Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Associated Press Photog Still Being Held by US; Iraq Drops Charges

An Iraqi tribunal has dismissed the last charges against an AP journalist, but the US military is still holding him, without comment.

April 15, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday's Harry Potter Testimony

Here, in an article from the New York Times.

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The Blogosphere

Sunny Woan, Santa Clara University, has published "The Blogosphere: Past, Present, and Future: Preserving the Development of Alternative Journalism," in volume 44 of California Western Law Review. Here is the abstract.

This article emphasizes the importance of preserving the unfettered development of alternative journalism. In its analysis, the article takes on a global perspective of blogosphere regulation, examining the European Union's approach alongside China and the United States. Unlike the national borders of the physical world, people create borders in the cyber world based on communities. These online communities tend to be more segregated by homogenous interests than the natural diversity of world nations. This article contends that first, due to the unique conditions of the blogosphere, traditional regulation is infeasible, and second, the most effective means of standard setting on the blogosphere is by self-regulation. The article then explains this concept of self-regulation and proposes a hands-off approach by the government to the blogosphere.

Download the article from SSRN here.

April 15, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 14, 2008

More On the Most Recent Harry Potter Lawsuit

In today's New York Times, Motoko Rich further explores the Rowling lawsuit against RDR Books, which seeks to publish that Harry Potter encyclopedia by Steven VanderArk.

April 14, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Lonely Planet Responds To Kohnstamm's Claims

The Lonely Planet folks have launched a counter-attack against writer Thomas Kohnstamm's claims that parts of the guides he wrote for the publisher are inaccurate or faked. Read more here in a BBC article.

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New Technology and the Need For New Law

Here's the Guardian on the need to revisit copyright law in the light of new technology.

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British Journalist Employed By CBS Freed

The BBC reports that Richard Butler, a British journalist employed by CBS and kidnapped along with his Iraqi interpreter two months ago in Basra, has been freed. Iraqi forces broke into the house where Mr. Butler was being held and hustled him out, delivering him to the care of British officials. Read more here.

April 14, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

British TV Host May Have Been Found

TV  host Mark Speight, the fiance of the late Natasha Collins, who was found dead in their apartment about three months ago, is believed to have been found dead at Paddington Station in London. Mr. Speight was cleared of suspicion in her death and dropped out of sight last week. His family made several appeals to him to come home over the past few days. Read more here.

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Harry Potter and the Amazing Lawsuit

That J. K. Rowling lawsuit over Steven VanderArk's encyclopedia of everything Harry Potter, based on his website, is set to begin in a New York courtroom tomorrow. Ms. Rowling, the author of the fabulously famous and bestselling Harry Potter books, claims that Mr. VanArk's printed work infringes her copyright. Mr. VanArk (who's not being sued) and his publisher, the small RDR Books, say it is a "reference guide" to her works, and as such is protected by the First Amendment. The RDR website provides links to its brief and other material filed in the case. Read more in a New York Times article here.

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Ready For Their Closeups

The New York Times' Nick Bunkley writes about some Michigan sites hoping for starring roles in film, and notes that new rules on Michigan tax credits could make that happen, in this article.

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Robert Murat, Questioned By Portugeuse Police in McCann Case, Will Sue British Media

Robert Murat, questioned in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, says he will sue several British media outlets over defamatory stories printed and broadcast about him. Earlier this year, the Express Newspapers group settled a defamation claim for over a million dollars U.S. brought by Madeleine's parents. Read more here.

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Lonely Planet Author Admits He Made Up Parts of One Book

Thomas Kohnstamm admitted to the Daily Telegraph that he didn't really go to Colombia before writing the Lonely Planet guide to that country because "they didn't pay me enough." Instead, he pumped a girlfriend who worked at the Colombian Consulate for information. The publisher is now reviewing the titles Mr. Kohnstamm has written for it. Mr. Kohnstamm's latest book, Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics and Professional Hedonism, is set for release next week. The (Australian) Daily Telegraph article quotes other authors for Lonely Planet who voice concerns about the company's policies. Says one author, Jeanne Oliver, "Why did you (management) not understand that when you hire a constant stream of new, unvetted people, pay them poorly and set them loose, that someone, somehow was going to screw you?'' Read more here in a CNN story.

April 13, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)