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Everything MLRC has published, in any publication, since 2017.

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Sep 2023

MLRC’s Media Law Conference

George Freeman

About 325 members attended, and the consensus was that it was a terrific and very worthwhile meeting.

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Sep 2023

Federal Court in Tiger King Case Cites Warhol in Dismissing Copyright Claim Against Netflix

Anthony Doherty

Despite some gloom and doom about the future of fair use after the Supreme Court’s decision in Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. v. Goldsmith last May, it seems that for documentary film makers at least, fair use is in roaring good health.

Sep 2023

New Jersey Court Rejects Discrimination Claims Based on Newspaper Columns

Elizabeth Seidlin-Bernstein

A state trial court recently dismissed claims under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination arising from newspaper columns that were allegedly motivated by discriminatory animus.

Sep 2023

Essential Elements of a Libel Claim Are Indeed Essential

Jack Greiner

Mr. Weiler attempted to put the cart before the horse here by arguing that the impact of the statements – true or false – harmed his reputation. But a plaintiff can’t proceed without evidence to support an essential element.

Sep 2023

Newsday Wins Defamation Suit Over Wrong Photo Used in News Article

Jesse Feitel and Rachel Strom

Newsday moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that New York’s anti-SLAPP Law applied to the action, that the complaint does not satisfy the heightened pleading standard imposed by the anti-SLAPP Law, and that the complaint should be dismissed because the plaintiff has not and cannot establish that Newsday published the article with actual malice.

Sep 2023

Nicholas Sandmann Blocked on Appeal

Meenakshi Krishnan and Nathan Siegel

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to several media defendants (The New York Times, CBS, ABC, Gannett, and Rolling Stone) in a series of long-running defamation cases brought by Nicholas Sandmann.

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Sep 2023

Inadvertent Disclosure of FOIA-Exempt Material Cannot Justify Prior Restraint

Matthew Thornton, Matthew Cate, and Chuck Tobin

The court—which months earlier had ruled that the record fell within the FOIA’s privacy exemption—held that the agency’s attempt to claw back the document and prohibit its dissemination would constitute a prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment.

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Sep 2023

New York Appellate Court Holds, For the First Time, That Orders Denying Motions on Shield Law are Reviewable via Article 78

Kate Bolger, Abigail Everdell, and Hilary Oran

The Third Department’s decision not only confirms the procedure for challenging denials of motions to quash during pending criminal proceedings, it also articulates a broad view of the Shield Law’s protections.

Sep 2023

Los Angeles Court KOs Boxing Writer Deposition and Enforces California Shield Law in “Fight of the Century” Case

Karl Olson and Zachary Colbeth

Attempts to depose a former Los Angeles Times boxing writer went down for the count and the First Amendment and shield law emerged in their rightful place as the heavyweight champion last month in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Sep 2023

Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Clara Steinitz

Paris attorney on her start in the business, American v. French legal culture, Paris must-sees, books that move her, and more.

Sep 2023

Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Mike Grygiel

Greenberg Traurig attorney on his start in the business, representing Kathy Griffin, summer reads, golf, and more.

Aug 2023

Pennsylvania Legislators Introduce Anti-Slapp Legislation

Michael Berry

HB 1466 builds on UPEPA and the collective experience of states with existing anti-SLAPP laws, while accounting for distinctive features of Pennsylvania legal practice.

Aug 2023

D.C. Federal Court Says AI Generated Art Not Copyrightable

Alycia S. Tulloch

After the years-long saga surrounding whether a two-dimensional piece of artwork created by Dr. Thaler’s Creativity Machine could be registered as a copyright, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a final order stating that machine generated artwork is not copyrightable.

Aug 2023

Colorado Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motions of Media Defendants Sued for Reporting on Health Company Fallout With State

Steve Zansberg and Lauren Russell

On August 15, a trial judge in Arapahoe County, Colorado became the fourth state jurist to dismiss libel claims against media companies applying Colorado’s anti-SLAPP Act, passed into law in 2019.

Aug 2023

FOIA Lawsuit Helps NPR Report On “Barbaric” and “Negligent” Conditions in ICE Detention Facilities

Max Mishkin, Emmy Parsons, and David Bodney

These records were released as the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in which the court compared the Government’s arguments to “a game of ‘Mad Libs.’”

Aug 2023

Court Affirms Fee Award Against Arizona Lawmakers Who Filed Groundless, Bad-Faith Defamation Lawsuit Against Political Rival

Kennison Lay

Plaintiffs’ pleadings were “riddled with irrelevant allegations” and “irrelevant arguments,” and their appeal was “both groundless and brought in bad faith.” 

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Aug 2023

Court Affirms Dismissal of Holocaust Complicity “Group Libel” Lawsuit

Damon Dunn

An Illinois appellate court affirmed dismissal of defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims over a Chicago Sun-Times column that ascribed “felonies under the laws of Illinois and Poland” to the “Plaintiffs and/or their families and Poles in general” when it referred to “widespread collaboration” in the killing of Jews during WWII.

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Aug 2023

Article Tying Nursing Home Magnate to Human Trafficking, Medicaid Fraud & Elder Abuse Protected As Fair Report, True, and Opinion

Alia Smith

Judge Azrack held that the challenged statements – concerning the poor quality of some of Landa’s nursing homes and alleged financial and other improprieties – were fair reports under N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 74, were substantially true, or were non-actionable opinions.

Aug 2023

A New Film: Floyd Abrams – Speaking Freely

George Freeman

Not only to get pumped up, and more than just to learn some legal history, I urge all members to watch this film on September 22nd. It will renew your faith and dedication to the goals and principles we are striving for. Though the hero of the piece appears to be Floyd, the co-hero really…

Aug 2023

New York Times Wins Defamation Suit Over Reporting on Internet Harassment Campaigns

The suit stemmed from a January 2021 story, in which Times reporter Kashmir Hill reported on the phenomenon of “complaint sites”: websites that allow people to hurl anonymous accusations online that then ricochet across the internet through a constellation of interconnected sites.