Monday, December 9, 2013
Christine Suzanne Davik, University of Maine, has published We Know Who You Are and What You're Made Of: The Illusion of Internet Anonymity and Its Impact on Genetic Discrimination, at 64 Case Western Law Review 17 (2013).
Adam B. Schniderman, University of California, Irvine, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, has published Neutralizing Negative Pretrial Publicity: A Multi-Part Strategy in volume 25 of The Jury Expert (November 2013). Here is the abstract.
Cable news, the internet, twenty-four hour news cycles, social media websites including Facebook and Twitter, newspapers, expert and not-so-expert television commentators, interviews of and media releases by participants and observers -- some of whom may have agendas which extend beyond the case at hand -- have significantly increased the amount of information, speculation, and theories made available to the public, and thus potential jurors, about pending cases. This is all the more true with high profile cases. Consultants and lawyers have long intuitively known what psychological research shows -- pretrial publicity can have significant impact on jury verdicts.
The law makes an incorrect assumption that potential jurors can compartmentalize the influence of outside information and set it aside. On this assumption, the law has, through statute and/or judicial opinions, constructed a standard for acceptance/dismissal for cause of a juror based on a juror’s self-assessment of whether he/she can set aside facts, views, and opinions and decide the case solely on the basis of the evidenced admitted at trial. This article explores the issue of pretrial publicity (PTP) and juror bias, briefly discusses the psychological literature on the realities of bias and decision-making, and offers a multi-part suggestion for addressing PTP prior to trial, during voir dire and during the trial.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof, both of Ghent University, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, have published Belpietro v. Italy: Does Parliamentary Privilege Extend to the Press? in 14 European Human Rights Cases. Here is the abstract.
In Belpietro v. Italy, the European Court of Human Rights reviewed the conviction of a newspaper editor for publishing a defamatory article written by an Italian senator targeting a number of public officials. Criminal proceedings against the senator were dropped as the newspaper article was considered to be covered by parliamentary immunity. The European Court held that the editor’s conviction did not violate the right to freedom of expression; however, the Court did hold that the sanctions imposed (including a suspended four-month prison sentence) were disproportionate. While the Court’s ruling on the sanctions point is correct, this article questions whether the Court’s main ruling on the editor’s criminal liability is consistent with the Court’s prior case law. Further, the issue of parliamentary immunity is explored, and in particular, whether this immunity should extend to protecting editors from criminal prosecution.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. Download the ruling here (French text).
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The UK's Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, will begin warning Twitter users that they might be in contempt of court if they make prejudicial comments about pending or ongoing judicial proceedings and thus cause mistrials in those proceedings. The Attorney General noted that tweets that run afoul of legal rules are likely to be those sent out by non-attorneys. "Blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook mean individuals can now reach thousands of people with a single tweet or post....In days gone by, it was only the mainstream media that had the opportunity to bring information relating to a court case to such a large group of people that it could put a court case at risk...That is no longer the case....".
The Attorney General said that he is not trying to limit people's freedom of speech. He points out, however, that several tweeters have already been gotten into trouble for revealing information that a court had ordered kept private, including Peaches Geldof, the daughter of rock musician Bob Geldof, who revealed the names of the mothers of two infant victims of child abuse.
Attorney General Grieve also published (in February) a discussion of the problems raised by the growing conflicts between speech on the Internet and the right to a fair trial.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
João Pedro Quintais, University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law (IViR), has published On Peers and Copyright: Why the EU Should Consider Collective Management of P2P, in volume 14 of Nomos (2012). Here is the abstract.
