Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, June 3, 2011

FCC To Hold Open Meeting June 9th

From the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting ...on Thursday, June 9, 2011, which is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.

The meeting will include a presentation by the working group on the impact of technology on the information needs of communities.  The Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and the Assistant Administrator of FEMA will also give a presentation regarding the Emergency Alert System.

The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids.  Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site.  Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request.  In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information.  Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.  Send an e-mail to: or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from Audrey Spivack or David Fiske, Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322.  Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live web page at

For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection.  The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet. To purchase these services call (703) 993-3100 or go to

Copies of materials adopted at this meeting can be purchased from the FCC's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (202) 488-5300; Fax (202) 488-5563; TTY (202) 488-5562. These copies are available in paper format and alternative media, including large print/type; digital disk; and audio and video tape.  Best Copy and Printing, Inc. may be reached by e-mail at



June 3, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

BBC Trust Concludes Report On BBC 3 Series "The Real Hustle"

According to the Guardian, the BBC Trust has concluded an investigation into episodes of a BBC 3 program, The Real Hustle, by telling the show's producers and the network that they may not repeat broadcast of those episodes. While announcing that the show had not "breached editorial guidelines," the Trust also concluded that "it did breach a guideline on accuracy because of the confusion in knowing "who was being fooled and who was in on the con" is (sic) a number of scams." The investigation found that the manner in which the show's producers recruited members of the public wishing to appear on the show did turn up actors wanting to appear.

However, BBC management said that "none of them were hired to work as an actor" or knew they were applying to be on The Real Hustle.The BBC Trust concluded that their (sic) was a "lack of clarity and precision" in some of the scams over who was the "mark" – the unknowing member of the public who was a target of the scam – and who was in on the "set up" for the con hired by programme-makers.

Link to text of the BBC Trust report here.

June 3, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Does a Celebrity's Name On a Novel Guarantee?

In yesterday's New York Times, Julie Bosman explores the increasing use celebrities make of ghostwriters to assist them in creating and publishing books. We're talking novels, not autobiographies. Since the celebs tend to acknowledge this use not on the cover but elsewhere in the prefatory matter, how much of the actual writing is their own can be difficult to discern. Notes Ms. Bosman, two names on a novel's cover disuade a buyer from purchasing a copy of the work. (Probably, although that fact doesn't seem to be universally true: Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston don't seem to have a problem, although individually they have track records). The head of one media conglomerate, Robert Gottlieb, thinks celebs are likely to continue to shop their written fiction ideas to publishers, and to continue using ghostwriters to assist them in completing their assignments. “They hire a writer, come up with an idea and do a novel that can be turned into a film or a television show. It’s a way to extend the footprint of the celebrity.”

June 2, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hollywood's Liberal Agenda

The Hollywood Reporter has this exclusive: clips that bolster claims from a forthcoming book, Primetime Propaganda, that Hollywood "advance[s] a liberal political agenda." The book, by Ben Shapiro, and published by HarperCollins subsidiary Broadside, includes interviews from a number of high profile producers, writers, and directors.

June 1, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

More Directors Oppose DirecTV's VOD Plan

More directors coming out against the VOD initiative promoted by DirecTV. Article here at the Hollywood Reporter.

June 1, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chronicle of Higher Education Issue Focuses On Copyright

In this week's issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, "The Copyright Rebellion: A Special Report." The issue includes two articles by Marc Parry, "Supreme Court Takes Up Scholars Rights," and "Out of Fear, Colleges Lock Books and Images Away From Scholars," and Jeffrey R. Young's "Pushing Back Against Legal Threats By Pushing Fair Use Forward." (Subscription may be required).

May 31, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Traditional Music Industry, Online Music, and Copyright Law

Seth Ericsson, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, has published The Recorded Music Industry and the Emergence of Online Music Distribution: Innovation in the Absence of Copyright (Reform), in volume 79 of the George Washington Law Review (2011). Here is the abstract.

The fact that various online music distribution (OMD) models have been the source of significant consternation for the recorded music industry (RMI) is well-documented. The hostile aspects of OMD-RMI interaction have driven public debate, academic research and years of copyright policymaking - not to be mistaken for lawmaking. In particular, the story of the RMI struggle to acquire maximum control over networks, content, and users has been told.* This narrative often takes on a negative tone regardless of the perspective from which the story is recounted. Unfortunately, a one-sided depiction does not fully reflect the complex dynamic of OMD-RMI interaction.

In order to understand how the RMI and OMD may be better synced so as to enhance social welfare, this article tracks the development of various OMD models. Section I begins by introducing a rough technological taxonomy of OMD. Once this taxonomical framework has been created, Section II evaluates the introduction and establishment of OMD models within the context of the traditional RMI environment. Section III continues along this path by analyzing OMD innovation within the new OMD-influenced RMI ecosystem. In both Sections II and III, particular emphasis is placed on identifying points of friction and collaboration at the relevant levels of innovation, creation, use, industry and institutions. Section IV attempts a brief analysis of the dynamic interplay between innovation and competition within and amid OMD models and the resulting impact of these forces on access to creative works.

It is argued that comprehending the evolutionary and dynamic nature of the OMD-RMI relationship helps in determining the proper type and appropriate scope of any future policies concerning OMD.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 31, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Protecting Public Access To Copyright Works under the Australian Scheme

Judith Kaye Bannister has published Public Access to Copyright Works Submitted to Government: Copyright Agency Ltd v. New South Wales and the Implications for Information Access as University of Adelaide Law Research Law Research Paper No. 2011-013. Here is the abstract.

Governments create and commission copyright protected material as part of their core administrative functions and they sometimes compete with the private sector as developers of commercially valuable assets. Governments also under licence copyright protected material owned and created by others. A wide range of copyright material is also submitted to State and federal governments when individuals and corporations comply with legal obligations or conduct business with government agencies. That material submitted to governments, and the information it contains, can have value that extends beyond the initial transaction. Governments can add value by compiling and processing the information and then charge the public for access. Material submitted to government is also an important source of information source of information about how governments function. When the principles of open government and transparency are discussed, the primary focus is usually upon access to information recorded in documents created within government agencies. However, it is often necessary to extend access to documents received by agencies. Copyright in that material will be privately owned and that can conflict with public access.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

May 31, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)