKOCO Oklahoma CityIn addition, instructors will need to hang on to training course rosters, safety test scores and types of weapons used to qualify. Another law restricts employers from accessing their employees social media accounts. But employees are still required to
  • Sabbatella says telecoms reform will 'not change a single comma' of Media Law - Buenos Aires Herald

    30 Oct 2014 | 7:26 am
    Sabbatella says telecoms reform will 'not change a single comma' of Media LawBuenos Aires HeraldThe president of AFSCA media watchdog Martín Sabbatella has rejected claims that the bill drafted by the Executive to reform the country's telecommunications implies substantial changes to the Media Law as it opens the possibility for providers to sell
  • Mass Media Law - further limitations on foreign investment will trigger ... - Lexology (registration)

    29 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Mass Media Law - further limitations on foreign investment will trigger Lexology (registration)Currently the Russian Mass Media Law (Law No. 2124-1 “On Mass Media” dated 27 December 1991) prohibits foreign investors – including Russian companies with at least 50% foreign participation and Russian citizens with dual citizenship – from ...
  • Draft Law Guarantees Media Freedom - AllAfrica.com

    29 Oct 2014 | 8:06 am
    Draft Law Guarantees Media FreedomAllAfrica.comTHE final Draft Constitution released to Parliament has guaranteed freedom and independence of the media. According to part five, sub-section 36 (2), the State shall not control or interfere with any person engaged in broadcasting or production and ...and more »
  • Email Defense - Santa Fe Reporter

    27 Oct 2014 | 4:25 pm
    Santa Fe ReporterEmail DefenseSanta Fe ReporterOne of the defendants in a lawsuit over leaked e-mails involving governor's office staffers is using legal precedent for First Amendment rights to make his case. Michael Corwin, the former head of the now defunct Independent Source PAC (ISPAC), is
 
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    Digital Media Law

  • 'Citizenfour' Review: Quiet Moments in a Hong Kong Hotel Room as Edward Snowden, Journalists Fight to Save Democracy

    24 Oct 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Hong Kong has been ground zero this year in the fight for freedom, with students and Occupy leaders battling police for control of the streets in a desperate campaign to maintain the Chinese territory’s relative autonomy from erosion by the central Beijing government.But the city hosted much quieter freedom fighters a year earlier, not on the streets but in the confines of an international hotel room. When journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentary film maker / journalist Laura Poitras responded to emails from an intelligence community member who identified himself at first only as…
  • 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…
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    Laurence Kaye on Digital Media Law

  • A Torrent of Copyright Infringement

    LaurenceKaye
    26 Oct 2014 | 3:54 am
    Dear reader Back in the day - well, around 1998 to 2001 when the E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC and the  InfoSoc (aka Copyright) Directive 2001/29/EC were being negotiated almost in parallel - a lot of time was spent discussing the role of intermediaries such as ISPs in tackling online infringement. The core challenge was balancing a 'hosting immunity' under Article 14 of the E-Commerce Directive with the need for intermediaries to play an effective role in dealing with online infringement hosted on or accessed via their servers. The outcome was Article 14 of the…
  • 10 Principles of Digital Media

    LaurenceKaye
    8 Oct 2014 | 10:07 am
    Dear reader Occasionally, it's good to stand back and try and identify recurring themes amidst the flux and change taking place in the media and creative industries. With that in mind, I'd like to share what I've grandiosely called my '10 Principles of Digital Media'. Here they are. 1. Re-think, not re-invent, the wheel: The core principles and values on which the creative industries are built remain valid in the digital age. But they need to be re-interpreted and applied to meet the demands of an 'always on' world. 2.Design for loss of control: This phrase…
  • Has Copyright Any Future Role in a World of Disruptive Publishing?

    LaurenceKaye
    29 Sep 2014 | 12:32 pm
     Dear reader I remember taking part in a debate at 'Cyberia', one of the first Internet cafes - remember them? - in 1994 about whether the Internet was killing copyright or making it redundant. As I recall, the score was one all. Votes for copyright disappearing down a black hole in Cyberspace were balanced by those in support of a photographer who saw the new medium as an exciting way to market his photographs to a global audience and get paid for it and that copyright was integral to those transactions. Fast forward 20 years and I'm looking forward to taking part in a…
  • 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…
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    Media Law Journal

  • The blogger and the journalist

    Steven
    27 Oct 2014 | 5:13 pm
    The Whale certainly created a splash in the last election. More accurately, it was investigative journalist Nicky Hager and his book Dirty Politics that created the splash. The Whale – controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and his Whale Oil blog, whose emails were leaked to Mr Hager – copped most of the spray. (I should disclose that I act for Nicky Hager). But Mr Slater has also been making life busy for the courts. In recent months, he has been at the forefront of two significant High Court cases. In the first, he argued that he was a journalist, and should not be required to…
  • Broadcasting Standards issue

