Media Law

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  • Berlusconi To Serve a Year of Community Service Rather Than Prison Time

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:21 am
    A Milanese court has agreed that Silvio Berlusconi may serve a year of community service in lieu of four years in prison because of his age. The former Italian Prime Minister and owner of a media empire had been sentenced...
  • Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Some Federal Courts Post Audio Recordings Online

    Digital Media Law Project
    Eric P. Robinson
    17 Apr 2014 | 10:48 am
    While the propriety of video and photography equipment in federal courts is subject of ongoing debate and testing, a number of federal bankruptcy courts and three federal district courts make audio recordings of their proceedings available to the public for a nominal fee. In his article for The New York Times "Room for Debate" feature on whether courts should eliminate human court reporters (spurred by the chaos caused by the recent resignation of a drug-addicted court reporter in New York), U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Kopf casually mentions that proceedings in his court in…
  • First in Flight, Tops in Tech, Ascendant in UAS: Drones and North Carolina

    Newsroom Law Blog
    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…
  • Representatives Introduce Bill Focusing on Genetically-Engineered Foods

    Seller Beware Blog
    Neil Rosenbaum
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:16 pm
    US Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) joined with Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Marsh Blackburn (R-TN), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) in introducing H.R. 4432, the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”:  a bill to provide a unified, federal response to questions about labeling requirements for genetically-engineered foods and food ingredients (GEs).  GEs are present in about 80 percent of the food in the United States.  The bill has the support of major players in the agriculture, food, and biotech industries, who maintain that GEs are beneficial to…
  • The WAPO/Koch Brothers/Keystone XL Pipeline Affair

    Media & Communications Policy
    Patrick Maines
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:50 am
    The recent Washington Post story linking the Koch brothers to the Keystone XL Pipeline, via their leaseholds on acreage in the Alberta, Canada, tar sands, is interesting because of what was said in the piece, and because of what its critics have said about it.  But mostly it’s interesting because it’s the kind of flap whose resolution will be an early indication of the kind of editorial product Jeff Bezos wants to own. In a nutshell, the Post piece, co-authored by reporters Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin, ID’d the Koch brothers as “the biggest lease holders in Canada’s tar…
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    Media Law Prof Blog

  • Berlusconi To Serve a Year of Community Service Rather Than Prison Time

    Media Law Prof
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:21 am
    A Milanese court has agreed that Silvio Berlusconi may serve a year of community service in lieu of four years in prison because of his age. The former Italian Prime Minister and owner of a media empire had been sentenced...
  • Pulitzer Prize Board Announces Winners For 2014

    Media Law Prof
    14 Apr 2014 | 12:31 pm
    The Pulitzer Prize Board has named its winners for 2014. On the list: The Guardian US and the Washington Post won for public service, for coverage of the Edward Snowden story, the Boston Globe won the breaking news prize for...
  • D.C. Magistrate Judge Asks EFF, Feds For Further Assistance With Technical Issues In Cell Phone Disclosure Case

    Media Law Prof
    14 Apr 2014 | 10:27 am
    U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola has asked the Electronic Frontier Foundation to serve as amicus curiae in a case involving the federal government's request for the disclosure of historic cell site location information (CLSI). The judge noted that nearly 90...
  • Anti-Stalking Legislation In the UK

    Media Law Prof
    14 Apr 2014 | 8:55 am
    Robin Callender Smith, University of London, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law, has published Protection of Harassment Act 1997: From Anti-Stalking Crimes to Celebrity Privacy Remedies, at 5 Queen Mary Law Journal 23 (Spring 2014). Here is the abstract. Anti-stalking legislation...
  • Al-Jazeera Restructuring, Laying Off Employees

    Media Law Prof
    14 Apr 2014 | 8:50 am
    From the Hollywood Reporter: Al-Jazeera America, launched last year, is laying off "dozens" of employees, mostly, it says, due to reorganzation. The network, in partnership with Time Warner Cable, is available in millions of US homes. More here on the...
 
