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March 2013

MediaLawLetter March 25, 2013


MLRC MediaLawDaily

Media Law Daily
mobile/print | email us | | March 25, 2013
Access/Freedom of Information | Broadcast/Cable/Satellite
Commercial Speech | Defamation | Editorials | Internet/New Media
Internet Privacy | Intellectual Property | International | Labor Issues
Media Business | Media Technology | Miscellaneous | Newsgathering
Prior Restraint | Privacy | Reporter’s Privilege | Supreme Court

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Anthony Lewis, Who Transformed Coverage of the Supreme Court, Dies at 85
New York Times

See also:
MLRC William J. Brennan, Jr. Defense of Freedom Award Recipient, 2011
>Transcript, MLRC 2011 Dinner

Supreme Court Top
Reporter’s Privilege Top
Defamation Top
N.Y. Sup.: Defense cites illegal SLAPP at free speech
Times Union
I thought it wouldn’t come to this. I assumed the first Bruce — that would be Bruce Tanski, the developer — would drop his libel and slander claims against Bruce Rischert, the ordinary citizen who had the gall to attend a public meeting and speak out against a proposed apartment complex.
> Brief in support of defendant’s motion for summary judgment: Tanski v. Rischert
Privacy Top
Access/Freedom of Information Top

Cal.: Tide of Criticism Meets Court Admin Office Idea for New Fee
Courthouse News
The California court bureaucracy’s campaign to assess a $10-per-file fee for every record request has brought a tide of criticism from key legislators, judges and newspapers, saying the proposed legislation would “bring the shades down” and “have a negative impact on our democracy.”

Tex. Dist.: Author Seeks Access to Olympic Doping Info
Courthouse News
The University of Texas is denying a sports psychologist access to a “treasure trove” of documents about Olympic history and Olympic doping, which he helped get for the college, the professor claims in court.

In Leak Case, State Secrecy in Plain Sight
New York Times
Reporters covering the government’s prosecution of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is being court-martialed for conveying secret information to WikiLeaks, have spent a year trying to pierce the veil of secrecy in what is supposed to be a public proceeding.

Newsgathering Top

E.D.N.Y.: Judge Tosses Law Requiring Subway Passengers To Give Police Their ID
The ruling came following a lawsuit filed by two vintage train aficionados, who were stopped by police while taking photographs at the Broad Channel subway station in Queens.

Pa. bill would limit whistleblowing
Pocono Record
A recently proposed Pennsylvania bill would make it a crime to photograph, videotape or audiotape activities on farms without the permission of the owner. The bill would limit information to the public about food safety, animal cruelty and environmental issues, according to its critics.

Wave of “Ag Gag” Bills Threaten Food Safety and Freedom of the Press

Prior Restraint Top
Broadcast/Cable/Satellite Top

News Corp. pursuit of LA Times stymied by regulatory rule
United Press International
News Corp. is interested in buying the Los Angeles newspaper from Tribune Corp. However, a Federal Communication Commission rule prohibits one company from owning television and newspaper businesses in the same market. News Corp. owns two television stations in Los Angeles and is also the owner of Fox News, which reports on the entertainment industry based in Los Angeles, The New York Times reported Monday..

See also
F.C.C. Shift May Thwart a Murdoch Media Deal
New York Times
In weighing a bid for The Los Angeles Times, Rupert Murdoch finds himself in a familiar role: waiting for rule changes from the government. With the resignation last week of Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, he may have to wait a little longer.

Aereo Tips Trial Strategy Against Big Media
Lawyers for Aereo went to court this week seeking sensitive documents from Big Media ranging from carriage deals to NBCUniversal Olympic research to contracts with Netflix. The hearing came as Aereo preps its defense for a likely trial, where broadcast entities have charged it with copyright infringement, leading to irreparable harm.

Rating the legacy of outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he was stepping down from the role today. Let’s take a look back and see how he did against our hopes for him back in 2009.

Internet / New Media Top

S.D.N.Y.: AP wins big: Why a court said clipping content is not fair use
A New York court issued a major ruling that limits the amount of content an internet scraping service can take without paying for it. Here’s a plain English explanation.

See also:
AP Beats Meltwater: And What It Means For Google News

‘Let Me Tweet That For You’ site raises concerns for journalists
It’s pretty simple — you type in a Twitter username and a message, and it generates a realistic-looking image of a tweet from that person. It even adds fake retweet and favorite counts to lend some more credibility. The site is a project of OKFocus, a New York-based marketing agency.

U.S. Senate Approves Proposed Internet Sales Tax
An Internet sales tax is inching its way closer to being the law of the land: The U.S. Senate supported a non-binding vote of approval, 75-to-24, for a law that would allow states to collect taxes from Internet retailers.

