MLRC Zoom Series
Analysis of the Feb. 21 oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, the blockbuster case in which the Supreme Court will, for the first time, consider the scope of Section 230’s protection. Speakers are all amicus counsel in the case and will discuss the arguments and the justices’ responses from the viewpoints of their respective clients.
The newest AI-based tools for content generation can create photorealistic images based on text descriptions, compose poetry, deceive humans playing Diplomacy, and even generate code. But their output is based on the work of humans, raising thorny copyright and privacy issues while reflecting very human flaws and biases.
Adam Liptak, New York Times; and Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea, UNC Law School, discuss the Supreme Court argument in 303 Creative v. Elenis, where a website designer claims a First Amendment right to refuse designing websites for same-sex weddings.
With Catherine Lucey, White House reporter, The Wall Street Journal; Erik Wemple, media critic, Washington Post; and Aaron Zitner, reporter and former national political editor, The Wall Street Journal.
Can shield law protection be given to a deceased journalist? Can a newspaper assert the reporter’s privilege? Where does the case stand, and what are the Las Vegas Review-Journal's arguments?
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith has crystallized the debate about whether the transformative use doctrine of fair use has been taken too far. Our speakers, who all filed amicus briefs in the case, discuss how the parties and the justices approached this critical issue.
We speak with Professor Alan Rozenshtein of the University of Minnesota Law School about the widespread condemnation of the Fifth Circuit opinion, whether that reaction is entirely justified, and what comes next in the case.
We discuss what’s happened since the fall of Roe, the measures that Congress and tech companies are exploring to protect the privacy of women’s speech and data, and what the First Amendment has to say about all of this.
With Chuck Tobin, Ballard Spahr, who argued the motion for the media coalition; Katelyn Polantz, CNN Justice and crime reporter; and Mark Zaid, national security law expert.
Dave Eggers, whose novel “The Circle” was recently pulled from public schools in South Dakota; Kelly Denson, who tracks and analyzes bans for the Association of American Publishers; and DWT attorney/author Bob Corn-Revere explores recent developments, historical context, and steps First Amendment advocates can take to fight back.
An exploration of lawsuits funded by third parties—why it matters, how to find out who's behind the funding, its effect on settlement efforts, and more.
Former Fourth Circuit Judge Michael Luttig discusses the House Select Committee hearings, the constitutional issues surrounding efforts to prosecute Trump for speech related crimes or other malfeasance, and the state of our democracy.
Learn more about how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prevent internet service providers from being held responsible for content posted by their users.
A discussion with Ken Auletta, The New Yorker’s Media Reporter for decades and author of a just-released, vivid biography of Harvey Weinstein.
This 101 presented by Edward Fenno and Eric Robinson addresses access to record, courts, and government meetings; other access issues such as access to private property, drones & police bodycams; source confidentiality; receiving documents from leakers and more.
What is copyright? What is copyrightable? What remedies are there for copyright infringement? What exceptions and limitations are there on copyright rights? What is a fair use?
This workshop is structured as issue spotting around hypotheticals, identifying potential legal pitfalls that arise in the reporting process, including defamation, privacy, newsgathering, right of publicity and recording laws.
A discussion about local and national media coverage of the Uvalde shootings and similar mass tragedies with Kelly McBride, Senior VP for Ethics and Leadership, Poynter Institute and Marc Duvoisin, Editor-in-Chief and VP, San Antonio Express-News.
This session covers what the plaintiff has to prove in a libel case, defenses that you might have under the First Amendment and common law, the differences in defending cases brought by public and private figures, and the effect of corrections, denials, implications of fact, and using anonymous sources.
Legendary music journalist Jim DeRogatis began publishing accusations of R. Kelly’s sexual relationships with underage girls in 2000. Two years later, he broke the story of the incriminating sex tape that would lead to Kelly’s first court case.
With Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post; Dr. Courtney Radsch, Center for International Governance Innovation/UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy; and Mike Masnick, Techdirt.
David Lat, author and legal commentator, and Will Creeley, Legal Director FIRE, will discuss recent controversies at Yale and UC Hastings Law School, and broader attitudes and problems with free speech on campus.
