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July 2015

MediaLawDaily July 14, 2015


MLRC MediaLawDaily

Media Law Daily
mobile/print | email us | | July 14, 2015
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

Supreme Court Top
Media Amicus Brief Filed in Privacy Standing Case
A coalition of eight media companies and media trade organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, an upcoming Supreme Court case involving Article III standing for a privacy claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The media amici argued that class actions based on technical privacy violations with no injury in fact have chilled media organizations’ speech, and that recognition of an injury in fact requirement would affect neither intellectual property statutory damages regimes nor Freedom of Information Act cases.
Amicus Brief: Spokeo v. Robins
Reporter’s Privilege Top
Defamation Top
Cal. App.: Lemoore council member loses appeal in defamation lawsuit
Fresno Bee
“None of the evidence presented by appellant support the claims that the referenced email statements (homosexual tendencies, infatuation with young boys and self-termination) pertain to issues involving the public interest or a public issue,” the opinion states.
Opinion: Martin v. Siegel (unpublished)
Privacy Top

6th Cir.: Former student athletes appeal dismissal of right of publicity and antitrust claims
A class of former student athletes alleging violation of their rights of publicity and restraint on their ability to trade on their names and likenesses have appealed a dismissal of their claims by the Middle District of Tennessee.
Memorandum in support of order of dismissal: Marshall v. ESPN
Notice of Docketing

N.D. Cal.: NCAA ordered to pay $46 mln fees in athlete pay case
A federal judge ordered the NCAA to pay nearly $46 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to lawyers for student-athletes including former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon in their class-action antitrust lawsuit against the organization.
Order: O’Bannon v. NCAA

Access/Freedom of Information Top

D.D.C.: Laura Poitras sues U.S. government to find out why she was repeatedly stopped at the border
The Intercept
Now, after receiving no response to her Freedom of Information Act requests for documents pertaining to her systemic targeting, Poitras is suing the U.S. government.
Complaint: Poitras v. Dept. of Homeland Security

C.D. Cal.: Judge ‘Inclined’ to Unseal Video of Police Shooting
Courthouse News
A federal judge said Monday that the public should see two-year-old videos depicting events leading up to a fatal police shooting of an unarmed Gardena man. Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times Communications, and The Associated Press moved for an order to unseal the videos earlier this year, arguing that the public interest strongly supports their release.
San Francisco Proposed Body Cam Policy
MLRC Model Policy on Police Body-Worn Camera Footage

Md.: Maryland Court Says Police Misconduct Files Can Be Withheld From The Public
The Maryland appeals court has ruled that police departments’ internal investigation documents are “personnel files” and thus exempt from public records requests.
Opinion: Maryland Dept. of State Police v. Dashiell

Journalists Want Transparency, But Not Right Away
Huffington Post
Reporters clash with open government advocates over the merits of a new FOIA policy.

Newsgathering Top

Hearing Without an Ending in Rezaian Spy Case in Iran
New York Times
A third hearing in the case against Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post correspondent, ended inconclusively, with no word on what’s next.

Taylor Swift’s photography contract wasn’t applied to The New York Times
For the rest of us: “I don’t often see provisions that say if you fail to comply, we’re going to smash and grab your equipment,” said Kevin Goldberg, a First Amendment attorney with Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C. in Virginia.

Prior Restraint Top
Broadcast/Cable/Satellite Top

Local TV takes news to Web in fight for cord cutters
Local TV stations are plugging one of the last major holes in mobile video: streaming their news to phones and tablets.

Why the TV bundle isn’t going anywhere
Like Dish Network is doing with Sling TV, Comcast is using Stream to explore Web-based distribution for TV — by keeping the bundle intact.

See also
Comcast’s Streaming Service Sounds as Bad as You’d Expect

Internet / New Media Top

5 Ways Amazon Has Changed the Web — for Good and Bad
Yahoo! News
A look at Amazon’s policy footprints on DRM, taxes, surveillance, patents, and net neutrality.

Internet Privacy Top

Development Of A $200 WiFi Router Geared Towards Whistleblowers Was Just Suspiciously Cancelled
ProxyHam, a $200 WiFi router aimed at those seeking the utmost in anonymity, promised to mask users’ IP addresses and place their geographic coordinates miles away from their actual locations. Plans to create the device, set to be unveiled at August’s Las Vegas Def Con convention, were mysteriously axed Friday and the company behind its production is giving no further statement.

