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January 2022

MediaLawLetter January 2022

Court Upholds Dismissal of Libel Suit by Trump Campaign Adviser Against Yahoo and HuffPost; Reuters Gets Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Personal Trainer’s Lawsuit Dismissed; N.Y. Supreme SLAPPs The Epoch Times’ Suit Against Politico; Media Law Highlights of 2021 and Predictions for 2022; 10 Questions for First Look's Kay Murray; and much more.
in this issue

2021 and 2022: A Look Back at Media Law Highlights and Predictions for the Year Ahead

George Freeman

Of the 100+ Zoom calls since our series began, perhaps the call that best combined entertainment and thoughtful and nuanced media law analysis came in early January: a panel of experts choosing the most interesting media law matters of 2021 and predicting the most significant developments likely to happen in 2022.


Delaware Court Upholds Dismissal of Libel Suit by Former Trump Campaign Adviser Against Yahoo News and HuffPost

Jeff Grossman

In upholding the manner in which Yahoo News reported on aspects of the government’s investigation related to what later came to be known as the “Steele Dossier,” the 4-1 decision represents an affirmation of the legal protections for reporting on government investigations.

Reuters Gets Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Personal Trainer’s Lawsuit Dismissed

Abigail Zeitlin and Kate Bolger

A Virginia federal district court has rejected arguments to allow subsequent hyperlinks and third-party tweets to an article to restart the statute of limitations on a defamation claim. 


Media v. Media Defamation: N.Y. Supreme SLAPPs The Epoch Times’ Suit Against Politico

Joe Slaughter

Politico moved to dismiss on numerous grounds, including that Epoch had failed to meet the heightened pleading standard set out in the revised New York Anti-SLAPP statute. The court agreed,

Nevada Court SLAPPs Libel and Privacy Suit Over TikToks Alleging “Sexual Assault”

Zachary Gorelick

In a case before a Nevada District Court, it was a big First Amendment win for the self-described big, beautiful women speaking out about abusive behavior.

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of “Pantless Couponer’s” Privacy Lawsuit

Jennifer A. Mansfield

The Eleventh Circuit's order reaffirms that a federal court need not pretend that an exhibit is something it is not, merely because a plaintiff alleges so in the complaint.

Delaware Court Latest to Point the Twitter Finger: Tweets Can Constitute Actionable Expressions of Fact

Amy E. Pearl, John C. Connell, and Peter L. Frattarelli

In green lighting compliance with the subpoenas, the court found that tweets could constitute actionable expressions of fact sufficient to support a claim for defamation.

Colorado Court SLAPPSs Assault Claim Against Reporter

Steven D. Zansberg

The case presented the novel question: “Are claims of physical torts committed in the course of newsgathering covered by anti-SLAPP statutes?” This court answered “yes.”

Amazon, Penguin Random House, and Leading Authors Win $7.8m Judgment Against International Ebook Piracy Ring

Caesar Kalinowski IV, Liz McNamara, and John Goldmark

The Ukrainian-based operation was able to operate for years by migrating websites and falsifying domain information to continue illegally distributing thousands of ebooks.

A Mighty SLAPP: Ontario Judge Dismisses Lawsuits Over Wall Street Journal Reporting

Joseph Weissman

If the decision stands on appeal, it is likely to strengthen press freedom in Canada, providing useful precedent for media defendants under the relatively new and untested anti-SLAPP law.

Lloyd v. Google: UK Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Claimant’s Representative Action

David Barker and Caroline Henzell

The Supreme Court rejected the notion that every data subject affected by a non-trivial data breach is entitled to an award of compensation for the mere “loss of control” of their personal data.


Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Kay Murray

Kay Murray is Vice President, Law, for First Look Institute, Inc.