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April 2013

MediaLawLetter April 16, 2013


MLRC MediaLawDaily

Media Law Daily
mobile/print | email us | | April 16, 2013
Access/Freedom of Information | Broadcast/Cable/Satellite
Commercial Speech | Defamation | Editorials | Internet/New Media
Internet Privacy | Intellectual Property | International | Labor Issues
Media Business | Media Technology | Miscellaneous | Newsgathering
Prior Restraint | Privacy | Reporter’s Privilege | Supreme Court

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Supreme Court Top

Supreme Court declines Northern Ireland subpoena dispute
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal over whether confidential interviews with former Irish Republican militants should be released to police in Northern Ireland. The legal fight is about whether British authorities, as part of a murder investigation, can access interview transcripts with Irish Republican Army members, which were carried out as part of a Boston College program.

 See also
First Circuit Refuses to Quash UK Subpoena for Confidential “Belfast Project” Interviews
MLRC MediaLawLetter (July 2012)

Reporter’s Privilege

Defamation Top
Privacy Top
Access/Freedom of Information Top

Obama signs law limiting disclosure requirements
Associated Press
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that repeals some financial disclosure requirements for higher paid federal officials. The legislation, passed by Congress last week, addressed fears that publishing such personal holdings could lead to identity theft and create a national security risk.

Tenn.: Governor signs public notices bill
Associated Press
Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill to require public notices to be published on newspaper websites.

Tex.: Bill would ban gag orders in taxpayer-funded settlements of lawsuits
A sexual harassment settlement involving Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon was spotlighted during a legislative hearing Monday as lawmakers considered a proposed ban on confidentiality agreements in tax-funded court settlements.

Newsgathering Top
Del.: Newark police OK with photographing trains
Associated Press
Newark officials are reminding town police that they can’t stop people from photographing trains unless they believe criminal activity is involved.
Prior Restraint Top
Broadcast/Cable/Satellite Top
What Goes Around Comes Around. Then It Kills You
A la carte digitally delivered TV is a non-starter. Except that it’s now here.
Internet / New Media Top Hacked; ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ Takes Responsibility
The Two-Way, and some of NPR’s Twitter accounts were hacked late Monday by an organization that’s said to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Study: Top Reason A User Would Block A Site From A Search? Too Many Ads
Search Engine Land

Internet Privacy Top

House to vote on CISPA cyberthreat bill this week
IDG News Service
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a controversial cyberthreat information-sharing bill, will be debated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week, despite continued opposition from some privacy and digital rights advocates.
> HR 624

See also
Some Dems Reject CISPA as Currently Constituted
Broadcasting & Cable
Dear Colleague letter seeks others to oppose bill if it is not amended to address more privacy concerns.

Cyber threats at the top of US intelligence report for the first time
The Verge
Cyber threats are the number one type of danger facing the United States, according to US national intelligence director James Clapper, the man in charge of coordinating the CIA and the NSA, among many other agencies.

Ex-Googler releases big update to Disconnect, a data-blocking tool
As sites like Facebook work with data companies and advertisers to collect more of our personal information, tools like Disconnect may be our best hope of preserving privacy. The company just put out a major update that stops the data flow and lets you see what companies are tracking you.

Intellectual Property Top

Legal Landmark: Artists Start to Reclaim Rights to Their Music
This year the rights to a host of the music from that era [the late 1970s] will pass from publishers and record companies to authors and artists. It includes some of the most iconic titles of the late 1970s, still earning returns in record label catalogs.

Feds may use subpoena powers to study patent trolls
Ars Technica
FTC can crack open secret patent deals to learn about a shadowy business.

Commercial Speech Top
Cal. Sup.: L.A. Judge Nixes Clear Channel, CBS Digital Billboards
On Friday, California Superior Court Judge Terry Green gave the billboard giants until 5 p.m. on Monday to turn the lights out on their digital billboards. He ruled that a deal struck by the operators with the Los Angeles City Council in 2007 — allowing the conversion of hundreds of static billboards to digital displays — violated the city’s own laws.
Media Business Top

AP sees slight 2012 revenue decline, says it’s compensating for newspaper drop-off
Associated Press
The Associated Press said Monday that its revenue declined slightly in 2012 because U.S. elections and the Olympics drew less interest than expected, but it was largely successful in replacing lost revenue with increased sales of video and photos.