Intellectual Property Top

C.D. Cal.: Judge Rejects False Advertising Claim in ’12 Years a Slave’ Soundtrack Lawsuit
Hollywood Reporter
Richard Friedman alleged that 20th Century Fox had violated the Lanham Act by giving Hans Zimmer the credit.
Opinion: Friedman v. Zimmer

W.D. Tex.: Did you RT a © today? Photographer Sues Infringers and Retweeters
The 1709 Blog
A photographer is suing a beverage company which allegedly used without permission one of his photographs on social media. The case is interesting, as the photographer chose to sue not only the company and its employees and contractors, but also the social media users who republished the photograph on social media, by a retweet, or a pin.
Complaint: Flaherty v. Big Red

Authors Guild demands ISPs monitor, filter Internet of pirated goods
Ars Technica
“Technology that can identify and filter pirated material is now commonplace.”

Commercial Speech Top
Media Business Top

Newsweek sacks European print team after 15 months and losses of more than £1m
The relaunched Newsweek magazine is scrapping its dedicated London-based print team some 15 months after launch.

Accusing Amazon of Antitrust Violations, Authors and Booksellers Demand Inquiry
New York Times
Groups representing thousands of authors, agents and independent booksellers are calling for the Department of Justice to examine Amazon.

Vice to Launch on Verizon’s Mobile Platform
Multiyear partnership will include original domestic and international programming.

Susan Wojcicki on YouTube’s Priorities: “Mobile, Mobile, Mobile”
Wojcicki said that 50 percent of YouTube’s views are now coming from mobile devices, and that as a result, the company’s top three priorites are “mobile, mobile, mobile.”

AMC Theatres to Acquire Starplex Cinemas for $172 Million
Hollywood Reporter

Snapchat brings ESPN, Comedy Central, Vice and more to the forefront
Los Angeles Times
Snapchat is giving a prime position to ESPN, People, Comedy Central, Vice and about a dozen other outlets — collectively known on Snapchat as Discover.

Digital news for the young: LGBT, weed and the latest from ‘Game of Thrones’
Washington Post
The headlines on sites such as Ozy, Mic and Vocativ don’t match what you’ll see from mainstream outlets.

Most online local news sites make less than $50,000 a year

Google Takes Stricter Approach to Costs
Wall Street Journal
With revenue growth ebbing, profit margins shrinking and shares flat, Google is curbing hiring and seeking ways to run its sprawling empire more efficiently, according to recruiters, venture capitalists and others familiar with the matter.

Facebook Close Sets Speed Record for $250 Billion Market Cap
Bloomberg Business

Reddit Chief Engineer Bethanye Blount Quits After Less Than Two Months on the Job
The unsettled situation at Reddit underscores the difficulty its management has had controlling the sprawling and bumptious community that has been created, and also the challenges in making it into a business (Reddit is owned in large part by Condé Nast).

See also
Why advertisers steer clear of Reddit
Los Angeles Times

FanDuel Raises $275 Million, Births Unicorn
The round was led by KKR, and included new investors Google Capital and Time Warner Investments.

Media Technology Top

Apple, networks progressing in talks over cable-killer TV app
New York Post
Where Barry Diller’s Aereo failed, Apple is hoping to succeed.

News drone goes live for ABC7 in San Francisco
Katy on the Hill
While the Federal Aviation Agency is still working on final rules for flying commercial drones in U.S. airspace, at least one TV newsroom has figured out how to legally use camera-equipped drones for news.

Comcast, EA games partner for streaming video experience on your TV
Soon Comcast customers will be able to play video games without a console.

What APIs Can Do for News
Nieman Journalism Lab
How application programming interfaces (APIs) transformed internal operations at NPR, the Times, and The Guardian—and how they could still help create a more open ecosystem for news.

