December 30, 2005
Pentagon Concludes Pro-US Stories OK, Legal
According to a story in yesterday's Los Angeles Times, the Pentagon's inspector general has concluded that paying journalists to write pro-US stories is not illegal, but it might be ill-advised, and it might on occasion make it difficult to tell the difference between "news and propaganda", according to Pentagon officials. Read more here.
One Charge Dropped Against Turkish Novelist
Prosecutors have decided not to proceed with a charge that novelist Orhan Pamuk insulted Turkey's military, but he still faces criminal charges that he defamed the Turkish state by saying that it carried out genocide against the Armenians in the early twentieth century. Read more here.
Corriere della Sera Claims Italian Premier Paid Witness to Lie About Transactions
The Italian paper Corriere della Sera is reporting that Milanese prosecutors are now checking into whether Premier Silvio Berlusconi paid attorney David Mills at least six hundred thousand dollars to conceal evidence concerning two cases involving Berlusconi in 1997 and 1998. One involved Berlusconi's company Mediaset, which sought to purchase the television rights to some US movies. Read more here.
December 29, 2005
More Than a Month Later, No Progress on Codes of Conduct For Product Entertainment Deals
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) put forward proposals for a code of conduct governing a code of conduct for product integration and branded entertainment more than a month ago, but networks and motion picture producers have so far failed to take action. Read Gail Schiller's follow-up article in the Hollywood Reporter here (subscription may be required). Read an earlier post here.
Turkish Foreign Minister Says Laws May Change
Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told media this week that his country's law criminalizing speech that insults the nation has damaged its image and it may eventually be amended, although not before the current trial of novelist Orhan Pamuk for insulting Turkey by saying it carried out genocide of Armenians in the last century reaches a conclusion. Gul indicated that another complication may be comments made by European Parliament member Joost Lagendijk, who while observing Pamuk's trial, also made some remarks about Turkey's military and its behavior toward Kurdish rebels. Turkish prosecutors are now deciding whether to charge Lagendijk with the same offense as Pamuk. Read more here.
December 28, 2005
Eighth Circuit Says Minnesota Wireless Consumer Protection Law Preempted By Federal Statute
The Eighth Circuit has agreed with Cellco (doing business as Verizon Wireless) that Article 5 of Minnesota's Wireless Consumer Protection Act is preempted by federal law and has granted the company's request for a permanent injunction. Read more here.
December 26, 2005
U. S. District Court Judge Grants Injunction Blocking New California Law on Video Games
U. S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte has issued a temporary injunction stopping the new California law against the sale of violent video games to minors from going into effect on January 1st. The judge said those challenging the new legislation were "likely to succeed" in their lawsuit on 1st Amendment grounds. Read more here. Read an earlier post on the lawsuit here.
Louisiana Appellate Court Rejects Media Request for 911 Tapes
A Louisiana state appellate court has upheld a trial court ruling rejecting media requests for access to the 911 tapes that documented repeated calls for assistance to the home of the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. McKeithen fell at his home February 17. He died earlier this year. Two of the judges agreed with the trial judge that the tapes were confidential and McKeithen had the right to expect that they would be kept private. The third judge disagreed, saying that the calls were not made by McKeithen himself or by his representatives, and the statute was not applicable. The media making the requests for access have not decided if they will appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Read more here. Read an earlier post on the lawsuit here.