Internet Privacy Top
Microsoft Finally Releases Info About Law Enforcement Snooping On Skype, Other User Data
After mounting criticism over its lack of transparency, the company has for the first time detailed government surveillance of services like Skype, Hotmail, and SkyDrive.
Intellectual Property Top

Next Moves for IP Law After SCOTUS First-Sale Ruling
Law Technology News
Lawyers will start testing alternative legal strategies that could give their clients the protections they thought they had under copyright law. Congress may try to pass new legislation to grant those protections. Meanwhile, other forms of intellectual property protection could be affected by the Court’s ruling, as could U.S. international trade negotiations.

TTAB: N.Y. Yankees Block Clothing Manufacturer’s “Baseball’s Evil Empire” Trademark Registration 
Technology & Marketing Law Blog (Eric Goldman)
Based on the abundance of evidence, the Board decided that the Evil Empire mark was famous and thus afforded a broader scope of protection.
> Opinion: New York Yankees Partnership v. Evil Enterprises

Microsoft Cleared of Infringing Google Patents With Xbox
Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox video-gaming system doesn’t violate the patent rights of Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit, a U.S. trade judge said.
> Microsoft 2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report

Commercial Speech Top
Media Business Top

The “barbell problem” in media: The ends are fine, but the middle is getting squeezed
Some of the larger traditional brands in journalism will probably wind up prospering in the new digital era, and some hyper-local ones will as well — but what happens to the players in the middle? Their future remains uncertain.

Initial 2013 Broadcast Spending Reflects Tough Comps With 2012, Digital Continues To Expand Share Of Agency Budgets
Media Post
U.S. ad spending expanded 4% during the first two months of 2013 vs. the same period in 2012, according to actual buying data from four of the six agency holding companies compiled by Standard Media Index (SMI).

CBS Said Buying 50% of TV Guide Network for $100 Million
CBS Corp. will buy a 50 percent stake in TV Guide Network from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s One Equity Partners unit, said a person with knowledge of the deal, giving the company a new basic cable outlet for programs.

SF Chronicle erects paywall for ‘premium’ content
The move to offer readers “unrivaled content” separate from the free appears to be an attempt to woo readers back to good old-fashioned print.

Japan Times Reaches Deal With Times Co.
The New York Times
The International New York Times will be distributed alongside The Japan Times, beginning in October, as part of a joint publication deal, the newspapers said Monday.

Reader’s Digest Files Plan for Bankruptcy Reorganization

Journal Register Approved to Sell Assets in Bankruptcy Court

Bloomberg Businessweek expands non-postal delivery
Bloomberg Businessweek is expanding its alternate delivery program via a partnership with Gannett, the magazine will announce Monday. Subscribers in Cincinnati, Asheville, N.C., and 13 other markets will by July be able to receive their magazines via Gannett’s newspaper-delivery apparatus.

News Corp To Sell 5.28% Stake in Phoenix Satellite for $92 Million

Anarchy Roils Games Market as Talent Migrates to Mobile
Consumer tastes have shifted at warp speed away from higher-priced packaged discs, and developers are following.

Yahoo acquires news reading iPhone app Summly
Yahoo has acquired news-reading iOS app Summly, which was created by London teenager Nick D’Aloisio. Summly will no longer exist as a standalone app and will be removed from the iTunes Store today.

Barnes & Noble Cuts Back Simon & Schuster Titles
Wall Street Journal
Barnes & Noble Inc. BKS -1.02% has sharply reduced the number of Simon & Schuster titles it carries in its stores as well as the promotion it gives those books as a result of a financial dispute between the two companies, say people familiar with the matter.

Media Technology Top
Labor Issues Top
Cal. Super.: Crewmember Sues Discovery Network Over Reality Show Accident
The Hollywood Reporter (Hollywood Esq.)
A soundman says the injuries he suffered after a vehicle he was riding in landed in a ditch were the result of negligence.
International Top

EU: Open Letter To EU Competition Commissioner Exerts Pressure For Tougher “Vertical Search” Settlement With Google
Search Engine Land
Late last week a group of Google critics, rivals and complainants sent an “open letter” to EU competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia asking him to focus on the “vertical search” or “search neutrality” dimensions of the Google antitrust case.

Australia: PM says media reform moves over
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed the government has given up on its remaining proposals for media reform, billed by media organisations as an attack on free speech.

In Burma, newspapers are going daily, but the transformation to watch may be in mobile
Nieman Journalism Lab
A news ecosystem poised for growth has some fundamental questions to figure out — financial, legal, and journalistic.

France: Twitter sued for $50 million over racist, anti-Semitic tweet data
Twitter has been hit with a $50 million lawsuit over claims it failed to comply with a French court order to reveal details about users who posted racist and anti-Semitic messages on the site.

