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April 2013

MediaLawLetter April 9, 2013


MLRC MediaLawDaily

Media Law Daily
mobile/print | email us | | April 9, 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
The Next Justice?
New Yorker (Jeffrey Toobin)
If Sri Srinivasan wins confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he seems certain to be on the Supreme Court before President Obama’s term ends.
Reporter’s Privilege Top

Colo. Dist.: Fox News’ Jana Winter wins reprieve in theater shooting case
Denver Post
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. ruled Monday that he won’t decide whether to order reporter Jana Winter to testify until he first decides whether the key clue in the case she was to testify about will be allowed as evidence.
> Order: State of Colorado v. Holmes

 See also
Jana Winter: Facing jail time for doing her job
Los Angeles Times (Judith Miller)



Mich. App.: Cooley Law loses bid to unmask online critic on appeal
National Law Journal
The decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals was the latest in the saga of the blogger known by the handle Rockstar05 and his former school — Cooley — which is suing him for defamation. It was a victory for Rockstar05, who now will have the opportunity to ask the trial court to dismiss the complaint against him.
> Opinion: Thomas M. Cooley Law School v. Does

N.Y. Sup.: Libel suit dropped as part of settlement
Times Union
The builder, Bruce Tanski, said he could not discuss details of a settlement he reached Monday with Bruce Rischert, whose attorney had filed what’s called an anti-SLAPP motion seeking that Tanski pay all or a portion of Rischert’s legal fees.

Tex. Dist.: CNN, CBS Settle Suit Over Mass Grave Report
Courthouse News
A couple has dropped defamation claims over incorrect CNN and CBS news reports that 25 to 30 dismembered bodies had been found in a mass grave at their home.
> Order: Bankson v. CNN America

Privacy Top

D. Ariz.: Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight
A legal fight over the government’s use of a secret surveillance tool has provided new insight into how the controversial tool works and the extent to which Verizon Wireless aided federal agents in using it to track a suspect.

D.D.C.: EPIC lawsuit presses FBI for details on biometric database
IDG News Service
Electronic Privacy Information Center file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI
>Complaint: Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Federal Bureau of Investigation

W.D. Wash.: Actress Suing IMDb Takes the Witness Stand
Hollywood Reporter
On the first day of trial, Huong Hoang and the website battle over the importance of truth and perception in the digital age.

Access/Freedom of Information Top

D.D.C.: Chiquita Sues to Prevent Research Institute at GWU From Getting Colombia Terror Docs
US News
A research institute at George Washington University wants records that show Chiquita doing business with terrorists, and it has the produce giant going bananas.
> Complaint: Chiquita v. SEC

Cal. Super.: Judge: Media Has No Right To Record Jackson Civil Trial
A Los Angeles judge said Monday she will not allow trial proceedings in Katherine Jackson’s $40 million lawsuit against AEG to be televised.

Fla.: Bill filed to exempt Florida’s value-added teacher data from public
Florida Times-Union
About a week after an appeals court agreed to hear the Times-Union’s lawsuit to obtain the state’s value-added teacher data, a bill aimed at exempting the data from the public has been filed in the Legislature.

Okla.: Gov. Fallin signs bill to keep radiation info secret
Associated Press
Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality would be able to keep certain information on radiation sources secret under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Newsgathering Top

Indiana bill aimed at protecting farms, industry from videos changed to focus on trespass
Indianapolis Star
A bill aimed at shielding farms and industry from unauthorized videos and photographs was watered down considerably Monday by an Indiana House committee that shifted the focus to limiting trespassing.

Wikileaks launches searchable archive of government records
The searchable database includes a new collection of diplomatic records from the 1970s and more recent State Department memos.

Prior Restraint Top
Broadcast/Cable/Satellite Top

Analysts: Aereo May (Eventually) Cause Fox to Switch to Cable
Hollywood Reporter

NAB’s Smith: Broadcasters Must Seize Future or Concede It to Competitors
Broadcasting & Cable
Says broadcasters can deliver mobile TV more reliably than wireless competitors.

N.Y. Sup.: Cablevision Gets $525M From Voom Settlement
Multichannel News
Voom HD had sued Dish for more than $2 billion after the satellite giant canceled a long term contract to carry the suite of HD channels in 2009. After what at times was a bizarre court case last year, Dish decided to cut its losses and settled the case in October, agreeing to pay Voom $700 million in cash.

