Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A New Blog About Fashion and Law, From Two Canadian Law Students

Two Osgoode Hall law students, Saba Samarian and Alessia Monastero, have launched a fashion law blog, Unprecedentedly Chic. It's aimed at the non-lawyer who wants to understand legal issues that have an impact on fashion and related disciplines. The women also discuss their own love of fashion and style. Check the blog out here. 

January 16, 2017 | Permalink

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Buzzfeed Publishes Original Memos Concerning Allegations Re Trump and Russia

Buzzfeed's decision to publish memos including unverified information regarding personal and financial information relating to President-Elect Donald Trump has caused some reaction among journalists. Here, a story from CNN, here a piece from Slate. Here, Buzzfeed's original piece

January 11, 2017 | Permalink

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Peukert on An EU Related Right for Press Publishers Concerning Digital Uses

Alexander Peukert, Goethe University Frankfurt, Faculty of Law, Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders, has published An EU Related Right for Press Publishers Concerning Digital Uses. A Legal Analysis as Research Paper of the Faculty of Law, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, No. 22/2016. Here is the abstract.

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed a Directive on “copyright in the Digital Single Market”. This proposal includes an Article 11 on the “protection of press publications concerning digital uses”, according to which “Member States shall provide publishers of press publications with the rights provided for in Article 2 and Article 3(2) of Directive 2001/29/EC for the digital use of their press publications.” Relying on the experiences and debates surrounding the German and Spanish laws in this area, this study presents a legal analysis of the proposal for an EU related right for press publishers (RRPP). After a brief overview over the general limits of the EU competence to introduce such a new related right, the study critically examines the purpose of an RRPP. On this basis, the next section distinguishes three versions of an RRPP with regard to its subject-matter and scope, and considers the practical and legal implications of these alternatives, in particular having regard to fundamental rights.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 10, 2017 | Permalink

Manias-Muñoz on The Impact of a Legal Framework on National Film Industry: An Approach to Basque-Language Cinema @UofGlasgow

Miren Manias-Muñoz, University of Glasgow, Centre for Cultural Policy Research, has published The Impact of a Legal Framework on National Film Industry: An Approach to Basque-Language Cinema, in volume 6, number 5, of Oñati Socio-Legal Series (2016). Here is the abstract.

English Abstract: After the incursion of the digitalisation and the Internet, new forms of cultural production, reception and consumption have come via the hands of technological convergence and the way society has adapted to that scenario. In the current context of globalisation traditional cultural conceptualisation has been modified by opening up an economic discourse based on knowledge, creativity and innovation. But how are cultural policies bringing this paradigm into their protection framework? As part of the cultural activity, cinema plays a core role contributing to the national economic competitiveness and social cohesion. However, small cinemas struggle and films made in minority languages face a lot more difficulties. This paper shows how a legal change has made a certain funding model possible for cinema in the Basque-language, suggesting that a legally binding space where a specific cultural subject is primarily recognised has become crucial for films in Basque. Spanish Abstract: Tras la llegada de la digitalización e Internet, han surgido nuevas formas de producción, recepción y consumo de cultura, de la mano de la convergencia tecnológica y la forma en la que la sociedad se ha adaptado a ese escenario. En el contexto actual de la globalización, la conceptualización cultural tradicional se ha modificado por un nuevo discurso económico basado en el conocimiento, la creatividad y la innovación. Pero ¿cómo están integrando las políticas culturales este paradigma en su marco de protección? Como parte de la actividad cultural, el cine juega un papel fundamental, contribuyendo a la competitividad económica nacional y a la cohesión social. Sin embargo, las salas de cine pequeñas experimentan dificultades y las películas rodadas en lenguas minoritarias se enfrentan a numerosas dificultades. Este artículo muestra cómo un cambio legal ha hecho posible un modelo de financiación para el cine en lengua vasca, y se sugiere que es fundamental para las películas en euskera contar con un espacio jurídicamente vinculante, en el que se reconozca un sujeto específicamente cultural.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 10, 2017 | Permalink

Handke on Intellectual Property in Creative Industries: The Economic Perspective @erasmusuni

Christian Handke, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of History and Arts, is publishing Intellectual Property in Creative Industries: The Economic Perspective in Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries (C. Waelde and A. Brown, eds., Cheltenham, E. Elgar, forthcoming).