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    Digital Media Law Project

  • Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Some Federal Courts Post Audio Recordings Online

    Eric P. Robinson
    17 Apr 2014 | 10:48 am
    While the propriety of video and photography equipment in federal courts is subject of ongoing debate and testing, a number of federal bankruptcy courts and three federal district courts make audio recordings of their proceedings available to the public for a nominal fee. In his article for The New York Times "Room for Debate" feature on whether courts should eliminate human court reporters (spurred by the chaos caused by the recent resignation of a drug-addicted court reporter in New York), U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Kopf casually mentions that proceedings in his court in…
  • Service and Research at the Frontier of Media Law

    Jeff Hermes
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:46 am
    Earlier today the Digital Media Law Project released a new report, The Legal Needs of Emerging Online Media: The Online Media Legal Network after 500 Referrals. This report explores the large  body of data that we have gathered over four years of operating the DMLP's free nationwide attorney referral service for journalists, the Online Media Legal Network. Using this data, we have been able to identify notable patterns and trends in the legal needs of a substantial cross-section of the digital journalism ecosystem.  You can read the executive summary of the report here. I am particularly…
  • The Legal Needs of Emerging Online Media: The Online Media Legal Network after 500 Referrals

    DMLP Staff
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:45 am
    The Digital Media Law Project is pleased to announce the release of its report, The Legal Needs of Emerging Online Media: The Online Media Legal Network after 500 Referrals. Executive Summary Since December 2009, the DMLP has operated the Online Media Legal Network, a free attorney referral service for independent, online journalists and journalism organizations. The OMLN has served as a fundamental part of the legal support structure for online journalism, assisting more than 260 clients with over 500 separate legal matters. As a result of that experience, the DMLP has been in a unique…
  • DMLP Announcement: Live Chat Session on Tax-Exempt Journalism (UPDATED)

    DMLP Staff
    7 Apr 2014 | 9:41 am
    UPDATE: The chat session scheduled for April 10, 2014 has been postponed.  We hope to have a rescheduled date soon, so please stay tuned. This Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET, the Digital Media Law Project will be holding a live online session to discuss the legal environment for tax-exempt journalism in the United States. DMLP attorneys Jeff Hermes and Andy Sellars will review their experiences in helping journalism nonprofits seeking Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS, as well as new DMLP resources for news organizations thinking about applying for a tax exemption.
  • Naffe v. Frey

    DMLP Staff
    31 Mar 2014 | 1:18 pm
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    Newsroom Law Blog

  • 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…
  • DOJ Leak Investigations Raise First Amendment Concerns

    Tim Nelson
    6 Jun 2013 | 7:06 am
    Many journalists, constitutional lawyers, and plain old average Americans have expressed alarm at recent revelations about the Obama Administration’s “unprecedented number of leak investigations.”  Perhaps most notably, James Goodale, who represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, has argued that the President is on his way to surpassing Richard Nixon as “the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.” Of primary concern appears to be the Justice Department’s investigation of Fox News reporter James…
  • Supreme Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Virginia Public Records Law

    Charles Coble
    29 Apr 2013 | 2:53 pm
    In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Alito, the U.S. Supreme Court today turned away a constitutional challenge to residency requirement of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.  As we previously reported, the Court granted certiorari in a case brought by non-Virginians challenging that requirement under the Privileges and Immunities Clause and the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The Court's decision today affirmed a ruling by Fourth Circuit. Under Section 2.2-3704(A) of the Virginia FOIA statute, all public records shall be open to inspection and…
  • Kozinski Concurrence Questions Anti-SLAPP Application

    Eric David
    24 Apr 2013 | 8:30 am
    We wroterecently about Sherrod v. Breitbart and O’Connor, the case argued last month in the D.C. Circuit that asks the Court to decide, among other questions, whether the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute should be applied in federal court. The federal courts of appeals that have analyzed this question have all agreed that state anti-SLAPP statutes should be applied—at least to some degree—in federal court.  Those cases point to the Ninth Circuit’s 1999 decision in Newsham v. Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., in which the Court held that…
 