Intel Cooks Up Future of TV — a Potential Mess for Cable
Ad Age
About a year ago, Intel established Intel Media to build an “over-the-top” TV service, joining streaming-video players such as Netflix and Hulu. Its service, however, will be the first to deliver a full array of cable TV channels over the internet.

Internet / New Media Top

Rogers: Cybersecurity Bill Is Being Changed to Address Some White House Concerns
Multichannel News
Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Monday that his cybersecurity bill has been changed to address some of the concerns of the White House and privacy advocates. But on the same conference call with reporters, bill co-sponsor C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said that the White House was not yet backing the bill.

Izneo Removes 40% of Their Catalog After Receiving Censorship Threats From Apple
Digital Reader
Reports are coming in that the digital comics distributor Izneo has had to radically prune their catalog or face banishment from iTunes.

Internet Privacy Top

Florida takes major steps towards making revenge porn a felony
Venture Beat
The House subcommittee unanimously voted in favor of a bill that would make posting revenge porn a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
> HB 787

Tex. Dist.: Pickens Family Feuding Over Tell-All Blog
Courthouse News
The son of energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens has moved to dismiss privacy claims over a tell-all blog that attributes his drug addiction to abuse his father allegedly heaped upon him during his childhood.
> Motion to Dismiss: E.C. v. Pickens

Intellectual Property Top

As Aereo threatens to alter TV landscape, major networks promise a fight
Washington Post
With Aereo planning to expand its service to Washington and 21 other markets this summer, CBS, ABC and other big networks have attacked the upstart company with renewed vigor.

See also
Legal Issues in West From Aereokiller Cloud Aereo
Wall Street Journal
The TV industry’s best hope of shutting down TV startup Aereo Inc. anytime soon could rest, bizarrely enough, on a legal case involving something called Aereokiller LLC.

NAB: Carey — Fox May Go Subscription-Only If Aereo Prevails
Broadcasting & Cable

Cal. App.: ‘Lost’ Royalties Demand Had Smoke but no Fire
Courthouse News
A producer cannot seek “Lost” royalties because he failed to show that the show’s creators knew anything about a plane-crash idea he conceived 35 years earlier, a California appeals court ruled.
> Opinion: Spinner v. American Broadcasting Companies

U.S. Patent Office withdraws refusal of iPad Mini trademark

Priests Watch DVD Screeners While Pirates Download Filth in the Vatican
While Thou Shalt Not Steal is one of the best known ten commandments, there is no directive ordering Thou Shalt Not Copy. This glaring loophole in God’s law, which runs contrary to established entertainment industry doctrine, apparently allows priests to watch pirated Oscar review copies of major movies without concern. Meanwhile, over in the Vatican, pirates are having the time of their lives downloading some quite eye-watering media.

This article contains a link that some powerful companies don’t want you to see
On the surface, Chilling Effects seems to be asking for trouble. It would not be a target if it redacted the web addresses listed in the takedown notices it publishes. That would make it clear what lawyers seek to remove from Google’s index without helping those seeking what could be illegal material.

Commercial Speech Top
Media Business Top

Newspaper ad sales skid for seventh straight year
Reflections from a Newsosaur
Let’s put things in perspective by comparing the meteoric rise of Google, the definitive digital media company, with the epic collapse that has cut the newspaper industry’s primary revenue stream by more than half since 2005.

See also
Deeper data dive finds $5.5 billion in uncounted newspaper industry revenue
Years of negative reports on ad revenue losses could leave the newspaper industry muttering, “I demand a recount.” The Newspaper Association of America has just completed such an exercise and found some solid gains that have been overlooked previously in its own measurements.

Magazine Ad Pages Slip, Celeb Titles Hit Hard

Time Out Chicago acquired by Time Out Group
Chicago Tribune
The move, announced Monday, ends an eight-year run as an independent franchise, placing Chicago in the fold with New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Boston as owned-and-operated Time Out markets.

What next for The Week? The content curator’s plans for the digital domain
The Week surprised the publishing industry by carving out a profitable place in the competitive world of magazine news. Now, it is building up its operations for the digital long term.

Confirmed: Elsevier Has Bought Mendeley For $69M-$100M To Expand Its Open, Social Education Data Efforts
Educational publisher Elsevier is diving deeper into the world of open and social educational data: it has bought Mendeley, the London/New York-based provider of a platform for academics and organizations to share research and collaborate with others via a social network.