Looking at the 2020 election and ahead to 2024, Professor Hasen proposes a variety of legal and policy changes to stop fake news from drowning our democracy.
How has the media covered the war, and what have been the main challenges? What have been the effects of Putin’s clampdown on the press, and what can be done about it? What has been the role of digital platforms on the battlefield and in public opinion?
Award-winning broadcast journalist Ted Koppel discusses the media’s coverage of Ukraine, the state of journalism today, the amalgamation of factual reporting and commentary, what can be done about disinformation and the poor perception of journalists, and some reminiscences of his signature show “Nightline.”
MLRC and an assemblage of its top First Amendment lawyers, under managing editor Lee Levine, have written a comprehensive White Paper in defense of the Court’s most important decision championing freedom of the press.
A discussion with Len Downie, former Editor of the Washington Post and author of a recent CPJ Report: “Night and Day”: The Biden administration and the press; and David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times.
Discussing the trial are three journalists who are closely following it: Erik Wemple, Washington Post; Robert Van Voris, Bloomberg News; and Reynolds Holding, Columbia Law School and former law editor at Reuters and ABC.
Professor Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law, joins us to discuss his forthcoming journal article, The Constitutionality of Mandating Editorial Transparency, on what the First Amendment has to say about this urgent issue.
An entertaining and slightly offbeat look at the most interesting media law matters of 2021, and prognostications as to the most significant developments in 2022.
The first significant prior restraint against The Times since the Pentagon Papers with Dana Green, inside counsel at The Times, and Lizzie Seidlin-Bernstein, Ballard Spahr.
Professor Noah Feldman is the author of over 10 books, the most recent is The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery and the Refounding of America, which argues that Lincoln effectively rewrote the Constitution, transforming it from a compromise document to a transcendent statement of the nation’s highest ideals.
From complaints over docudramas to libel-in-fiction claims, how should traditional libel defenses apply to streaming companies? Are streamers distributors or publishers? How should actual malice be assessed? Should Section 230 apply to video streaming companies?
A discussion with First Amendment lawyer Bob Corn-Revere about his forthcoming book The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder: The First Amendment and the Censor's Dilemma.
The Miami Herald’s award-winning reporter Julie K. Brown, author of “Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story,” discusses the challenges she faced in her year’s long effort to report the truth about Jeffrey Epstein. Joined by outside counsel Christine Walz, Holland & Knight.
Following the Naomi Osaka controversy at the French Open, how will the relationship between athletes and journalists change? How will the Supreme Court's decision in NCAA v. Alston affect sports, and the balance of power between athletes, leagues and broadcasters? Will legalized sports gambling impact sports journalism?
A workshop on the application and underwriting process, key policy provisions to look for, effective claims reporting and handling, types of coverages needed and current hot topics.
This workshop will be structured as issue spotting around one or more hypotheticals, identifying reporting potential legal pitfalls, including defamation, privacy, newsgathering, right of publicity and agreements with sources.
We discuss open records (FOIA) and open meetings laws, access to courts and their participants (including gag orders), other access issues (such as access to private property, surveillance and drones), police issues (such as recording the police and responding to police demands on scene), phone recording and wiretap, promises of confidentiality to sources, lawful obtainment…
Is Gorsuch’s dissent wrong? How many other votes are there to overturn Sullivan? What might replace it? Should public figures have to meet the same high standard as public officials?
This workshop will provide an overview of U.S. and international data privacy and security laws, with a focus on advising companies on how to comply with a patchwork of emerging requirements, operationalize a privacy program, and prepare and respond to data security breaches.
This workshop covers what the plaintiff has to prove in a libel case, defenses that you might have under the First Amendment and common law, the differences in defending cases brought by public and private figures, and the effect of corrections, denials, implications of fact, and using anonymous sources.
New York Times reporters Aaron Krolik and Kashmir Hill discuss the ecosystem of gripe websites that seek to destroy reputations, then charge to fix them, and what happened after they posted “Aaron Krolik is a complete LOSER.”