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    Seller Beware Blog

  • Representatives Introduce Bill Focusing on Genetically-Engineered Foods

    Neil Rosenbaum
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:16 pm
    US Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) joined with Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Marsh Blackburn (R-TN), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) in introducing H.R. 4432, the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”:  a bill to provide a unified, federal response to questions about labeling requirements for genetically-engineered foods and food ingredients (GEs).  GEs are present in about 80 percent of the food in the United States.  The bill has the support of major players in the agriculture, food, and biotech industries, who maintain that GEs are beneficial to…
  • So Far, So Good for Washington’s Green Chemistry Law

    Matthew Shultz
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Manufacturers appear to be complying with Washington State’s reporting rule for toxic chemicals under its Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA).  The Washington Department of Ecology announced this week that spot testing of more than 200 children’s products sold in Washington in 2012 and 2013 shows that most manufacturers are following the law.  But Ecology’s next report may not be so rosy because the regulations did not apply to many smaller manufacturers who appear to have trouble eliminating toxics from their children’s products. The CSPA limits the amount of…
  • Airlines Defeat Rabbi in Supreme Court Battle Over Frequent Flyer Miles

    Neil Rosenbaum
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Not even a Higher Power could save a rabbi’s frequent flyer miles from the High Court. In 2008, Northwest cancelled Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg’s frequent flier account, relying on a provision in the program permitting Northwest to cancel an account “in its sole judgment” if the customer abused the program.  The airline contended that Rabbi Ginsberg abused the program by calling the office 24 times to complain, and that he had been awarded $1,925 in travel vouchers, 78,500 bonus miles, a voucher extension for his son, and $491 in cash reimbursements.  In response, Rabbi…
  • Supreme Court Inks Decision Regarding Who May Bring Lanham Claims

    Neil Rosenbaum
    4 Apr 2014 | 10:45 am
    Last week, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court clarified the standard for who may bring claims pursuant to Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. The case began when Lexmark, a manufacturer and retailer of printers and toner cartridges, sued Static Control, a company that makes and sells components for use in remanufacturing toner cartridges, alleging claims under the Copyright Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Static Control counterclaimed, asserting that Lexmark had engaged in false advertising by including on the packaging for its printers a notice regarding its…
  • Are Websites Public Accommodations?

    Neil Rosenbaum
    2 Apr 2014 | 11:50 am
    Most people take for granted the 24/7 availability of information, products, and services online. Businesses can interact with their customers no matter where they -- the business or the customer -- may be. This very capability has led many businesses, both old and new, to eliminate physical stores or locations or offices entirely, moving their entire customer interface online. For individuals with disabilities, such as a person who is blind or with low vision or a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, this shift may not necessarily provide the same benefits if the websites fail to provide…
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    Media & Communications Policy

  • The WAPO/Koch Brothers/Keystone XL Pipeline Affair

    Patrick Maines
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:50 am
    The recent Washington Post story linking the Koch brothers to the Keystone XL Pipeline, via their leaseholds on acreage in the Alberta, Canada, tar sands, is interesting because of what was said in the piece, and because of what its critics have said about it.  But mostly it’s interesting because it’s the kind of flap whose resolution will be an early indication of the kind of editorial product Jeff Bezos wants to own. In a nutshell, the Post piece, co-authored by reporters Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin, ID’d the Koch brothers as “the biggest lease holders in Canada’s tar…
  • Orts and All

    Patrick Maines
    27 Mar 2014 | 9:14 am
    Facebook Buys the Oculus Rift As mentioned here a few months ago, the video game trade press has been wildly enthusiastic about the development of the VR headset called Oculus Rift.  And why not?  By all reports the OR headset is a significant leap forward in its immersive qualities, thereby providing a more life-like environment. But there’s a difference between the creation of ever more realistic video games, on the one hand, and the kind of widespread societal change that VR’s enthusiasts predict.  Before VR can affect the way we live, work, and interact, many things will have to…
  • Global Warming and the Chilling of Free Speech

    Patrick Maines
    26 Feb 2014 | 7:53 am
    One of the most important, if underreported, defamation cases in recent memory is being mounted by Prof. Michael Mann.  The creator of the controversial “Hockey Stick” graph, Mann is a leading figure among “global warming” scientists, and the targets of his lawsuit are prominent conservatives – the writer Mark Steyn, National Review magazine, the public policy outfit Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and a person who wrote for a CEI publication. The gravamen of Mann’s suit is that the defendants defamed him by their published comments.  As an example, CEI stated in its…
  • Keeping It Real: The Oculus Rift and Virtual Reality

