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January 2009

MediaLawLetter December 2009


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Thank You, Kelli Sager


Congress: Federal Shield Law Bill Passes Senate Committee
Judiciary Committee Passes Shield Law Bill 14-5
S. 448 “Free Flow of Information Act of 2009”


Congress: Bills In House And Senate Would Loosen Pleading Standards For Defamation Suits
Bills Introduced to Overrule Supreme Court’s Decision Ashcroft v. Iqbal
S. 1504 The Notice Pleading Restoration Act of 2009
H.R. 4115 The Open Access to Courts Act of 2009

Congress: Federal Anti-SLAPP Bill Introduced in Congress
Bill Would Protect Speech and Conduct on Issues of Public Interest
H.R. 4364 The “Citizen Participation Act”

FTC: FTC Issues Final Guides on the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
New Guidelines Address Blogs, Social Networking Sites


U.S.: Supreme Court Asked to Review Right of Publicity Case
Eleventh Circuit Ruled “Notorious Death” Not “Carte Blanche” to Publish Old Photos
Toffoloni v. LFP Publishing Inc., d/b/a Hustler Magazine

2nd Cir.: No Claim for Prima Facie Tort Based on A Defendant’s Expression
Opinion Column Cannot Form Basis for Claim
McKenzie v. Dow Jones

Cal. Sup. Ct.: Suit Against Sasha Baron Cohen and Producers of “Brüno” Dismissed
Women in Bingo Hall Scene Claimed Distress and Physical Injuries
Olson v. Cohen

2nd Cir.: Not Defamatory to Say Prisoner Will Give Evidence for Prosecution
Meaning Determined By “Right-Thinking” Members of Society
Michtavi v. New York Daily News

E.D. Ark.: Libel Lawsuit Against Dixie Chicks Dismissed on Summary Judgment
Singer Urged Fans to Support Campaign to Free Death Row Inmate
Hobbs v. Pasdar

Fla. Cir. Ct.: Touching A Hot Stove, Twice
Court Dismisses Putative Defamation Action Against Author and Publisher
Robert Sensi and Joseph Serian v. Engin K. Yesil, et al.

Tenn. App.: Libel Suit by Topless Bar Owner and Dancers Against News Source Dismissed
Statement Was Not “Of and Concerning” Plaintiffs
Steele v. Ritz


W.D. Ky.: Court Analyzes Single Publication Rule and the Internet
Hyperlinks and References to Original Article Not a Republication
Salyer v. The Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc.

The Single Publication Rule Online
When Does Updating a Website Constitute Republication?

D. Ore.: Promissory Estoppel Claim Stated Against Yahoo For Failure to Remove False Profile
Plaintiff Pled Sufficient Facts to Show Detrimental Reliance
Barnes v. Yahoo!


Canada: Supreme Court of Canada Creates Defense of Public Interest Responsible Communication
Landmark Ruling Increases Protection for Free Expression
Grant v. Torstar Corporation

ECHR: ECHR Rules for Media in Source Protection Case
Disclosure of Sources Only Appropriate in “Exceptional Circumstances”
Financial Times and ors v United Kingdom (“Interbrew Case”)


Cal. App.: Court Affirms Summary Judgment On Idea Submission Case
Substantial Similarity Analysis Applied To Plaintiff’s And Defendant’s Works
Kightlinger v. White

C.D. Cal.: Coda To The End Of The Twilight Series
Dismissal Of Copyright Action
Scott v. Meyer, et al.


The Ethics of Journalism During Disasters and the Implications for Media Lawyers