Defense of Rhetorical Hyperbole: How Is it Being Used (or Overused) in Today’s Polarized Environment
Courts have long considered whether statements made in the context of heated political debate are protected as rhetorical hyperbole. Recent cases stemming from opinion shows hosted by partisans like Rachel Maddow, and on platforms such as Twitter, have seen the rhethorical hyperbole defense take on new prominence. Have these cases gone too far?
Republican lawmakers in at least 34 states have introduced bills that threaten the right to protest publicly, expanding liability and increasing penalties in connection with protest-related activity and/or immunizing those who take action against protesters from legal consequences. Can the First Amendment possibly allow such laws?
The case where a high school punished a cheerleader for her rants against the school on Snapchat, was recently argued in the Supreme Court. How did the argument go? Will the Tinker v. Des Moines precedent be retained? Can a public school punish students for off-campus speech? Can such a social media post be disruptive…
Ms. Strossen answers questions about hate speech, disinformation, content moderation, Sec. 230, Dr. Seuss, free speech on campus, and more. Strossen is Professor Emerita at New York Law School, was the first woman president of the ACLU (1991-2008), and is the author of “HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship.”
Was there appropriate access to jury selection? Why was full television coverage authorized? Was it justified to ban the Daily Mail from the courtroom for running a prohibited tape? Is the 2-person press pool adequate and reasonable? What other issues are there in running and covering a high-visibility trial during the pandemic?
What are the pitfalls and best practices in vetting #MeToo accusations; how to preserve privacy and work with NDAs; defending libel claims when the alleged abuser or victim claims the other is a liar; are the standards the same for both alleged abusers and victims?; for the media that reports on it?
Does the Second Circuit’s decision denying the fair use defense bring clarity or confusion to copyright law? Is it time for “appropriation artists” to pay the piper? Is the transformative use doctrine on the wane? Do we see similar arguments under the rubric of substantial similarity? How will the decision effect derivative works?
Professor Franks, J.D., D.Phil., is an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of free speech, civil rights and technology. In 2013, she drafted the first model criminal statute on nonconsensual pornography, aka “revenge porn,” which has been used as a template for state laws and proposed federal legislation.
Should a comedian pay damages for telling an offensive joke? This is a question the Supreme Court of Canada will decide this year. What interests will the Court balance? How does the case compare to Hustler v. Falwell? Is the First Amendment out of step with international trends and norms?
Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times, Chad Bowman, Ballard Spahr, and Kelli Sager, Davis Wright Tremaine discuss virtual court hearings, whether they will be retained after the pandemic, how the pandemic affected the judicial system, including changes at the Supreme Court.
Katie Townsend, RCFP, and David McCraw and Dana Green, New York Times, discuss newsgathering issues: how access was affected by the crisis, as well as privacy and ethical issues in reporting on COVID-related subjects.
David Lat, founder of Above the Law and Managing Director of legal recruiter Lateral Link, and Bill Hartnett, Executive Committee Chair of Cahill Gordon, discuss how lawyers fared in 2020, the future financial outlook, staffing plans, summer associate programs, and whether lawyers will work from home or the office once things return to normal.
Is Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News a threat to the press? Should it be dismissed under New York’s new anti-SLAPP law? How can the media avoid liability for reporting the lies of public officials? With Paul Clement, Kirkland & Ellis, lead counsel for Fox News in the case; and Michael Grynbaum, media…
Professor Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, discusses his recent essay "The Kids Are All Right: The Law of Free Expression and New Information Technologies." We discuss Prof. Tushnet's position that new technologies have not rendered the First Amendment obsolete and how our constitutional doctrine can adjust to…
Does the Boston Globe’s “Fresh Start” policy, which allows people to ask the newspaper to takedown coverage of them, herald a new attitude toward online content? What led to this and similar new policies? How are they implemented? Will voluntary takedowns have any legal impact? With Jason Tuohey, Boston Globe, Managing Editor - Digital; Dan…
Did Trump’s Jan. 6th speech amount to incitement under Brandenburg? Are his surrounding lies about the election relevant? Can Trump be criminally prosecuted? What would be the impact on social activism and other protests? With Professor Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School; Suzanne Nossel, PEN America; and Lee Rowland, New York Civil Liberties Union.