This book analyzes the E.U.’s approach to P2P, a digital age technology that highlights the tensions between the Internet and a territorial and fragmented copyright law. It aims at providing the necessary legal qualification and context to understand why the E.U., while following an economic and socially onerous path, has thus far failed to achieve its deterrence goals. It is argued that a solution to this conundrum must be based on the use of copyright law and policy as tools for market organization and innovation growth, with respect for rights holders and users (sometimes) opposing interests and the existing legal framework. The best answer to mass online P2P uses seems to be that of collective rights management, as it offers an organized licensing and remuneration system compatible with the interests of stakeholders. This is especially true in the E.U., home to a developed and sophisticated market of CMOs, subject to numerous ECJ and Commission decisions, as well as varying E.U. institutional approaches, all pointing towards a preference for multi-territorial and pan-European licensing models. In this context, this book tests the compatibility of several non-voluntary and voluntary approaches to P2P with international treaties, the acquis or simply strategic policy considerations.
The full text is not available from SSRN.
Monday, December 2, 2013
The Ron Burgundy phenon rolls on, and real media continues to roll along with it. CNN New Day discusses Ron (Will Ferrell)'s anchoring of local news station's KXMB's (Bismarck, ND) newscast on November 30. Ah, yes. We went to a movie, and the news broke out.
Want more Ron? Here he is, selling cars.
Adam Tucker, University of York Law School, has published Press Regulation and the Royal Prerogative. Here is the abstract.
On 30th October 2013 the UK government intervened in press regulation through the granting of a Royal Charter under the Royal Prerogative. This short paper argues that this intervention is ultra vires and hence unlawful. My argument can be summarised very simply. The law requires a precedent for the exercise of prerogative power. This intervention represents an unprecedented use of the prerogative. It is therefore unlawful. Section I outlines the law’s hostility to novel prerogatives and the novelty of the Press Regulation Charter. Section II canvasses and rejects what I take to be the three most plausible foundations for the new charter. Section III tackles two sources of scepticism about my argument. Section IV places the argument in a slightly wider context and suggests a lawful way of achieving the aims of the charter.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.
Read the DDPA press release here. Said the DDPA in part:
In brief, the CNIL concluded that Google:
1. is acting in breach of its obligation to provide information, especially in respect of ‘passive’ users;
2. has no legal ground for the combining of data from various services for a number of specific purposes;
Read the complete findings of the DDPA (in an unofficial translation) here. Read the original here; Annex here. Read a letter to Google from the EU Data Protection Article 29 Working Party here. Read the Working Party's recommendations here. More about the Working Party here.
Hat tip to Jurist.
David Rolph, University of Sydney, Faculty of Law, has published Defamation by Social Media at 117 Precedent 16 (2013). Here is the abstract.
Social media have transformed communications, allowing users to generate and disseminate content widely. This carries with it a heightened risk of defamation. Cases involving defamation by social media are starting to be decided by Australian and English courts. This article reviews recent decisions and examines the issues presented by defamation and social media, particularly the anonymity of users and the legal means to overcome it and the liability of internet intermediaries, such as internet service providers and search engines.
Criticism continues over the British media industry's proposed regulations, which are an answer to the government's proposals. This time it comes from David Yelland, a former Sun editor, who says that the industry's suggested replacement for the Press Complaints Commission skews too closely to the interests of the media itself. He suggests that adoption of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) without enough attention to the contents of the royal charter will lead to a "chaotic situation." In an interview with the BBC 4 program Today's Sarah Montague, he opined, rather colorfully, that journalists have been "rather like lions led by donkeys...very angry donkeys."
Update on the phone hacking trial here, from the Guardian. Latest revelations: hundreds of calls were made from News International through a "private wire line" to celebs' and royals' voicemails. Earlier update discussing private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's activities here.
A Stuttgart appeals court has found that an online reference service (here Wikipedia) may have no liability if persons contributing to it provide content that violates German law without the knowledge of the online service. However, if the online service does have knowledge of that violation and does nothing to comply with German law, including removing the content, it may open itself up to liability. Here's a link to the ruling in German. The site does provide a translation option; beware, however--the result is bumpy.
