Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, February 25, 2011

CBS, WB Halt Two and Half Men Season Prematurely, Won't Pay Sheen For Cancelled Episodes

Things have boiled over once again at Two and a Half Men. Charlie Sheen called in to the Alex Jones radio show and launched personal attacks against TAHM creator Chuck Lorre, alleging that Mr. Lorre owes his success to Mr. Sheen himself, which caused CBS and Warner Brothers to cancel the rest of the show's current season. Mr. Sheen will not receive his $1.2 million per episode for the 4 episodes that were to be filmed. It's not clear if the rest of the cast and crew will be paid. Mr. Lorre, meanwhile, says he is taking a break from those vanity cards he is so famous for--he'll put up pictures instead. CBS, however, didn't like the first one (what Mr. Lorre said was his knuckle) and censored it.

Read Mr. Sheen's letter to TMZ in which he repeats the claim that he is responsible for Mr. Lorre's success (as well as his personal attacks on Mr. Lorre) here.

February 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Australian Appellate Court Rules ISP Not Responsible For Users' Copyright Infringement

An Australian appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that an ISP is not liable for copyright infringement by rightsholders alleging that an ISP failed to control its users' uploading and sharing of copyrighted works. However, the studios can still appeal to a higher court. Read the ruling here.

February 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Federal Judge Rules For Defendant In Hendrix Right of Publicity Lawsuit

Here's a link to the recently decided Jimi Hendrix estate right of publicity case, already the subject of much discussion in the trades, in the practitioner literature, and in the blogosphere. The judge found for the defendant,, ruling that a state statute could not create post-mortem rights of publicity for an individual who had not lived in the state; the statute would have conflicted with the law of the state in which the individual had lived (New York), which does not recognize post-mortem rights of publicity.

February 24, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Judge Orders Assange Extradited To Sweden

A British judge has ruled that Wikileaks' Julian Assange must face sexual assault charges in Sweden. The judge found no procedural problems with the arrest warrant issued in Sweden against Mr. Assange. Mr. Assange has seven days to appeal the ruling.

February 24, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Network Head Says "Damages," Other Serials Attract Video Pirates

FX's John Landgraf says shows like "Damages" are too much of a temptation for pirates, thus too difficult for the studio to "monetize." He told an audience of cable execs yesterday, "“You’d be crazy to make [a show like that]," these days. His more likely picks? Not so clear, because of the wide variety of alternative platforms available today, and time shifting that audiences are doing. And oh, yes, those pirates keep him and other network heads up at night.

February 24, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Western Journalists Begin Reporting From Libya

The Tripoli Post reports that media have started to cross the border into the country to report on what looks more and more like a revolution there. More coverage from NPR. A view from Arab News concerning the unrest in the area here.

February 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tweet Softly--You Don't Know Who's Listening

Billie Hara at ProfHacker discusses the possible hazards of social media.

February 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Couple May Sue Over "The Soup" Remarks, AP Article

Cara and Gibson Reynolds, a couple featured in this AP article about genetic screening, say they may sue Comcast Entertainment and Joel McHale, the host of The Soup, as well as the AP, for the article's slant and for remarks made after a discussion of the article's content. The Reynolds have filed a praecipe for writ of summons in Philadelphia, and are apparently alleging both IIED and defamation.

February 22, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Germany's Defense Minister Under Fire For Plagiarism

A German MP is under fire for having incorporated nearly all of an article written for him by a civil servant, Dr. Ulrich Tammler, into his doctoral dissertation.  Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester, Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, a member of the Christian Social Union, and currently the German defense minister, received a PhD from the University of Bayreuth in 2006 for work partly based on the dissertation. An investation launched by newspapers including Der Spiegel uncovered the possible plagiarism. Mr. Guttenberg has stopped calling himself "Dr." (he is also an aristocrat). Wiki mavens are on the hunt for examples of similarities between the dissertation and the article written by Dr. Tammler. Reports surfaced earlier this month with suggestions from a law professor that Dr. Guttenberg had copied newspaper articles and used them for his dissertation. The newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reproduced out some analysis for the public, available here (in German).

February 21, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights and Its Representation In the Media

Eric Heinze, Queen Mary University of London, School of Law, has published The Reality and Hyperreality of Human Rights: Public Consciousness and the Mass Media, in Examining Critical Perspectives on Human Rights: The End of an Era? (R. Dickenson et al., eds., Cambridge University Press, 2011). Here is the abstract.

Most human rights scholarship remains highly formalist, with a focus on norms and institutions. However, at least as powerful as, if not more powerful than, those norms and institutions, are the mass media. Consonant with David Kennedy’s concern that rights discourse can privilege some interests at the expense of others, the media must be seen as the force that overwhelmingly decides which norms and abuses count, and which are neglected. Public consciousness of human rights emerges not out of political reality, but out of a media-generated ‘hyper-reality’, impermeable to some of the world’s most heinous abuses. The media remain immune from the values of even-handedness that are conceptually presupposed by human rights law. In principle, human rights shun any zero-sum game, whereby the rights of one person or group may be traded off against those of another. The media not only plays that game, but must play it, as a matter of sheer time and resources. A ‘Hollywoodisation’ of rights still further contributes to forging a hyper-reality that remains at odds with the realities of global human rights.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

February 21, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)