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February 2023

MediaLawLetter February 2023

in this issue

Celebrating Sullivan’s 59th Anniversary; MLRC White Paper’s First

George Freeman

Executive director takes a second look at MLRC's landmark White Paper "New York Times v. Sullivan: The Case for Preserving an Essential Precedent."


California Court of Appeal Affirms Tarantino Movie Does Not Violate Actor’s Right of Publicity

Elizabeth L. Schilken

Affirming a bright line exemption for expressive works from California’s post-mortem right of publicity statute, the Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal of right of publicity claims against the Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.

Colorado Court Affirms Dismissal of Anti-Abortion Activist’s Libel Suit

Steve Zansberg

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s granting of defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion terminating the libel case brought by anti-abortion activist David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress against Dr. Savita Ginde, the former medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountain Region.

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Defamation Complaint Based On Fair Report Privilege

Michael J. Grygiel

Both the District Court’s decision and the Second Circuit’s affirmance reinforce that Section 74 provides appropriate grounds for upfront dismissal of a defamation complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) where the application of the privilege is clear on the face of the allegations.


Florida Court Quashes Subpoena to Orlando Sentinel in Campaign Finance Trial

Minch Minchin

A central Florida court denied a criminal defendant’s motion to subpoena four Orlando Sentinel Reporters under Florida’s journalists’ privilege.

DC Court of Appeals Dismisses Police Union’s Fundamental Right to Privacy Claim Over Body Cam Footage

Sara Benson and Cindy Gierhart

The Court found that the growing consensus regarding a First Amendment right to record police activity in public was incompatible with the alleged fundamental information privacy right asserted by FOP.

A Muslim Musician Is on Death Row for Singing on What’s App

Richard Winfield

The Nigerian musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, was expressing his religious beliefs in his lyrics which praised a Nigerian imam whom he sang was superior to the Prophet Mohammad.


Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Dan Novack

Dan Novack

Penguin Randomhouse lawyer on resigning from his high school paper, penning a blistering reply to a legal threat issued by Michael Avenatti, advice for those looking to break into media law and more.