This chapter discusses essential elements of an economic analysis regarding the socio-economic implications of intellectual property (IP). The aim is to help scholars from various disciplines interested in the economic reasoning behind IP for creative industries to recognize logically consistent and well-rounded assessments or to develop them themselves. The chapter covers: (1) a general introduction to the economic perspective on IP; (2) the application of economic theory to address the implications of unauthorized use and copyright protection; (3) empirical evidence on the effects of copyright protection on rights holder revenues and innovation as well as alternatives to copyright to help finance creativity; (4) key topics in the relatively extensive economic literature on patents and how it may inform research on IP in creative industries. It also (5) points out new issues regarding IP in creative industries in the context of digitization.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

January 10, 2017 | Permalink

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cohen-Almagor on Hate and Racist Speech in the United States @almagor35

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, University of Hull, has published Hate and Racist Speech in the United States: A Critique at 6 Philosophy and Public Issues 77 (2016). Here is the abstract.

This article attempts to explain why the United States is exhibiting the most liberal stand on protecting freedom of expression. It is argued that the American credo is comprised of strong belief in liberty and individuality and of strong anti-government sentiment. The First Amendment is enshrined in its culture and tradition. The protection of political speech is fundamental to the American democracy. As U.S. Constitution strongly protects political speech, it confers protection also on hate speech which is included in the broad definition of political speech. The article advocates that we take the evils of hate speech seriously. It criticizes the American ‘viewpoint-neutrality’ concept and argues that a balance needs to be struck between competing social interests. Freedom of expression is important as is the protection of vulnerable minorities.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 9, 2017 | Permalink

Rimmer on 3D Printing Jurassic Park: Copyright Law, Cultural Institutions, and Makerspaces @DrRimmer

Matthew Rimmer, Queensland University of Technology, is publishing 3D Printing Jurassic Park: Copyright Law, Cultural Institutions, and Makerspaces in Pandora's Box 1-2. Here is the abstract.

3D printing is a field of technology, which enabled the manufacturing of physical objects from three-dimensional digital models. The discipline of copyright law has been challenged and disrupted by the emergence of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. 3D Printing poses questions about the subject matter protected under copyright law. Copyright law provides for exclusive economic and moral rights in respect of cultural works – such as literary works, artistic works, musical works, dramatic works, as well as other subject matter like radio and television broadcasts, sound recordings, and published editions. Copyright law demands a threshold requirement of originality. There have been sometimes issues about the interaction between copyright law and designs law in respect of works of artistic craftsmanship. In addition, 3D printing has raised larger questions about copyright infringement. There has been significant debate over the scope of copyright exceptions – such as the defence of fair dealing, and exceptions for cultural institutions. Moreover, there has been debate over the operation of digital copyright measures in respect of 3D printing. The takedown and notice system has affected services and sites, which enable the sharing of 3D printing designs. Technological protection measures – digital locks – have also raised challenges for 3D printing. The long duration of copyright protection in Australia and the United States has also raised issues in respect of 3D printing. There has been great public policy interest into how copyright law will address and accommodate the disruptive technologies of 3D Printing. As a public policy expert at Public Knowledge, and as a lawyer working for Shapeways, Michael Weinberg has written a number of public policy papers on intellectual property and 3D Printing. Associate Professor Dinusha Mendis and her colleagues have undertaken legal and empirical research on intellectual property and 3D printing. In 2015, Professor Mark Lemley from Stanford Law School wrote about intellectual property and 3D printing in the context of work on the economics of abundance. As a practising lawyer, John Hornick has examined the topic of intellectual property and 3D printing. Comparative legal scholar Dr Angela Daly has written on the socio-legal aspects of 3D printing in 2016. The World Intellectual Property Organization in 2015 highlighted 3D printing. 3D printing has provided new opportunities for cultural institutions to redefine their activities and purposes, and engage with a variety of new constituencies. 3D printing has also highlighted deficiencies in copyright law in respect of cultural institutions. Culturally and technologically specific exceptions for libraries, archives, and cultural institutions have proven to be ill-adapted for an age of 3D printing and makerspaces. The Australian Law Reform Commission has highlighted the need to modernise Australia’s copyright laws for the digital age. Likewise, the Productivity Commission has considered the question of copyright exceptions in its study of intellectual property arrangements in 2016. The Turnbull Government has contemplated somewhat more modest copyright reforms, with the draft legislation in the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (Cth). Libraries, galleries, museums, and archives would all benefit from flexible copyright exceptions for cultural institutions to take full advantage of the possibilities of digitisation and 3D printing.