French mother on trial for son Jihad’s T-shirt
Washington Post
A T-shirt worn by a 3-year-old nursery-schooler named Jihad has led to an unusual and politically charged criminal trial here that tests the limits of free speech — and common sense — in a France increasingly ill at ease with its growing Muslim population.

France: Are the French Preparing an E-Book Revolution? Mais Oui!
PBS Mediashift

Ireland: Call for debate on criminalising cyber-bullies
Irish Times
Serious questions need to be addressed as to whether society wants to see its children criminalised under the law for abusing social media, a conference on cyber-bullying heard today.

Jamaica: Gov’t tables anti-libel Bill
Jamaica Observer
The media-friendly Act to repeal the Defamation Act and the Libel and Slander Act was tabled in the Senate Friday, after a near 15-month delay.

Malaysia would be chaos if media laws abolished’
New Strait Times
The people of Malaysia will be confused and the country in chaos if all the laws relating to the media are abolished, according to some media specialists.

Russia: Did Boris Berezovsky Kill Himself? More Compelling, Did He Kill Forbes Editor Paul Klebnikov

Somalia: Gunmen kill female journalist
Associated Press
Abdikarim Ahmed Bulhan, the director of Abudwak radio in central Somalia, said Monday that two men armed with pistols killed 25-year-old Rahmo Abdulqadir Farah in Mogadishu on Sunday evening.

Thai TV show draws army wrath for lese-majeste debate
A television show is testing the boundaries of controversial laws protecting Thailand’s monarchy, drawing a rebuke from the army chief and criticism from a government minister who ruled out changes to the country’s draconian lese-majeste rules.

Tunisian blogger faces prison
The Guardian
Tunisian blogger Olfa Riahi has been charged with criminal defamation for posting an item in which the country’s former foreign minister was alleged to have misused public funds.

UK: Newspapers bid to change Leveson deal with Lords amendment
The Guardian
Lord Black of Brentwood, the executive director of the Telegraph Media Group, is hoping to persuade peers debating the crime and courts bill that it would be “wrong in principle” to create a system allowing courts to award exemplary damages against newspapers that remain outside the approved regulator.

UK: Lawyers for Media Standards–serious concerns about Royal Charter arbitration scheme
International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

UK: Leading media lawyers say legal backing for new press regulation regime is against European law
Press Gazette
Four legal experts have said they believe that the threat of exemplary damages would not stand up to a challenge under the Article 10 right to freedom of expression enshrined in European law and the Human Rights Act.

See also
Alan Rusbridger: press should be given a year to make self-regulation work
The Guardian
Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, has urged the government to allow the newspaper industry to set up its own regulatory system and give it a year to prove itself before shackling papers with a regime that could threaten 300 years of press freedom.

UK; Alan Davies ‘could pay out £200,000’ over Lord McAlpine false child abuse tweet
Daily Mail
The payout could be the largest so far in the McAlpine scandal, which was triggered by Newsnight’s November 2 broadcast about paedophiles targeting children at a care home in Wrexham. Lord McAlpine was wrongly implicated in the programme and his name was then widely mentioned on the internet, including Twitter.

UK: Mail Online sued over ‘voyeuristic’ photos of Paul Weller’s children
Daily Mail
Six photographs, featured under the headline “A family day out … Paul Weller takes wife Hannah and his twin sons out for a spot of shopping in the hot LA sun”, have been complained about by the Wellers.

UK: “‘Protecting free speech: A Public Interest Defence for the Media?”, A Debate at Gray’s Inn – Henry Vane
International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

UK: Buzzfeed in the UK: Are kittens, owls and boy bands the media’s future?
The Independent
Monday marks the launch of BuzzFeed UK, the first overseas office of the wildly popular American website that has been hailed as either the death knell or the future of the media.

Zimbabwe: Mtetwa freed on $500 bail
The Zimbabwean
As part of her bail conditions, Mtetwa was ordered not to interfere with state witnesses. High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa had on Friday postponed the bail application to today. Musakwa’s granting of bail to Mtetwa overrules an earlier judgment by Harare Magistrate, Marehwanazvo Gofa.

Miscellaneous Top

D.C.Cir: Judge raises free speech question about SEC rule
First Amendment Center
A federal appeals court judge asked Friday how a new federal rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose payments of $100,000 or more to foreign governments squares with the First Amendment’s free speech protection.

7th.Cir.: First Amendment Protects Online Republication of Court Records
Technology & Marketing Law Blog (Eric Goldman)
> Order: Nieman v. VersusLaw

Luring Young Web Warriors Is a U.S. Priority. It’s Also a Game.
The New York Times
Taking a page from China, the United States is now scouring high schools for hackers, identifying recruits with contests that aim to get students excited about cyberdefense.

Postal Service Can’t Cut Saturday Delivery, U.S. GAO Says
The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t have the legal authority to cut Saturday mail delivery as Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said it will do, the Government Accountability Office said today.

Editorials Top

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