Esquire Network Pushes Back Launch to Summer
Hollywood Reporter
The move will allow the Esquire net to come out of the gate with five original series, including holdover American Ninja Warrior, as opposed to simply two original offerings.

Al Jazeera announces investigative unit
Al Jazeera America has announced the creation of a 16-person investigative team led by Edward Pound, who has served as an investigative reporter for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, US News & World Report and the National Journal.

Why Does Dish Network Want Sprint?
Wall Street Journal (Digits)

Twitter Said to Seek Deals With Viacom, NBC to Feature TV Online
Twitter Inc. is close to reaching partnerships with television networks that would bring more high-quality video content and advertising to the social site, according to people familiar with the matter.

Facebook Seeks 7-Figure Price Tag for Summer Debut of Video Ads
Ad Age

Media Technology Top

Facebook Talking to Apple About New ‘Home’ Software for IPhone
Facebook Inc. is talking to Apple Inc. about crafting a version of its new mobile software for the iPhone, in a push to boost revenue from the growing number of users who access the social network on smaller screens.

Comcast says the free ride is over for basic cable — encryption is coming
As of today, cable TV provider Comcast has decided to encrypt all the channels – even those that are freely broadcast to locals via an HD antenna (ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, Fox, PBS, and a few others depending on the area). Previously, you didn’t need an adapter box to get basic cable channels as long as you paid Comcast every month, but that’s all changing.

Labor Issues Top
International Top

EU’s proposed Google antitrust settlement angers search rivals
IDG News Service
Google’s proposed settlement of a European Union antitrust case amounts to continuing its discrimination against other search companies — but putting a warning label on the practice, said an industry group.

France: Fresh Twitter Suit Filed Over Anti-Semitic #GoodJew Hashtag
A French Jewish group which last month sued Twitter for hosting anti-Semitic content has lodged a fresh complaint against the company and accused it of lying.

Germany:  Trial of a Neo-Nazi in Germany Is Delayed Over Media Concerns
New York Times
A state court delayed the trial of Beate Zschäpe after weeks of outrage over how seats for members of the foreign news media were allocated.

Japan: Google loses autocomplete defamation suit in Japan
The search engine is ordered to change its autocomplete function and pay damages to a man who sued saying his name was being linked to crimes.

Siberia: Online journalist in Siberia faces defamation charges
Committee to Protect Journalists
Prosecutors on March 14 filed insult and libel charges against Mikhail Afanasyev, editor of the online magazine Novy Fokus, in connection with a December 9, 2012, opinion article, headlined “You are a liar, Colonel Zlotnikov!” The journalist said the official had lied about him in court.

UK: Blow to freedom of speech as key libel reform the Defamation Bill is blocked
The Independent
The Government is to block plans to reform Britain’s “chilling” libel laws and to prevent large companies from silencing their critics with the threat of being sued.

See also
MP plotting changes to libel laws Sir Edward Garnier earns thousands as a libel lawyer
The Independent

UK: Sally Bercow Lord McAlpine Libel Case Reaches Court
Huffington Post
The Twitter libel row between Sally Bercow and Lord McAlpine reaches the High Court on Tuesday.

See also
Only ‘moron in a hurry’ would not have understood Sally Bercow’s tweet implied Lord McAlpine was a paedophile
The Telegraph



N.J.: Proposed ban on violent video games in public spaces faces legal problems
A state lawmaker in New Jersey is planning to introduce legislation that would prohibit public spaces such as amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling allies, or restaurants from making video games rated “mature” or “adults only” available to play.

Twitter shows how the news is made, and it’s not pretty — but it’s better that we see it
In the aftermath of events like the Boston Marathon bombings, Twitter is often criticized for the way it indiscriminately distributes lies as well as facts — but as chaotic as that process is, we are better off for having it.

Online Furor Draws Press to Abortion Doctor’s Trial
New York Times
After an online furor that the case was being ignored by the national news media because of troubling accounts of late-term abortions, reporters from major newspapers and television networks descended Monday on the Court of Common Pleas. It was the latest example of the power of social media to drive a wide debate.

Editorials Top

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