    Patrick Maines
    28 Jan 2014 | 7:20 am
    In January of this year came news, to excited reviews in gaming publications, of the imminent release of a new Virtual Reality headset called Oculus Rift.  As a headline in a British newspaper put it: “Virtual reality just got real: Could the Oculus Rift change the way we play, work and learn? The short answer to that question is no.  The Oculus Rift will not, by itself, have that impact, but Virtual Reality, writ large, perhaps could.  The point is that it’s going to take a lot more than sophisticated display gear to do the trick. In the terrific book Infinite Reality, published just…
  • Net Neutrality Decision: A Welcome Development

    Patrick Maines
    15 Jan 2014 | 9:57 am
    Tuesday’s decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, striking down the FCC’s so-called “net neutrality” regulations, is a welcome development.  As noted by many, these regulations amount to a solution in search of a problem, with the only lasting and real-world effects being the creation of the precedent of governmental oversight of the previously unregulated Internet. Moreover, and as argued in this space a little over a year ago, there is an international dimension to net neutrality, as the existence of these regulations in the U.S.A. advances the agendas of…
 
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    Student Press Law Center

  • A constitutional right to leggings and long hair? When are school dress codes unfashionable?

    Frank LoMonte
    16 Apr 2014 | 2:43 pm
    Momentous advances in free-speech law don’t always involve historic acts of journalistic courage. Sometimes they start with something as tiny as a kid who doesn’t want a haircut. That’s what led a Chicago-based federal appeals court to conclude that it can be unlawful gender discrimination to make male high-school athletes, but not female ones, wear […]
  • Mary Beth Tinker and Mike Hiestand honored with First Amendment award for Tinker Tour

    Sara Gregory
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:41 am
    Exciting news today for Mary Beth Tinker and Mike Hiestand, who are among the recipients of this year’s Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards. Tinker and Hiestand were recognized for their work organizing and launching the Tinker Tour, which by May 1 will have covered 31 states and the District of Columbia. Last fall, the […]
  • Schools and administrators among those “honored” by Jefferson Muzzle awards

    Sara Gregory
    9 Apr 2014 | 5:23 pm
    The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is out with its 2014 Jefferson Muzzles, the annual award it presents to those that “forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost.’” As usual, quite a few schools and administrators were recognized with awards. Among the honorees: […]
  • Q&A: Student who coordinated efforts to reinstate high school production of ‘Rent’

    Casey McDermott
    28 Mar 2014 | 1:54 pm
    At SPLC, we often call attention to expression issues as they relate to student media. But the cast and crew of Trumbull High School’s spring musical demonstrated this year that free expression is a powerful tool for all students, not just journalists. When Larissa Mark and her peers found out last August that their high […]
  • Helpful reminder: Journalists don’t have a special right to break the law

    Sara Gregory
    26 Mar 2014 | 1:30 pm
    The two CNN journalists who were arrested Tuesday for trespassing on the World Trade Center site illustrate a recurring theme in journalism — one that student journalists struggle with, too. In the video below, attorney Adam Goldstein explains where journalists can — and can’t — go legally:
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    Digital Media Law

  • 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. 
  • Aereo to Face Uphill Battle in Supreme Court Next Week, Experts Say (analysis)

    15 Apr 2014 | 9:36 am
    Next week’s Supreme Court argument will be difficult for cable-competitor Aereo, legal experts agree, as the company faces off against not just broadcasters but also the influential U.S. Solicitor General’s office and the Copyright Office. While it will be a tough fight for the company, the case is so complex and the copyright and communications statutes so intricate that one advocate said the decision could end up as lopsided as 7-1 – in either direction.The only expert willing to offer a prediction, Akin Gump’s Pratik Shah, said “I think a majority of the Court will be skeptical…
  • Joan Rivers Faces Potential Fine, Expulsion in WGA East Trial (Analysis)

