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June 2024

MediaLawLetter June 2024

in this issue

Campus Protests, Hate Speech & the First Amendment — A Timely Zoom Call Revisited

George Freeman

The call featured four experts making thoughtful and nuanced points, which I thought was worth summarizing here. At the same time, I offer a few thoughts of my own, not necessarily my conclusions, but simply ideas to mull over. 

AI and Child Safety Lead Discussion at 2024 MLRC Digital Conference

Michael Norwick

Much of the content of this year’s conference encompassed two red hot topics: the uncertainty and quickly evolving issues surrounding generative AI, and the wave of legislation and litigation in the name of child safety.

Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer

Kate Bolger

DWT partner on her start in the business, memorable cases, firm life post-pandemic, and things to do in New York City.

NRA v. Vullo: The Supreme Court on Government Coercion and the First Amendment

Jeff Hermes

The Supreme Court’s decision in Vullo does not upend the law, instead reaffirming Bantam Books and cautioning lower courts to take a holistic approach to the facts rather than considering discrete factors or actions in isolation.


Houston Appeals Court (Finally) Dismisses Defamation Claims Against ProPublica and Houston Chronicle

Reid Pillifant

In its decision, the First District Court of Appeals in Houston found that Defendants’ reporting on the plaintiff’s career as a heart surgeon and the concerns that had been raised about some of his practices and procedures, as well as his failure to follow protocols in clinical trials, was substantially true.

Texas Court of Appeals Dismisses Claims by Politically Connected Entrepreneur on Statute of Limitations Grounds

Marc Fuller and Maggie Burreson

A Texas court of appeals rejected a telehealth company’s attempt to evade the state’s one-year statute of limitations on defamation claims by relabeling its claims as business disparagement and other torts.

Court Dismisses False Light Claim Against New York Magazine Over “The Case of the Fake Sherlock”

Kaitlin Gurney, Chad Bowman, and Isabella Salomão Nascimento

In a decision reaffirming the Third Circuit’s actual malice pleading requirement, a Pennsylvania judge granted Vox’s motion to dismiss a renowned armchair detective’s false light invasion of privacy claim.


Newsweek Wins Dismissal on Substantial Truth

Cameron Stracher and Sara Tesoriero

Judge Buchwald held that technical inaccuracies in Newsweek’s reporting about a guilty plea entered by Plaintiff Olivet University did not give rise to a defamation claim where the gist of the allegedly defamatory statement was substantially true.


A Cautionary Tale for Defamation Plaintiffs: Going Back to the Lion’s Den to Retrieve Your Hat

Marlia Saunders and Amelia CausleyTodd

The outcome is hugely significant because it's the first time a court has made a finding about what happened at Parliament House on that night over 5 years ago – and provides long overdue vindication for Brittany Higgins. 

Court Holds Information, Like Unicorns, Should Be Free: Unicorn Riot and the Minnesota Shield Law

Christopher Proczko

The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion strengthening the protections of Minnesota’s shield law. The decision is a welcome reinforcement to the media’s protections against third-party subpoenas.

Supreme Court Provides for Broader Availability of Damages in Copyright Suits

Sean M. Callagy and Bridgette C. Gershoni

The Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Warner Chappell Music, Inc. v. Nealy, No. 22-1078, holding that damages are available under the Copyright Act for acts of infringement that predate the initiation of suit by more than three years.

Federal Court Holds That Copyright Act Preempts X’s Web Scraping Claims

Jeremy Goldman

In a blockbuster ruling that is bound to have far-reaching implications, including in the swarm of copyright infringement cases brought against AI platforms, a California federal court recently dismissed a complaint that X Corp. brought against web scraping company Bright Data.

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Limits on NDAs

Raymond Baldino

The New Jersey Supreme Court clarified the scope of a recently enacted ban on non-disclosure agreements in connection with discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.