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January 2007

MediaLawLetter October 2007


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Congress: Federal Shield Law Bill Passes the House
House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill To Create Shield Law
“Free Flow of Information Act of 2007” (H.R. 2102)


Ariz. Sup. Ct.: Newspaper Execs Arrested in Dispute Over Publication of Sheriff’s Home Address
Prosecution Dropped; Newspaper Challenges Arizona Statute

Utah Dist. Ct.: Reporter Held in Contempt for Interviewing Jury Pool Member
Reporter Can Purge Order by Preparing ‘News Report’ for Court
Utah v Warren Steed Jeffs


Mass. App.: Fire Sparks Free Speech Fight In Boston
Prior Restraint Against Television Station Lifted After One Day
Boston Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 718 v. WHDH-TV, Channel 7

Fla. App.: Court Reverses Injunction Prohibiting Against TV Station
Station Lawfully Obtained Information From Source
Post-Newsweek Stations Orlando, Inc. v. Guetzloe


Mass.: Ethics Charges Proceed Against Boston Judge Who Won Libel Suit
Allegations Made Public Following Denial of Herald’s Petition for Rehearing
Murphy v. Boston Herald, Inc.

Ill.: Supreme Court Justice and Newspaper Settle Claims
Defamation Claim, Newspaper’s anti-SLAPP and Civil Rights Claims Settled
Thomas v. Page; Shaw Suburban Newspapers v. Thomas

Ohio App.: Ohio Court Reaffirms Breadth of “Substantial Truth” Doctrine
Upholds Defense Verdict in Private Figure Libel Action
Young v. Russ

Pa. Ct. C.P: Pennsylvania Newspaper Loses Private Figure Libel Trial
Plaintiff Was Misidentified in Article on Murder Investigation
Kerrick v. Monitz

Pa. Ct. C.P: Pennsylvania Newspapers Win Libel by Implication Trial Over
Reports on Domestic Abuse Petition Articles Substantially True or Protected by Fair Report Privilege
Weber v. Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.

Texas App.: Summary Judgment for ABC and Fox on FBI Agents Libel Claims
No Evidence of Actual Malice to Support Claims
Abdel-Hafiz v. ABC, Inc. and Fox Entm’t Group, Inc. v. Abdel-Hafiz

D. S.C.: Court Applies Functional Test to Find Blogger Is a Journalist
Postings Fall Under Lanham Act s News Reporting and Commentary Exemption
BidZirk v. Smith

9th Cir.: Grants Rehearing En Banc in Case
Divided Panel Had Rejected 230 Defense for User Created Profiles
Fair Housing Council v.

1st Cir.: Court Flips $2.1 Million Punitive Damages Award; Upholds Award for Wages
Confuses Presumed and Special Damages; Re-Hearing Sought
Galarneau v. Merrill Lunch

8th Cir.: MLB Strikes Out in Claim Over Fantasy Baseball
Use of Players’ Names and Statistics Protected by the First Amendment
C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing v. Major League Advanced Media

Cal.: California Clarifies Publicity Rights of “Deceased Personalities”
Right of Publicity Extended to Celebs Who Died Before 1985
SB 771


C.D. Cal.: Jury Rejects Writer’s Breach of Implied-in-Fact Contract Claim Over Movie
Illustrates Why Movie Producers Avoid Such Agreements for Story Ideas
Martin v. Focus Features


Indonesia: Supreme Court of Indonesia Awards Former President Suharto
$108 Million Against TIME Magazine
Suharto v. TIME

England: Book on Police Corruption Protected by Qualified Privilege Defense
Responsible Journalism on Matters of Public Interest Must Be Protected
Charman -v- Orion Books

England: The Other Side of the Pond: UK Media Law Update


N.D. Fla.: Newspaper Fights Attempt to Label it “Electioneering Communication”
FEC Wanted Newspaper to Submit to Election Law Regulations
Hanway v. Linthicum

Wash.: Court Strikes Down Statue Barring False Statements in Political Advertisements
Regulations an “Illegal Censorship” Scheme
Rickert v. State of Washington Public Disclosure Comm’n

Congress: “Let the Sun Shine” in Our Federal Courts
Progress of the “Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2007″

FCC: FCC Fines Comcast for Sponsorship ID Violations

M.D. Fla.: Update: Fees Awarded After City’s Sign Code Declared Unconstitutional
Solantic, LLC v. City of Neptune Beach