    Steven
    2 Oct 2014 | 7:34 pm
    I wonder when the Broadcasting Standards Authority are going to tell us that one of the BSA board members quit a couple of weeks ago. That hasn’t come out yet, has it? A member of the BSA has up and walked. They haven’t mentioned that one yet, have they? (Some might say that I have just made an unqualified factual assertion that a member of the BSA resigned. Not the BSA, though! They said a statement just like this one, by Martin Devlin on Radio Sport, was pure speculation and gossip, and therefore not subject to the accuracy standard. So even though it turned out to be…
  • Web hosts’ defamation liability restricted

    Steven
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:03 pm
    In a significant Court of Appeal decision (see Murray v Wishart), hot off the press, the judges have unanimously ruled that a third party publisher (the owner of a Facebook page that contained comments by others) was not liable for other people’s comments simply because he “ought to have known” that they contain defamatory material (even if he didn’t actually know of the content of the comments). So hosts of Facebook pages will only be liable for defamation of posters’ comments if (a) they actually knew about the comments and (b) failed to remove them in a…
  • Some questions for the PM

    Steven
    14 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    I’m struggling to find the provisions in NZ’s policy about the classification of documents that allow the PM to declassify documents for the purpose of protecting his reputation (his word, not mine, on Morning Report this morning). Perhaps the PM could help me out here. The PM has said he would declassify documents to prove he stopped a mass surveillance proposal, in response to criticisms by journalist Glenn Greenwald (and, it seems, whistleblower Edward Snowden). A few other questions spring to mind: Why were these documents classified in the first place, and who by? What was…
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (3)?

    Steven
    13 Sep 2014 | 11:26 pm
    Yes. Yes, he is. The High Court says so, as Whale Oil points out triumphantly. Like the good journalist he is, he even shows us the evidence: para 145 of Justice Asher’s judgment. Mr Slater then goes on to demonstrate his journalistic chops by entirely failing to report the rest of the judgment. That includes the part where the judge says the material in his posts was “extreme and vindictive” and bore “the hallmarks of a private feud”, was not of any public interest , and was probably unlawfully obtained. He also omits the judge’s conclusion that he…
 
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    Shear on Social Media Law

  • California Highway Patrol Nude Photo Theft Scandal May Create Hundreds of Millions In Legal Liability

    27 Oct 2014 | 6:46 am
    The Contra Costa Times is reporting that a California Highway Patrol officer has been "accused of stealing nude photos from a DUI suspect's phone" and "that he and his fellow officers have been trading such images for years."  This behavior is not only very troubling, it may violate multiple federal and state computer theft laws and may even trigger California's revenge porn statute.  The Contra Costa Times further states, "[i]n the search warrant affidavit [for the matter], senior Contra Costa district attorney inspector Darryl Holcombe wrote that he found probable cause to show…
  • TV Show Scandal Sex Tape Episode and Sextortion

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:52 am
    The TV show Scandal contains the type of story lines needed for a successful television program:  sex, scandals, beautiful people, politics, power, money, etc....  According to Wikipedia, the plot centers around, "Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) [who] is a former White House Communications Director for the President of the United States who has left to start her own crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates. Olivia has decided to dedicate her life to protecting the public images of the nation's elite but is finding that no matter how hard she tries, she cannot…
  • Will The FTC Soon Investigate Whisper For Deceptive Privacy Promises?

    16 Oct 2014 | 6:47 pm
    Will the Federal Trade Commission soon investigate the app Whisper for false and misleading privacy promises?  The Guardian recently reported some very troubling allegations about Whisper that if true lead me to believe that the app may soon be contacted by the Federal Trade Commission to fully explain the matter.According to The Guardian, Whisper "is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed."  This may be a violation of Article 5 of the FTC Act regarding unfair and deceptive trade…
  • United Kingdom To Criminalize Revenge Porn

    13 Oct 2014 | 6:45 am
    Revenge porn has been universally described as the distribution of private sexual images of a person without their consent with the intention of causing harm.  Holding those accountable who are behind revenge porn has picked up steam over the past several years.  For example, earlier this year the person referred to as the Revenge Porn King was indicted on federal charges stemming from his now defunct website, isanyoneup.com.  In addition, multiple states across the U.S. such as Maryland have enacted laws to punish those behind this troubling behavior.While posting naked photos…
  • Significant Tech Players Absent from Student Privacy Pledge

    7 Oct 2014 | 11:22 am
    According to The New York Times, the enactment of a new California student privacy law  (SB 1177) that restricts how "education technology companies can use the information they collect about elementary through high school students" has led "a group of leading industry players...[to] pledg[e] to adopt similar data protections nationwide."  Some of the companies that have agreed to sign the pledge include: Amplify, Edmodo, Houghton Miflin Harcourt, and Microsoft.The Pledge is a positive step in the right direction.  Representatives Jared Polis of Colorado and Luke Messer of…
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