    15 Jul 2013 | 11:01 am
    The penalties could be severe – but Rivers may have some unexpected defenses.With the WGA East sending Joan Rivers off to a trial board for alleged violations related to Fashion Police, the star will be facing what’s likely to be a tough tribunal – and a fine that could be as high as all the money she’s made on the hit show in the last year, plus expulsion from the union.What’s more, she may have to face her accusers without an attorney present. The WGAE rules say that a member at a trial board “may be represented by a Current member in good standing,” but there’s no provision…
  • How Talent Loses if Aereo Wins

    24 Apr 2013 | 5:46 pm
    Follow the money and discover an unstated reason the Hollywood unions weighed in with briefs opposing the new service. Several weeks ago, Fox, PBS and several other companies were hit with a 2-1 federal court of appeals ruling rebuffing their attempt to shut down Aereo, a new service backed by Barry Diller. Last week, they filed a petition for a rehearing en banc, in which all thirteen judges of the New York based court would rehear the case and potentially reverse the ruling, resulting in the preliminary injunction that the networks seek while the matter goes to trial.Interestingly the…
  • New book - Entertainment Labor: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography

    1 Apr 2013 | 6:59 pm
    A must-have for academics, union staff and attorneys working in entertainment labor, ENTERTAINMENT LABOR: An Interdisciplinary Bibliographyis a 345 page annotated bibliography of over 1,500 books, articles, dissertations, legal cases and other resources dealing with entertainment unions and guilds and various other aspects of entertainment labor.The book is the product of hundreds of hours of research and of compilation of search results from almost twenty databases.Also included are: * Annotations (where necessary to explain the relevance of the book or article)* Capsule descriptions of…
 
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    Laurence Kaye on Digital Media Law

  • 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…
  • Of content, technology and copyright

    LaurenceKaye
    6 Oct 2013 | 2:33 pm
    Dear reader I hope you enjoyed the weekend. We had a walk on the glorious Ashridge Estate today. Highly recommended; good for mind, body of spirit. Talking of which, I'm off tomorrow to the Frankfurt Book Fair. I'm chairing a session on Tuesday at 10:40 'CONTEC' (yes, Content + Technology), on 'Reader rights: exhaustion (of the legal v. physical kind) and digital re-sale'. I have a great panel so if you're there, do drop by. I also recently penned a piece for 'CREATe' on that favourite chestnut, "Is the current copyright framework fit for…
  • Hi again - have a cookie

    LaurenceKaye
    22 Sep 2013 | 12:40 pm
    Dear reader If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed a slight gap since my last post - July 31st to be precise. That's not good. But I do have some justification. And it wasn't just due to the lovely weather over the summer, when a cool glass of white wine took precedence too easily over another post. I've also been busy, along with my colleagues Mailin and Sherif, integrating my law practice into its new home at national law  Shoosmiths which, I'm pleased to say, has gone really well. Apart from having found some great colleagues to work with, I've…
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    Media Law Journal

  • The news according to Mike Hosking

    Steven
    2 Apr 2014 | 8:32 pm
    I was watching Seven Sharp on Tuesday, and caught Mike Hosking’s closing monologue: Bad news. I’m afraid the IPCC – the International Panel on Climate Change – has issued its latest report. It’s 2,600 pages long and spans 32 volumes. But I can sum it up for you. Ah, we’re stuffed. The seas are rising, the storms are coming, the locusts are close, we are going to climatic hell in a handcart. That’s of course, if you believe them. Which, as it turns out, I don’t.  Twenty years ago they said we had 20 years to turn things around. We haven’t. The Kyoto Protocol was a…
  • Post at your own risk!

    Steven
    12 Feb 2014 | 12:41 pm
    An interesting warning from the Northern Ireland High Court: Before I go on … I should say that anyone who uses Facebook does so at his or her peril. There is no guarantee that any comments posted to be viewed by friends will only be seen by those friends. Furthermore it is difficult to see how information can remain confidential if a Facebook user shares it with all his friends and yet no control is placed on the further dissemination of that information by those friends.
  • Harmful Digital Communications Bill submission