Why newsrooms should care about virtual reality

Labor Issues Top
C.D. Cal.: Sony Pictures Ex-Employees Report Being Victim to Identity Fraud
Hollywood Reporter
Plaintiffs seek class certification in their negligence lawsuit over breached data from a hack.
Certification Motion: Corona v. Sony Pictures Entertainment
International Top

EU: Google accidentally reveals data on ‘right to be forgotten’ requests
The Guardian
Data shows 95% of Google privacy requests are from citizens out to protect personal and private information – not criminals, politicians and public figures.

Australia: Joe Hockey libel case is an ‘unmitigated disaster’, Fairfax claims in costs hearing
The Guardian
The media group claims the federal treasurer should pay 60% of its legal fees because his lawyers failed to prove the newspaper articles were defamatory.

Cambodia: Prominent Rights Monitor Questioned Over Defamation Claims
Cambodia Daily

China: Scores of rights lawyers arrested after nationwide swoop in China
At least 146 lawyers, activists and their relatives have been taken into custody or questioned by police in 24 Chinese cities and provinces over the past few days.

See also
Telegram Suffers DDOS Following Criticism For Enabling Human Rights Lawyers In China
Encrypted messaging app Telegram was labeled an “anti-government” tool by China’s state-run Peoples Daily newspaper this past Sunday, after the service was reportedly used by a set of human rights lawyers arrested by the government.

Egyptian Anti-Terror Law Raises Ire Of Local Media
The law, which still requires parliamentary approval, calls for a host of new measures designed to help the government crackdown against the rising terror threat in the country. Included in those – with generally seek to grant police wider powers- is the ability to arrest and detain journalists who publish reports that contradict official statements.

Germany: Criminal Charges From Domestic Secret Service: Federal Prosecutor Investigates our Publications, Leaks and Sources
The president of the German domestic secret service has filed criminal charges with the public prosecutor because of two of the site’s articles: one concerning a leak about extending bulk surveillance of online users, and one concerning plans to create a new department of the German secret service to extend its Internet surveillance capabilities.

UK: IMPRESS board member resigns from rival press regulator and gives backing to IPSO
Press Gazette

UK: The battle for the BBC
The Guardian
Under attack from a government intent on reducing its size and besieged by commercial rivals, the broadcaster has been forced to justify its very existence.

UK: Another U.K. Surveillance Review Calls For Judicial Sign-Off For Intercepts
This follows the publication of the Anderson surveillance review last month which also urged the government to adopt judicial sign-off. The U.K. is alone among the so-called Five Eyes intelligence alliance powers in not having a judicial process for signing off interception warrants.
A Democratic Licence to Operate: Report of the Independent Surveillance Review

Miscellaneous Top

How Mad at The New York Times Is Harper Lee’s Publisher?
Readers might assume that the Times—one of the country’s top newspapers by circulation—managed to negotiate an exclusive early review with the book’s publisher, Harper, the flagship imprint of HarperCollins. Not so. Reached via email over the weekend, a Harper publicist told a different story: “Oh they broke the embargo! That’s for sure!”

How do you develop newsroom expertise? Here’s a new option for the legal beat
Columbia Journalism Reivew
A four-day journalist law school—with the cost of instruction, lodging, and partial travel covered—fills a niche, and demand for it seems to exist.

Minn. App.: Minnesota man loses First Amendment claim in prostitution case
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The court ruled after a Brooklyn Park man argued his online solicitation of women for sexual acts was free speech.
Opinion: Minnesota v. Washington-Davis

‘Shouting Fire in a Theater’: The Life and Times of Constitutional Law’s Most Enduring Analogy
University of California, Davis – School of Law (Prof. Carlton F. W. Larson)
In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes introduced the specter of a man falsely shouting fire in a theater into First Amendment law. Nearly one hundred years later, this analogy remains the most enduring analogy in constitutional law. It has been relied on in hundreds of constitutional cases and it has permeated popular discourse on the scope of individual rights. This Essay examines both the origins and the later life of Holmes’s theater analogy.

Editorials Top
From MLRC Top
Model Policy on Police Body-Worn Camera Footage
Several federal, state, and local bodies are presently considering policies regarding public access to police body camera recordings. The MLRC has developed and adopted a Model Policy on this topic, which states that such tapes should generally be available for public inspection, subject to exemptions in existing public records laws. A set of principles is also offered as a guide for legislators and policy-makers.


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