A day before Biden's Inauguration, a timely review of the vetting of political ads during the ’20 campaign season (including Georgia ’21). What is the law regarding the running of political ads? What are the practical considerations as lawyers vet them? Do different media – and different companies – have varying acceptance standards? And we…
Following the armed assault on the U.S. Capitol, tech companies moved to block incitement of further violence, including bans of Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter and a decision by Amazon to cease providing web services to "free speech" social media site Parler. Were these the right moves, and do they imply anything for content…
Professor Sunstein discusses his forthcoming book: Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception. Should false speech have any protections? What role should defamation law play? Who decides what is true? Professor Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School and a leading expert on constitutional law, administrative law, and…
A discussion with Len Downie about his new book “All About the Story: News, Power, Politics and the Washington Post.” Downie worked at the Post for nearly 50 years, succeeding Ben Bradlee as Executive Editor. He was an editor of the Watergate story, and led the paper through the Clinton impeachment, the Unabomber threats and…
A discussion of where the Trump administration will leave issues in digital media law and what President-Elect Biden is likely to do with what is left behind.
A special hour with Bob Woodward, associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has reported on every American president from Nixon to Trump. Our discussion focuses on his latest book “Rage,” based on 17 interviews with Trump, and more broadly on the relationship between presidents and the press, and the state of investigative reporting…
Stanford Law School professor, former 10th Circuit Judge and potential nominee to the Supreme Court during the Bush Administration. Subjects include Covid restrictions and the First Amendment; the constitutionality of self-pardons; Facebook’s new policy court; and his new book "The President Who Would Not Be King."
Q&A with Emily Bazelon, New York Times Magazine staff writer, co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest, and Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. Emily’s recent NYT magazine article, The First Amendment in the Age of Disinformation, explores the legal, political, and journalistic issues surrounding “fake news” and the impact on…
A conversation with Lawrence Altman, M.D., who has been a New York Times science/medical reporter since 1969, and Josh Dawsey, a Washington Post reporter covering the White House. Dr. Altman has reported on the health of presidents and presidential candidates from the 1972 McGovern/Thomas Eagleton campaign through the Reagan Presidency and into the present day.…
Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Barton Gellman discusses his new book "Dark Mirror," a gripping account of receiving and publishing information from Edward Snowden on the post 9/11 secret surveillance state. Why did Snowden leak to Gellman? Could Snowden be trusted? Did the government try to stop publication? James McLaughlin, who worked alongside Gellman as the…
The prolific author and scholar discusses the role of the First Amendment in the cancel culture debate. What is the debate about? Are free speech values being helped or harmed? What role should First Amendment lawyers play? What lessons can we learn from the history of legal suppression of offensive speech?
Jonathan Peters, a professor at Univ. of Georgia’s Law and Journalism Schools and correspondent for Columbia Journalism Review, interviews three plaintiffs’ libel lawyers.
The award winning historian Harold Holzer discusses his new book surveying the history of battles between Presidents and the media – from the days of the Founding Fathers to Trump. Are Trump’s threats and bombast unique? Is tension between the President and the press inevitable? How has technology changed the relationship?
Using a recent legal demand over CBS' "The Good Fight" as a jumping-off point, this session will explore the various ways that real people can find their way into literature and entertainment content and the plausibility of libel claims when those fictional appearances aren't to their liking. Featuring: Jonathan Anschell, Executive Vice President and General…
Featuring Donald G. McNeil Jr., leading New York Times Science and Health reporter, who has long reported on epidemics and is an expert on the Coronavirus. Where did it derive from? Why is the U.S. so bad at containing its spread? When can we expect a vaccine? How and when will schools, businesses, leisure activities…
A discussion with legal analyst and author Joan Biskupic on a recent series for CNN exploring how justices on the Roberts court asserted their interests, forged coalitions and navigated political pressure and the coronavirus pandemic.
How favorable ROP and Anti-SLAPP bills were passed by the NY legislature, what they say, how they compare to similar bills nationally, and what media lawyers in other states can learn from the Albany process.
A conversation with acclaimed novelist Nicholson Baker, whose latest book "Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act" traces his struggle to surface documents on the US military's biological weapons program.