    Steven
    10 Feb 2014 | 3:57 pm
    Introduction I am a barrister specialising in media law and a lecturer in media and privacy law at Victoria University of Wellington’s law school. I am also a blogger and occasional journalist. I am the author of a textbook for journalists called “Media Minefield”. I have dealt with, studied, and commented on many cases involving harmful digital communications. I support this Bill, and particularly the provisions creating a new complaints regime. In the first part of this submission, I explain why. In the second part, I suggest some changes. In the third part, I make some…
  • Constitution, reviewed

    Steven
    4 Dec 2013 | 6:46 pm
    To all those people who insistend that the government’s constitutional consideration was a stalking horse for formally entrenching the Treaty of Waitangi and racial bias into our constitution: time to start wiping the egg off your face. I’m looking at you, Chris Trotter and Winston Peters and John Ansell and the folk at the Independent Constitutional Review. And please don’t pretend that it was only your brave voices that stopped the constitutional advisory panel from recommending it. It was never on the cards.
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist?

    Steven
    30 Nov 2013 | 9:53 pm
    More specifically, is Cameron Slater entitled to the same privilege to protect sources that other journalists have? As the NZ Herald reports, the owner/operator/author of NZ’s most widely read blog is being sued for defamation. The plaintiff has formally asked him whether he knows the name of his source. (You might have thought that the answer to this might simply be “yes”. But I guess there’s an obvious follow-up). Slater has refused to answer on the grounds that he is a journalist, writing for a news medium, and therefore does not need to reveal his source. This…
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    Shear on Social Media Law

  • Kentucky Takes the Lead To Protect Student Privacy in the Digital Age

    10 Apr 2014 | 2:58 pm
    According to WHAS11.com in Kentucky, HB 232 was signed into law today by Governor Steve Beshear.  This new law states "[a] cloud computing service provider shall not in any case process student data to advertise or facilitate advertising or to create or correct an individual or household profile for any advertisement purpose, and shall not sell, disclose, or otherwise process student data for any commercial purpose."  In a nutshell, the new law bans school vendors who provide cloud based services from data mining student digital communications for advertising purposes.  HB 232…
  • Facebook Insult About Islam May Lead To Execution in Iran

    5 Apr 2014 | 11:22 am
    Be careful about what you say online.  For example, if you are a United Kingdom resident and post allegedly derogatory messages about Iran and/or Islam and then visit Iran you may be detained by the Iranian authorities.  This appears to have happened to a British resident recently.According to The Independent, a British woman allegedly posted derogatory comments about Iran's government and Islam on Facebook.  It appears that as soon as she landed in Shiraz, Iran to visit family she arrested and was taken to Tehran and charged with "gathering…
  • The Student Privacy Bill of Rights

    3 Apr 2014 | 6:58 am
    On March 6, 2014, Khaliah Barnes, the Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center's (EPIC) Student Privacy Project authored an extremely important article that was featured in the Washington Post titled, "Why a Student Privacy Bill of Rights is desperately needed".  The piece details the digital privacy challenges students encounter and why they need to have stronger legal rights to better protect their personal privacy and safety.  I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Barnes and believe our students need more robust digital privacy protections.The main federal laws designed to…
  • Minnesota School District To Pay $70,000 For Accessing Student's Facebook Account

    27 Mar 2014 | 8:41 am
    With access comes responsibility and financial liability.  A student recently won a $70,000 settlement against a Minnesota school district after she was required to give up her digital media user names and passwords.  I initially wrote about this issue on March 10, 2012, and stated, This behavior is a clear 1st and 4th Amendment and possibly a 5th Amendment violation of the U.S. Constitution."  On September 15, 2012, I wrote, Public schools that require any of their students to register their social media usernames, or to provide access to their password protected digital…
  • NLRB Refers To Northwestern's Illegal Social Media Policy in Ruling Student Athletes May Unionize

    26 Mar 2014 | 8:35 pm
    In a ground breaking ruling earlier today, the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled today that Northwestern University scholarship football players are employees of the school and are eligible to form the nation's first college athletes' union.  According to ESPN's Lester Munson, the ruling is very well-reasoned.As part of the rationale as to why Northwestern's scholarship football players are to be considered employees rather than student-athletes the ruling mentions Northwestern's illegal student-athlete social networking policy.  On page 5 it states,…
 
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