Download the text from SSRN.

January 9, 2017 | Permalink

Todd on Satire in Defamation Law

Jeff Todd, Texas State University, San Marcos, Department of Finance and Economics, is publishing Satire in Defamation Law: Toward a Critical Understanding in volume 35 of the Review of Litigation (2016). Here is the abstract.

Though defamation, with its blend of common law and Constitutional overlay, is already a complex area of law, when the subject of litigation involves satire, the confusion multiplies. Courts and commentators offer an array of definitions of satire and how it differs — or not — from parody and humor. The literary devices that satire employs receive only surface treatment or are considered as isolated figures and tropes. A variety of different tests have emerged to deal with satire and its devices, leaving satirists in a difficult position of trying to defend a work that has an uncertain place in the law. This essay discusses a suit filed by science writer Paul Brodeur against the makers of the Academy-Award-nominated film American Hustle as a frame to highlight the problems of satire in defamation and to suggest further avenues of study, including some of the practical benefits of additional scholarship.

The full text is not available from SSRN.

January 9, 2017 | Permalink

Tomain on Big Data and the Fourth Estate: Protecting the Development of News Media Monitoring Databases

Joseph A. Tomain, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, has published Big Data and the Fourth Estate: Protecting the Development of News Media Monitoring Databases at 12 J. Bus. & Tech. L. 53 (2016).


Tomain contends that news media monitoring databases generally fall within fair use rights and may be protected under the qualified First Amendment right to receive information and ideas.

January 9, 2017 | Permalink

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Canadian Journalist Files Defamation Suit Against Site Over Satiric Obituary

Richard Martineau,  who writes for the Journal de Montréal, is suing the media site Ricochet for defamation over a satirical piece, a fake obit that takes his writing to task.  The site is trying to raise $50,000 CAN to pay legal costs.

More here from Canadaland, here from the Montreal Gazette.

January 7, 2017 | Permalink

Friday, January 6, 2017

Roy Greenslade's Blog Is Coming To an End

Roy Greenslade, who has published a blog in the Guardian for years, will stop doing so at the end of January 2017 and move on to other activities, although he says he won't cease writing about the media. He intends to continue writing for the paper, concentrating on the changes in the media, particularly as new media continues to change the journalistic landscape. More here.

January 6, 2017 | Permalink

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Basu on Copyright Law & the Drummer

Ronojoy Basu, University of Toronto, has published Copyright Law & The Drummer. Here is the abstract.

Recent relevant judicial decisions in the US suggest that the question of subsistence of originality in drum beats remains a subject of debate. Unbeknownst to the non-musical world, this question continues to gather momentum and poses some rather interesting questions about degree and threshold of creativity and applicability of Copyright law. This paper explores the copyright-ability of drum patterns, the position of US and Canadian laws on the subject and under what circumstances may such beats be accorded copyright protection.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 5, 2017 | Permalink

McMahon on Canada's Oath to the Queen, the Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous Peoples, New Canadians, and Freedom of Expression

Thomas L. McMahon, Independent Scholar, has published Reconcile this: Canada's Oath to the Queen, the Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous Peoples, New Canadians and Freedom of Expression. Here is the abstract.

