Skip to main content
January 2004

MediaLawLetter July 2004


pdf Download Publication


DCS President’s Note

MLRC’s 50-State Survey Media Privacy & Related Law

Libel Conference Boutique Sessions

Legislative: Sensitive Security Information; Parents Empowerment Act

Prepub. Comm.: Reporting Mean and Ugly Quotes: Key Points to Remember

Ethics Corner: The Corporate Attorney Client Privilege: The Corporation and the Journalist


Colo.: Court Upholds Prior Restraint in Kobe Bryant Case
Media may not publish lawfully obtained transcripts
Colorado v. Bryant


Pa. C.P.: Pennsylvania Newspaper Wins Libel Trial
Judge’s wife sued for libel; judge, for loss of consortium
Popovich v. Daily News

Mo. Cir. Ct.: Twists and Turns: $15 Million Verdict on Retrial of Misappropriation Claim
Second trial “mirrors” original; jury award based on flimsy evidence
Tony Twist v. TCI Cablevision of Missouri, Inc.

Fla. Cir. Ct.: Mistrial in Punitives Phase of Pensacola News Journal Trial
Judge dismissed two of the six jurors, leaving no alternates. Set new trial date for October.
Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. v. Pensacola News Journal, Inc.

Nev. Dist. Ct.: Steve Wynn, Publisher Settle Libel Case Before Trial
Casino executive and Barricade Books agree to an undisclosed settlement
Wynn v. Smith

N.J. App.: Court Dismisses Misappropriation Claims Against Reality Show
No cause of action exists when person’s image or likeness is used for noncommercial purposes
Castro v. NYT Television

9th Cir.: Suzuki v. Consumers Union Disparagement Case Settled
According to CU, no monetary compensation was paid in long running case
Suzuki v. Consumers Union

D.N.J. Court Dismisses Misappropriation Claim over 9/11 Memorial Photo
Court held the photo to be newsworthy and plaintiff was in a public place
Dell Chiaie v. Corbis Corporation and Sygma Photo News, Inc.

4th Cir.: Court Gives Broad Application to Opinion Defense
Statements about prior litigations were opinion as matter of law
Schnare v. Harris Publications

Okla.: Court Gives Expansive Reading to Fair Comment Privilege in Private-Figure Libel Case
Unanimous court affirms summary judgment in favor of defendant TV station
Magnusson v. The New York Times Company, et. al.

N.Y. Sup. Ct.: Libel Suit over Spelling Bee Article Dismissed
Court found magazine article, although unflattering, was not defamatory
Goldstein, et. al. v. The New York Times Company

D.Or.: Oregon Court Holds Fair Report Privilege Is Not Absolute
Newspaper lost conditional privilege by acting with actual malice and gross negligence
Gunter v. The Guardian Press Foundation, dba Oregon Observer, et al.

N.Y.A.D.: Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel Action Against Sing Tao Daily
Unanimous panel finds NY Law confers absolute privilege for fair report of judicial proceeding
Ng v. Chee Kong Tong Supreme Lodge Chinese Freemason of the World

Pa C.P.: Dead Men Make Lousy Witnesses
Judge dismisses defamation and false light claims brought by plaintiff after 6 years of inaction
Zotter v. North Hills News Record, et. al.

N.D. Ga.: Ramseys’ Libel Suit against Fox News Is Transferred to Colorado
Court transfers case in interest of justice and for convenience of parties and witnesses
Ramsey, et al. v. Fox News Network

9th Cir.: Tort Reform, Arnold-style: Publicity Suit Dismissed
Court rules California lacks jurisdiction over Ohio-based car dealership
Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Company


1st Cir.: Circuit Ruling on Intercepted E-mails Reduces Electronic Privacy
Decision allows third parties, law enforcement to read e-mails in “electronic storage” at ISPs
United States v. Councilman

4th Cir.: Court Affirms Dismissal of Direct Infringement Claim Against Website
Finds no volitional conduct despite screening procedure
CoStar Group, Inc. v. LoopNet

S.Ct.: COPA Revisited: Court Rules Again on Child Online Protection Act
Five-justice majority affirms preliminary injunction, finds filtering software is less restrictive
Ashcroft v. ACLU II


Minnesota Football Coach and School District Libel Settlement Ends Non-Party Reporter’s Ordeal
Despite state high court order, sports reporter will not have to disclose his confidential sources
Weinberger v. Maplewood Review

N.J. App.: Lawyer’s Inadvertent Disclosure Doesn’t Waive Reporter’s Privilege
Inadvertent error did not constitute “knowing and voluntary” waiver required by state Shield Law
Kinsella v. Welch and NYT Television


Fla. Cir. Ct.: Florida Court Rules CNN Has Right to Copy Suspected Felons List
Court declares Florida public records exemption relied on by Elections Division unconstitutional
CNN v. Florida Dep’t of State

Wash.: Washington High Court Hands Press a Victory on Access to Sealed Court Records
Unanimous court adopts guidelines for sealing records that favor openness
Dreiling v. Jain

E.D.N.Y.: No Media Access to Sentencing Letter
Judge finds letters subject to presumptive common law right of access, but privacy interest trumps
U.S. v. Gotti


ECHR: The Princess, the Paparazzi and the Press
Privacy law marches forward through Europe, shift towards French paradigm
von Hannover v. Germany

Germany: Court of Appeal Enjoins Publication of Novel Depicting Assassination of Chancellor
Court found novel violated Chancellor’s personality rights
Coe v. Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror

Canada: ISPs Acting Passively Are Not Liable for Copyright Infringement, High Court Says
Canadian Copyright Act may apply extraterritorially
Canadian Assoc. of Internet Providers v. SOCAN

U.K.: London’s “Indecent Proposal” Slander Case Ends in Loss for the Claimant
Jury finds accusations that orthodox man tried to purchase friend’s wife were substantially true
Maccaba v. Lichtenstein


Cal. App.: No “Free Ink” for Political Advertiser
Court affirms dismissal of fraud and breach of contract claims against newspaper, radio stations
Barker v. Gulf-California Broadcasting Company, et. al.

3rd Cir.: Court Stays Media Ownership Rules
Divided panel rules on myriad FCC regulations included in 2003 Omnibus Report and Order
Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC

F.A.C.: Survey Shows Greater Support for First Amendment Values
As time distances 9/11, fewer Americans believe “the press” is afforded too much leeway

GAO: Medicare Videos Were “Propaganda”
Video news releases failed to sufficiently identify their government origin