Is Free Speech in Danger? When Should Offensive Speech be Censored? Problems in Developing Community Standards (And Using Political Correctness) for Moderation of Content
Our call is an open discussion of where and how the lines should be drawn, and why such issues have come to the fore in recent years
A discussion about the issues raised by Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s being sent to jail because he didn’t agree to cease publication of his book about President Trump.
Professor Jamal Greene discusses his book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights Is Tearing America Apart; the relationship between rights and justice; and how we should think about the First Amendment in the current political and cultural climate.
A discussion with Nick Kristof, the New York Times columnist and two-times Pulitzer Prize winner (and seven-times finalist), on the coronavirus; the Black Lives Matter protests; the inequality gap; presidential lies and disinformation; attacks on journalism; the President, the DOJ and the AG; China; gerrymandering and the electoral college; and, finally, the 2020 presidential election.
The implication of the Supreme Court's landmark Bostock decision, and whether and how the First Amendment has been used to advance LGBT equality.
Professor RonNell Anderson discusses how SCOTUS has characterized the press over time; her article “Freedom of the Press in Post-Truthism America” and Trump's denigration of the media.
A discussion about the kerfuffle at The New York Times for its disowning the op-ed piece by Sen. Tom Cotton “Send in the Troops” and A&E Network’s decision to pause production of its cop show Live PD.
Plus NPR's Ashley Messenger and journalist Nick Quah. They look into the origins of podcasts, the changing business environment, legal issues peculiar to the form, and shows that seem destined for classic status.
Professor Tim Wu, Columbia University Law School, specializing in technology and free speech law, speaks about dealing with propaganda and misinformation, content moderation and free speech, and Trump’s Executive Order.
Professor Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago Law School and author of ten books on constitutional law, and Columbia University president and First Amendment expert Lee Bollinger on leaks, national security and freedom of the press.
How much of the executive order is bluster, and how much is worthy of actual concern? Is the executive order unconstitutional? How does an executive order trump congressional legislation? What are the limits on the president's ability to rope the FCC and FTC into policing social media? Will Trump’s E.O. lead to Twitter’s censoring Trump?
Floyd Abrams, Cahill Gordon, and Joe Steinfield, Prince Lobel, discuss the constitutionality of government restrictions on statehouse demonstrations, large gatherings and travel to combat the coronavirus.
Does the First Amendment protect offensive speech in comedy; what’s the value in protecting such speech, particularly in the political arena; is political correctness stifling comedy; and are comedians becoming persona non grata on campuses?
Professor Volokh discusses his recent law review article "Anti-Libel Injunctions." Are post-trial libel injunctions prior restraints? Or are they constitutional - and necessary - especially now, when the Internet makes it easier for judgment-proof defendants to damage people’s reputations.
Adam Liptak, New York Times Supreme Court correspondent, discusses the last two weeks of telephonic oral arguments before the High Court which were open to the public: How did they work, were they successful, did the public listen-in in numbers, were there glitches or interruptions, were the arguments different, and is this a harbinger of…
Two journalists with differing views: Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine, who writes that the public should see Trump unfiltered, and Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post, who opines that his briefings are too self-serving and unsafe to be broadcast live and in full.
Three journalists featured at our Annual Dinner program will discuss their reporting since – what they have covered, how coverage in the coronavirus environment is different, how women have fared as journalists and politicians, and possibly conjecture on Biden’s VP pick.
Reflecting on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings against the recent centennial of modern First Amendment law, Professor Gregory Magarian of Washington University School of Law will discuss what he sees as a shift in law toward prioritizing powerful speakers over marginal and dissident speakers.
Access to Court Hearings and Arguments – Is the Public Getting Access to Telephonic and Video Conference Calls
Are the Courts making hearings, motion arguments and appeals available to the public via Zoom video calls and open telephone calls?
Hollywood, Broadway and Entertainment: How Are They Faring? How Are They Being Covered? And How Will They Come Back?
Will the virus affect the future of television, movies and streaming? How will other cultural institutions - Broadway, concerts, and museums - adapt to a world where people may be afraid to gather in crowds?
With David McCraw/Dana Green, New York Times; Lucian Pera, Adams and Reese; and Deborah Fisher, Executive Director, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government