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January 2006

MediaLawLetter August 2006


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Ethics: Pre-Publication Review And One’s Duty To A “Higher Authority”


E.D. Va.: Espionage Act Can Be Applied to Lobbyists for Political Speech
Judge Rejects First Amendment Defense in AIPAC Case
U.S. v. Rosen


2d Cir.: Second Circuit Rules Against New York Times in Phone Records Case
No Privilege Could Overcome the Government’s Need to the Phone Records
New York Times v. Gonzales

N.D. Cal.: Imprisoned Freelance Videographer Seeks Reversal Of Contempt Citation
Jailed for Refusal to Produce Unaired Video Footage
In re Grand Jury Investigation (Josh Wolf)

N.D. Cal.: Court Denies Reporters’ Motion to Quash Subpoenas in BALCO Leak Investigation
No Qualified or Common Law Privilege
In re Grand Jury Subpoenas (Fainaru-Wada, Williams)


Kan. D. Ct.: Judge Awards $240,000 Punitives in Vanity Publisher Libel & Privacy Case
Adds to $230,000 Compensatory Award by Jury
Brandewyne et al. v. AuthorHouse

Puerto Rico: Court Awards $260,000 in Damages on Claims Against Gossiping Puppet
Statements About Politicians Husband Made With Actual Malice
Krans Bell v. Santarrosa

Cal.: “Lord of the Dance” Sidesteps SLAPP Motion
Illegal Conduct Not Protected By Statute
Flatley v. Mauro

D. Ore.: Right of Publicity Claim Over Book Photo Dismissed
Incidental Use of Plaintiff’s Photo Not Actionable
Johnson v. HarperCollins

E.D. Pa.: Defamation Suit Against Senator John Kerry and Campaign Official Dismissed
Statements in Heat of Campaign Are Opinion
Sherwood v. Kerry

Idaho: Dist. Ct. Criminal Libel Charges Against Idaho Widower Dropped
Second Recent Use of Law Over Public Protest
Idaho v. Hinrichs


N.D. Cal.: Verdict for Newspaper in Copyright Trial Over Use of Photographs in Book Reviews
Jury Finds Fair Use
Harris v. San Jose Mercury News

D. Colo.: Movie Studios Win Copyright Claim Over Sanitized “Family-Content” Movies
Companies’ Editing and Distribution Violates Copyright Act
Clean Flicks of Colorado v. Soderbergh

E.D. Mo.: Baseball Strikes Out
Fantasy Baseball Does Not Violate Players’ Right of Publicity
C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media

C.D. Cal.: Strip Club Loses Trademark Claims Against “Grand Theft Auto” Game
Use of Similar Name and Logo Protected by First Amendment
E.S.S. Entertainment 2000, Inc. v. Rock Star Videos, Inc

C.D. Cal.: Trade Group’s Commentary May Be Subject Matter of Lanham Act Claim
Non-profit Could Be Viewed As A Commercial Competitor
National Services Group, Inc., v. Painting & Decorating Contractors of America


UK: Scottish MP Wins £200,000 Award in Trial Against The News of the World
Despite Evidence of Truth Jury Finds for Politician
Sheridan v. News of the World


3rd Cir.: Third Circuit Affirms Challenge to Delaware’s FOIA Law
Limit on Out-of State Citizens’ Right of Access Violates Privilege & Immunities Clause
Lee v. Minner


DOJ: DOJ Releases Study of Appeals in Civil Trials
Study Tracks Appeals from 2001 Civil Trials