Canada requires new citizens and an assortment of legislators, law enforcers and public servants to swear an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second and her heirs and successors. This paper examines the history of the oath of allegiance in both England and Canada; the history of how the monarch of England came to be the monarch of Canada through the doctrine of discovery; a history of case law surrounding the oath to the Queen in Canada; the history of Canada steadily moving away from laws and symbols of England to establish Canada's independence; the rights of indigenous peoples to refuse to swear the oath of allegiance; and how the oath to the Queen offends the constitutionally entrenched principles of equality and freedom of expression. The paper refers to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concerning the doctrine of discovery and the oath to the Queen. The paper concludes that the Canadian courts have trivialized and made a mockery of almost all of this.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 5, 2017 | Permalink

Iglezakis on The Legal Regulation of Hate Speech on the Internet and Its Conflict With Freedom of Expression @iiglezakis

Ioannis Iglezakis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Law, Economic, and Political Sciences, has published The Legal Regulation of Hate Speech on the Internet and its Conflict with Freedom of Expression. Here is the abstract.

The Internet with its unique ability of communication of one-to-many and many-to-many and its potential for anonymous and mobile interaction has become the new frontier for the dissemination of hate speech. To deal with this issue, many countries have enacted legislation criminalizing hate speech, but also international legal acts have been introduced for the harmonization of national legislations. In this paper, the regulations of hate speech on the Internet on an international level are presented and its conflict with the right to freedom of expression is explored.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 5, 2017 | Permalink

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Open Call For Fellowship Applications, Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society @BKCHarvard

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard is accepting fellowship applications for the 2017/2018 year until January 16, 2017.  More here.


Via @zittrain.

January 1, 2017 | Permalink

Friday, December 30, 2016

Washington Post Reporter Receives Death Threats Over Articles On Trump

The Hill reports that Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold has received death threats after reporting on President elect Donald Trump. The Post hired a security consultant to advise on measures to protect Mr. Fahrenthold. Politico also reports that it has received death threats for reporting on Mr. Trump. The Hill reported earlier this year that the Arizona Republic received threats after it endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. An October 2016 article in the Atlantic Monthly reported on a rise in anti-Semitic threats on Twitter aimed at Jewish journalists. 


Mr. Fahrenthold discusses the reactions to his reporting, including the threats, in this article for Washington Post magazine here.

December 30, 2016 | Permalink

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission: Broadband Service a Basic Service

Jean-Pierre Blais, head of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), announced today that access to a minimum level of fixed broadband and mobile speed is a basic service for all Canadians.  The minimum speed that ISPs must provide is 50 megabits per second for downloads and 10 megabits for uploads. Here is a link to the transcript of Mr. Blais's speech.  

December 21, 2016 | Permalink

Monday, December 19, 2016

250 Years of Swedish Freedom of the Press @LawLibCongress

Elin Hofverberg, a foreign law research specialist at the Law Library of Congress, notes that December 2, 2016 is the 250th anniversary of the Swedish Freedom of the Press Act.


More here from In Custodia Legis, the Law Library of Congress's official blog. (Post by Elin Hofverberg).

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Friday, December 16, 2016

Landrigan on the Constitutional Protection of Protests Outside Australian Abortion Clinics

Mitchell Landrigan, University of Technology Sydney, is publishing Protests Outside Abortion Clinics Constitutionally Protected Speech? in volume 41 of the Alternative Law Journal (2016). Here is the abstract.

This article focuses on whether, by banning anti-abortion protests in safe access zones, the legislation might infringe the implied freedom of political discourse under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. It reviews the buffer zone legislation in Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 16, 2016 | Permalink

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Curtin @AdamLawSchool and Leino on Openness, Transparency, and the Right of Access to Documents in the EU

Deirdre Curtin, Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, and Paivi Leino, University of Helsinki Faculty of Law, have published Openness, Transparency and the Right of Access to Documents in the EU. In-Depth Analysis as Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2016/63. Here is the abstract.

Upon request of the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present analysis, which examines the situation in relation to openness, transparency, access to documents and information in the EU. Case law and developments in the jurisprudence of the CJEU are examined, notably for legislative documents, documents relating to administrative proceedings, to Court proceedings, infringement proceedings and EU Pilot cases, protection of privacy and international relations. Current and future challenges, as well as conclusions and policy recommendations are set out, in order to ensure compliance with the Treaties’ and Charter of Fundamental Rights’ requirements aimed at enhancing citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making process, and consequently stronger accountability and democracy in the EU.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

December 15, 2016 | Permalink