More here from PC World.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Lee A. Bygrave, University of Oslo, has published Data Protection vs. Copyright in Internationalisation of Law in the Digital Information Society: Nordic Yearbook of Law and Informatics 2010-2012 55 (Dan Jerker, B. Svantesson, & Stanley Greenstein, eds., Copenhagen: Ex Tuto Publishing, 2013). Here is the abstract.
This paper charts changes in the relationship of copyright and protection of personal data brought about by the evolution of technological-organisational measures for enforcing copyright in the digital world. It assesses the impact of such measures on privacy and related interests in light of data protection legislation and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.
The MSNBC-sponsored Alec Baldwin talk show "Up Late" is no longer on the network's schedule, apparently by mutual consent according to Variety, although The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Mr. Baldwin's recent anti-gay comments might have had something to do with the cancellation. More here from across the pond (the Daily Mail).
Monday, November 25, 2013
Jose Bellido, University of London, has published Popular Music and Copyright Law in the Sixties at 40 Journal of Law and Society 570 (2013). Here is the abstract.
Copyright and its relationship with popular music is one of the most disputed issues amongst music and copyright scholars. While some have accused copyright of being blind (or deaf) to the particularities of popular music, others have defended its significance within the industry. This article contributes to this debate by tracing the networks of connections between lawyers, musicians, and clerks that emerged in a formative period in British pop music (the Sixties). It considers how their collaborative efforts and strategies to present evidence in copyright infringement trials were articulated in an attempt to influence music copyright infringement tests in Britain. By highlighting the concrete geographical and temporal contexts from which these networks emerged and their particular contingencies, the article also casts a new light on the impact of the legal profession on copyright, showing a practice‐oriented and historically situated way of observing differences between French and British copyright systems.
The full text is not available from SSRN.
Joasia Luzak, University of Amsterdam, Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL), has published Privacy Notice for Dummies? Towards European Guidelines on How to Give ‘Clear and Comprehensive Information’ on the Cookies’ Use in Order to Protect the Internet User's Right to Online Privacy as Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-65. Here is the abstract.
Recently reviewed ePrivacy Directive aims at ensuring internet users’ online privacy by requiring users to give informed consent to the gathering, storing and processing of their data by internet service providers, e.g., through the cookies’ use. However, it is hardly possible to talk about an ‘informed’ consent if internet users are not aware of cookies or do not understand when and how they work. Currently, European rules require internet service providers to provide internet users with a ‘clear and comprehensive’ information on the cookies’ use without further specifying what kind of disclosure would be seen as compliant therewith. This paper assesses the need for harmonized European guidelines on transparent and readable disclosure on the cookies' use and suggests the way forward based on the comparative legal research and findings from consumer behavior research.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Amy Rungpaka Hackley, Queen Mary, University of London, and Chris Hackley, University of London, Royal Holloway College, have published Television Product Placement Strategy in Thailand and the UK, in volume 3 of the Asian Journal of Business Research (2013). Here is the abstract.
This paper discusses the implications for international brand communications management of a qualitative cross-national research study on television product placement in the United Kingdom and Thailand. The study involved secondary research into the respective media environments and depth interviews with leading agency practitioners in each country. The research suggests that, while television product placement practice may be superficially similar in Asia and the UK, there are important differences arising from the very different regulatory, media and consumer environments. As a consequence, detailed local knowledge is essential for successful product placement strategy which crosses cultural borders. The paper explains key differences in regulation and practice and explores implications for brand communications practice and research.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Sun News Network has cancelled Ford Nation after one episode. The show, which featured Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug, a Toronto City Councilman, drew a viewership of about half of Canada's households, not enough to secure it a continuing slot on the network's primetime lineup, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Ford brothers also lost their radio show several weeks ago. It's not entirely clear that the show was intended to be the premiere of an on-going series, however. The Toronto Sun describes the episode, taped November 17, as "what could be the first of a regular show." I will forego making any comments about Edsels.