Meredith’s CEO: ‘There is Potential’ for Time Warner Deal
The Time Inc. and Meredith merger that everyone was talking about (okay maybe just media junkies, but everything we discuss is very important!) is dead, but Stephen Lacy, Meredith’s CEO, isn’t giving up completely.

Instagram $1 Billion Sale: Was Facebook Right to Pay So Much?

See also
One year in, it’s almost like Facebook never bought Instagram. When will that change?

Does BuzzFeed Know the Secret?
New York Magazine
Jonah Peretti’s viral-content machine purports to have solved the problems of both journalism and advertising at once, all with the help of a simple algorithm.

See also
Why BuzzFeed’s attempt to reinvent online advertising is a lot harder than it looks

Big Media Loves Promoted Trends, Twitter’s Big-Dollar Digital Billboards
All Things Digital
Twitter has been building up its ad business for 3 years, but early on it figured out that it had a hit with “Promoted Trends”. That’s the ad unit that lets a brand occupy the top spot on Twitter’s “Trends” list for a day; Twitter recently started asking $200,000 a day for the privilege.

Media Technology Top

AP Unveils New Video Portal for U.S. Customers
The Associated Press introduced its new U.S. video portal that, for the first time, delivers both broadcast an online video together on a single platform.

8 must-haves to make the ultimate digital magazine store

Labor Issues Top
Cablevision’s Actions Illegal, Board Says
New York Times
The National Labor Relations Board said on Monday that it planned to file a complaint charging Cablevision with making illegal threats and offering improper inducements to its employees in the Bronx to discourage them from voting to unionize.
International Top

EU: Google could face Android antitrust investigation in Europe, after Microsoft complains
Google may find itself in trouble for bundling key applications in its lineup with the Android operating system, after a lobbying group including Microsoft, Nokia and others complained to the European Commission over the practice.

Australia: Crackdown on racism hurts free speech
Big Pond News
If the NSW government makes racist taunts a crime, people could push back making life worse for minority groups, a state parliamentary inquiry has been warned.

Canada: Gag order in defamation suit
Winnipeg Free Press
Businessmen brothers Sandy and Robert Shindleman have won their first battle against an Internet blogger who they claim has defamed them.

India: Go Goa Gone: Goa govt to take action against the film
Times of India
The Goa government decided to take action against Saif Ali Khan’s Go Goa Gone for violating the Cigarette Smoking Act and for allegedly ‘defaming’ the coastal state in the movie.

Russian journalist who campaigned against new highway dies after assault
The Guardian
Mikhail Beketov was left with brain damage after raising alarm about destruction of forest for road-building project.

UK: Leveson, Crime and Courts Bill and Online publishers, the devil is in the detail
International Forum for Responsible Media (Ashley Hurst)
In my view, the potential chilling effect comes not so much from threat of exemplary damages (which are likely to be rare) but the clause 17 provisions in relation to costs. Here it appears that the discretionary one-way cost-shifting procedural rules envisaged by Leveson have somehow metamorphosed into statutory provisions in the Crime and Courts Bill where the starting point is that “relevant publishers” will be liable for claimants’ costs even if they successfully defend claims unless a judge exercises the court’s discretion otherwise.

UK: Katie Price’s High Court claim form suggests PR plot to ‘bury the bitch’ in press
Press Gazette
Price believes Can Associates, the company which acted for her between 2004-2009, illegally holds personal information about her that is being offered to papers in interviews and celebrity columns.

UK: Murdoch’s Sky TV accused of abusing power by refusing to air competitor’s ads
The Verge
The accusation comes from telecoms giant BT, which is making a big play for the UK sports TV market. Sky has enjoyed something of a monopoly on content and distribution in the UK over the past decade. It has double the number of subscribers of its nearest competitor, and around 40 percent of UK households have at last one Sky box.

UK: Sun fined £3,000 for Oldham gas explosion reporting breach
The Independent
A district judge questioned whether the maximum fine available to him was high enough after The Sun admitted breaching restrictions following Andrew Partington’s appearance at Oldham Magistrates’ Court last year accused of manslaughter and other offences.

Miscellaneous Top

The National Digital Public Library Is Launched
New York Review of Books

Teacher Knows if You’ve Done the E-Reading
New York Times
Nine universities are testing technology that allows them to track their students’ progress with digital textbooks.

Editorials Top

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