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January 2009

MediaLawLetter September 2009


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Congress: Federal Shield Law Bill Stalled in Senate Committee
Senators Press for National Security Exceptions
Free Flow of Information Act of 2009 S.448

Mil. Ct. Crim. App.: En Banc Military Appellate Court Holds that No Reporter’s Privilege Exists in Courts Martial for Non-Confidential Materials
Prosecutor Subpoenaed CBS for Outtakes of Interview with Marine
U.S. v. Wuterich

Haw. Cir. Ct.: Hawaii’s New Media Shield Law Bolstered by Test Case
Judge Grants Order to Protect Documentary Filmmaker from Subpoena
Brescia v. Ka’iulani Edens-Huff


9th Cir.: Greeting Card that Spoofs Paris Hilton a Matter of Public Concern But Not Protected as a Matter of Law
Hallmark Files Petition for Rehearing
Hilton v. Hallmark

E.D. Mich.: First Amendment and Copyright Act Preemption Doom Musician’s
Appropriation Claims Over ‘Unauthorized’ DVD Performance
Armstrong v Eagle Rock Entertainment

S.C.: Divided South Carolina Supreme Court Reinstates Public Official’s Libel Action
Potentially Biased Source, Failure to Investigate Could Constitute Recklessness
Metts v. Mims

N.Y. Sup. Ct.: Court Dismisses SLAPP Suit on Pre-Discovery Summary Judgment Motion
No Defamation Claim Against Unmasked Blogger
Ottinger v. Tiekert

E.D. Mo.: Bodybuilding.Com Flexes Its Muscles To Protect Free Speech On The Internet
Defamation Claims Barred by Section 230

D.C. App.: Court Affirms JNOV in False Light Case
Telling One Person Is Not “Publication”
Bean v. Gutierrez

E.D. Tex.: Blogger Libel Lawsuit Settles During Trial
“Patent Troll” Case Crosses Bridge, Doesn’t Reach Other Side
Albritton v. Cisco Systems

Mass. Sup. Ct.: Summary Judgment Granted for Newspaper and Reporter Defendants in Defamation Act Based on Substantial Truth and Fair Report Privilege
Substantial Truth and Fair Report Privilege Applied
LaChance v. Boston Herald

Pa. Cmwlth.: Critical Comments About Community Activist Protected as “Pure Opinion”
Alston v. PW-Philadelphia Weekly et al.


S.D.N.Y.: District Court Acknowledges “Well-Established” First Amendment Protection for Credit Ratings
Declines to Apply Protection at Pleading Stage
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank v. Morgan Stanley & Co.


5th Cir.: Court Rejects First Amendment Challenge to Texas Open Meetings Law—For Now
Plaintiffs Alleged Law Violated Rights of Public Officials
Rangra v. Brown


UK, France, Italy: The Other Side of the Pond: Developments in UK and European Media Law
Single Publication Rule in the UK; Cost Capping in Libel Cases; PCC


S.D.N.Y.: Seinfeld Defeats Cookbook Competitor’s Copyright & Trademark Claims
No Substantial Similarity Between Books on Cooking Healthy for Kids
Lapine v. Seinfeld


FCC: FCC Chair Genachowski Announces Support for “Net Neutrality”
Announces “National Broadband Plan”


Ethics Corner: Blawgging Regulated Like Advertising
Legitimate Concern or Simply Dead Thread?