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December 2020

MediaLawLetter December 2020

in this issue

Santa’s Gift List for Media Players Naughty and Nice

George Freeman

MLRC executive director George Freeman dons his santa cap and evaluates the year in news and MLRC events.


Trump Campaign Admits Defeat (In Wisconsin Defamation Case Against Local Broadcaster)

Charles D. Tobin, Maxwell S. Mishkin, and Brady C. Williamson

A week after President Trump lost re-election, his campaign committee abruptly dropped its Wisconsin defamation lawsuit over a super PAC’s political advertisement criticizing the President’s handling of the COVID pandemic.


Court Allows Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Concerning Device Prank to Proceed

Giselle M. Girones

The lawsuit claims Judge Moore was defamed in the segment by being represented as a pedophile and sex offender. He and his wife also asserted an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim for damages purportedly suffered as a result of his portrayal on the segment and further claim the appearance on the show was based on fraudulent representations.


Cardi B Is Heading to Trial Over Her Tattooed Album Cover

Sara Gates

Cardi B and her entertainment company recently learned the hard way that when you use a photograph from Google Images on an album cover, you may wind up in a lengthy lawsuit that turns out to be one of the statistical few that go to trial.

Defamation Directed at Online Persona Not “Of and Concerning” Plaintiff

Jeffrey J. Pyle

When is a defamatory statement directed at a social media user who operates under a pseudonym “of and concerning” the user? That was the question raised in a recent Massachusetts appeal.


New York Enacts Post-Mortem Right of Publicity and Related Legislation

Ben Scheffner

After two decades of negotiations and numerous failed attempts, New York this year finally enacted right of publicity legislation that covers deceased individuals.


D.C. Anti-SLAPP Statute Requires a Hearing

Cindy Gierhart and Madelaine Harrington

Appeals court rules D.C. Anti-SLAPP statute requires that the court hold a “a real-time, interactive” hearing on an anti-SLAPP motion and that the prima facie requirement should be construed “liberally” to include “intermixing public and private interests.”

Judge in George Floyd Prosecutions Allows Cameras in the Courtroom

Emmy Parsons

Finding that an overflow room is no substitute for in-person attendance, the judge overseeing the prosecutions of the four men charged in the death of George Floyd recently ordered that “[a]udio and video recording, broadcasting and streaming will be allowed” of the trial.

Court Tosses Journalist’s Lawsuit Against Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Denying Her Admission

Lauren Russell

A California federal court dismissed a Norwegian journalist’s complaint against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over the organization’s repeated rejection of her application for membership.


First Challenge to a State Drone Law Allowed to Proceed on First Amendment Grounds

Mickey H. Osterreicher and Alicia Wagner

In the first ruling on a challenge to a restrictive state drone law, a federal judge has held that Texas’ content-based restrictions on drone photography implicate the First Amendment rights of journalists, and that a case challenging that law may move forward.

MLRC 2020 Annual Meeting Minutes

Highlights from the annual meeting of the Media Law Resource Center, held November 17, 2020.


2020 DCS Annual Meeting and Committee Reports

Highlights from the annual meeting of the MLRC Defense Counsel Section, held on Zoom Thursday, November 19th, 2020.


Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: David S. Korzenik

David S. Korzenik

Reflections on career, pandemic life, and more from David S. Korzenik, a partner at Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman LLP in New York City.