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January 2005

MediaLawLetter June 2005


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DCS Executive Committee Mid-Year Update


U.S.: Court Reaffirms Betamax Holding
Announces Standard for Active Inducement of Copyright Infringement
MGM v. Grokster

U.S.: Court Strikes Down Overly Broad Injunction Issued After Defamation Trial
Court leaves open whether injunctions may ever issue following defamation actions
Tory v. Cochran

U.S.: Grower-Funded Food Advertising Is “Government Speech”
Takes First Amendment challenge off the table
Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Assoc.

U.S.: Court Refuses to Hear Miller Cooper Appeal
Case will return to District Court for hearing on sentencing
In re Grand Jury Subpoena


D.C. Cir.: D.C. Cir. Affirms Contempt Ruling Against Reporters in Wen Ho Lee Case
Plaintiff exhausted every reasonable alternative source of information
Lee v. Dept. of Justice

Pa. Ct. C.P.: Pennsylvania Trial Court Orders Reporter to Reveal Source in Libel Case
Source allegedly provided information concerning grand jury testimony
Castellani v. Scranton Times

Miss. Cir. Ct.: Mississippi Trial Court Orders Reporter to Reveal Source
Source leaked drug agency memo about plaintiffs
Pierce v. Melton


Ill. Cir. Ct.: The Tribune’s Trial of the Century
Jury finds falsity but no actual malice to support libel claim
Knight v. Chicago Tribune Co.

Ky. Cir. Ct.: Clear Channel and Talk Radio Host Win Jury Verdict in Kentucky
Media defendants win on all claims stemming from on-air comments
Divita v. Ziegler

Utah App.: Court Recognizes Neutral Report Privilege
Accurate report about controversy protected
Schwarz v. Salt Lake City Tribune

11th Cir.: No Privacy for Drug Smuggler
Publisher and author immune from liability under First Amendment
Alexander v. HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Texas: Texas Supreme Court Grants Summary Judgment to Newspaper
Newspaper report was rational interpretation of candidate’s remark
Freedom Newspapers v. Cantu

N.J. Super. Ct.: New Jersey Court Issues Split Decision in Reality TV Privacy Class Action
Court refuses to certify nationwide class in action over documentary show
Castro v. NYT Television

Ill. App. Ct.: Illinois Appellate Court Dismisses Defense Lawyer’s Lawsuit Based on Mob Book
“Innocent construction rule” shielded defendants from liability over non-fiction book
Tuite v. Corbitt

N.D. Ill.: False Light Claim Fails Over Failure to Identify False Facts
Court dismisses false light claim with prejudice over newspaper articles
Gyrion v. Chicago

Ct. App.: Connecticut Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel Claim
Article was “fair report” of criminal trial
Fuller v. Day

Ga. Ct. App.: Georgia Court of Appeals Dismisses Defamation Suits Against Employee Whistleblower and Private Citizen
Televised statements by former Atlanta Humane Society employee were privileged
Harkins v. Atlanta Humane Soc’y

Pa. App.: Pennsylvania Appellate Court Reinstates Libel Action
True Statement May Have Created Libelous Implication
Weber v. Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.

Pa. App.: Pennsylvania Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Libel-by-Implication Suit
Broadcast could not be reasonably be interpreted as having a defamatory meaning
Lamenza v. Hearst-Argyle Stations, Inc.

Cal. Ct. App.: California Court Rejects Civil Rights Suit Over Screening of Talk Radio Caller
Court affirms application of anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss plaintiff’s claims
Ingels v. Westwood One Broadcasting Services, Inc.

N.D. Ill.: Paramount Pictures Wins Summary Judgment in “Hardball” Movie Litigation
Court holds innocent construction rule and First Amendment shielded defendants
Muzikowski v. Paramount Pictures Corp.

N.Y. App.: No Libel Claim for Criticism of Columnist’s Job Performance
Editor’s letter was expression of opinion
Zion v. NYP Holdings, Inc.

W.D. Mich.: Failed Footballer Tackled for a Loss Over Novel Libel Claim
Court rejects claims stemming from NFL Football video game
Neal v. Electronic Arts

S.D.N.Y.: Media Amicus Brief Filed in Ehrenfeld v. Bin Mahfouz
Author seeking declaration that UK libel judgment is unenforceable in the U.S.
Ehrenfeld v. Bin Mahfouz


N.Y.: New York High Court Rejects Bid for Cameras in Courtroom
Court holds statutory ban violates neither federal nor state constitutions
Courtroom Television Network LLC v. New York


Haw. Cir. Ct.: Hawaii Court Rejects Prior Restraint
Court refuses to restrain publication of legal strategy memo
Hawaii v. Gannett Pacific Corporation d/b/a/ The Honolulu Advertiser


6th Cir.: Sixth Circuit Reaffirms: “Get a License or Do Not Sample”
Digital sampling is not subject to de minimis rule of copyright law
Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films

D.C. Cir.: Constitutional Challenge to Uruguay Copyright Agreement Rejected
URAA held not to violate Copyright and Patent Clause of U.S. Constitution
Luck’s Music Library, Inc. v. Gonzales

S.D.N.Y.: Freelance Photographer’s Copyright Claim Barred by Equitable Estoppel
Plaintiff barred from recovering damages for photographs used on website
Dallal v. The New York Times Company


M.D. La.; U.S.: Restrictions on Online Gambling Ads Buoyed by Recent Decisions
WTO Decisions support efforts to clamp down on advertising of internet gambling
Casino City, Inc. v. United States Department of Justice United States-Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, WT/DS285/AB/R


Mich. Ct. App.: Michigan Court of Appeals Holds that Televised Nudity Is Public Indecency
State’s indecent exposure law applied to prohibit nudity on public access television
People v. Hoffman


U.S.: Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Plaintiffs’ Appeal in Texas Satire Case
Texas Supreme Court found satire piece could not be interpreted as stating facts
New Times Inc. v. Issacks

ALI: ALI Project on Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
Reporter’s Note concerns U.S. enforcement of foreign libel judgments

U.S. D.O.J.: Justice Department Limits Prosecution under HIPAA
Opinion limits criminal prosecutions under federal health privacy law

Legislative Update: Open Government Act & Freedom of Information