January 10, 2009
Irish Judge Rules That Paper May Not Publish Photos of Newly Released Prisoner
An Irish judge has ruled that Sunday Life, a Belfast newspaper, may not publish photographs of a man who had served 21 years of a life sentence for murder and is being released. The judge found that Kenneth Callaghan's right to privacy outweighed the newspaper's freedom to publish the pictures, since Mr. Callaghan was not likely to reoffend and he was being properly "supervised" after his release. The judge noted that the photographs were likely to cause hostility against Mr. Callaghan. Read more here in a Guardian story. Here's a link to an article from the paper discussing the gag order against the paper.
Watch On "Watchmen"
Warner Brothers and Fox are trying to settle that "Watchmen" squabble out of court rather than at the appellate level. The film is set for release in March, so WB has a big incentive to move toward a settlement. Read more here in a New York Times story.
Digital D-Day Cometh
The anticipated digital switchover on February 17th continues to concern a lot of folks. The funding program for those converter boxes is out of cash, and a good many U.S. households still haven't bought the equipment. In addition, some consumers don't realize they'll need new antennas as well to bring in those digital signals. Color the public confused and upset, the FCC scrambling, and some broadcasters at their wits' end. Read more here in an MSNBC.com story. Meanwhile, the transition team is trying to delay the switchover, a policy which some networks support.
SAG Strike Vote May Be Cancelled
Reuters reports that some members of the SAG leadership may try to prevent a strike vote, given the bad economic situation. Insiders say a two-day meeting board meeting that begins Monday will be crucial.
Brancato Begins Ten Year Sentence For Attempted Burglary
Actor Lillo Brancato Jr. ("The Sopranos") has begun serving a ten-year sentence for attempted burglary. He was acquitted of second degree murder charges last month. Mr. Brancato also appeared in the films The Adventures of Pluto Nash and A Bronx Tale, among other movies. Here's more from the NYT.
January 9, 2009
Company Refuses To Take Down "Want Longer Lasting Sex?" Billboards; ASA Launches Investigation
A company is resisting a request from the Advertising Standards Authority to cease its "Want Longer Lasting Sex" ad campaign for a nasal spray. The ASA has told the Advanced Medical Institute that its ads cause "offence" (more than 400 people have submitted complaints under 2.2, 5.1 and 50.12 of the code). Says the ASA,
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has asked the Advanced Medical Institute to remove its billboard advertisements pending investigation. One of the reasons for that is they advertise a prescription-only medicine. The Code, which reflects the law, states that prescription-only medicines may not be advertised to the public. We have instructed AMI to remove the ad in the interest of public safety. If it refuses to co-operate (as suggested by AMI’s press release), we will take action to have the ads removed.
The ASA has the power to remove ads before it has completed an investigation. The ASA compliance team removes ads from the public domain on a regular basis with the cooperation of advertisers, agencies and media space owners who work to protect the public from harmful, misleading or offensive advertisements. In response to a large number of complaints, the ASA is also considering whether the ad causes serious or widespread offence.
A Website Review Launches a Defamation Suit
cnet notes that a poster on the gripe site Yelp is facing a defamation lawsuit after the individual he complained about took the negative review to heart--and then to a lawyer. Christopher Norberg was unhappy with the bill he received from his chiropractor, Steven Biegel. Here's his side of the story. cnet offers Dr. Biegel's view of the dispute, and interviews from attorneys not involved in the litigation in its article. Check out yelp! here.
Why Vinyl Melted
The NY Times's Dwight Garner reviews Steve Knopper's Appetite For Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age here. Says Mr. Garner, "Mr. Knopper, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, provides a wide-angled, morally complicated view of the current state of the music business. He doesn’t let those rippers and burners among us — that is, those who download digital songs without paying for them, and you know who you are — entirely off the hook. But he suggests that with even a little foresight, record companies could have adapted to the Internet’s brutish and quizzical new realities and thrived."
The Mass Media and Images of Terrorism
This Article examines and critiques media portraits of the Middle East and Middle-Eastern Americans by tracing the alarming impact of this last minstrel show on public policy and the war on terrorism The Article begins by analyzing racial profiling's problematic discourse of legitimation, deracinating its unsound roots and charting the intricate relationship between representation and reality in the narration of the Middle-Eastern threat, especially after 9/11. The Article then examines the instrumental role of the mass media in both ossifying and perpetuating stereotypes that have rationalized policies targeting individuals of Middle-Eastern descent. Drawing on specific examples from the movies, television, music, publishing and advertising, the Article highlights the accretive impact of entertainment content on the epistemology of fear and the grave and under appreciated toll of such representations on the Middle-Eastern American community. Finally, the Article also calls for some modest but concrete reforms in the entertainment industry as a starting point for providing more balanced depictions of the Middle East and of Middle-Eastern Americans.
Download the paper from SSRN here.
Julie Hilden on the Iseman Defamation Suit Against the Times
FindLaw's Julie Hilden analyzes Vicki Iseman's case against the New York Times in a column here.