Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Reynolds Privilege In the Singaporean Legal Regime

David Tan, National University of Singapore, has published The Reynolds Privilege in a Neo-Confucianist Communitarian Democracy: Reinvigorating Freedom of Political Communication In Singapore in the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 456 (December 2011). Here is the abstract.

This article explores how defamation jurisprudence in Singapore has elevated the political public figure to an exalted position, virtually according the reputation of these honorable men, or junzi, heightened protection over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. It takes the position that there are sufficient bases for the Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd. privilege (the Reynolds privilege) to be adopted under Singapore common law, independent of any reliance on art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It further argues that courts in Singapore ought to draw on relevant English and Australian jurisprudence, and consider a broader qualified privilege defense in defamation suits involving political public figures. The author concludes that the common law of qualified privilege in Singapore should be reviewed to take into account a multi-factorial approach when examining whether greater leeway may be accorded to citizen comments on public officials and public policy that are relevant to good government and good governance.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

March 17, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Origins of the Press Clause

Patrick J. Charles, U. S. Air Force, and Kevin Francis O'Neill, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, have published Saving the Press Clause from Ruin: The Customary Origins of a 'Free Press' as Interface to the Present and Future, in the 2012 volume of the Utah Law Review. Here is the abstract.

Based on a close reading of original sources dating back to America's early colonial period, this article offers a fresh look at the origins of the Press Clause. Then, applying those historical findings, the article critiques recent scholarship in the field and reassesses the Press Clause jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. Finally, the article describes the likely impact of its historical findings if ever employed by the Court in interpreting the Press Clause.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

March 14, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Moment of Publication

Deborah Gerhardt, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Law, has published Copyright Publication: An Empirical Study in volume 87 of the Notre Dame Law Review (2011). Here is the abstract.

The Article presents the first empirical study of copyright publication, a concept that can mark a critical moment in the life of a creative work. Books, magazines, films, software and plays, as well as works of art, architecture, music, and even choreography may be protected by copyright. For works created before 1976, knowing whether a work is published is often necessary for determining whether it is in the public domain so that anyone can use it, copy it or adapt it in other media without risking copyright liability. A court’s determination of whether a work is published also may be dispositive of issues such as the duration of the copyright, if others can make fair use of it and whether, in litigation, statutory damages and attorney’s fees are available. Despite the obvious import of this concept, it remains one of the most ambiguous features of copyright law. How do judges decide whether a creative work is published? This article presents the first comprehensive and systematic answer to that question. Based on a dataset of federal judicial opinions, this article analyzes the extent to which accepted notions of copyright publication conform with legal doctrine. The results reveal that often they do not. In particular, this article demonstrates that publication has a surprisingly inconsistent meaning across copyright issues, differing dramatically between the public domain and fair use contexts. The analysis shows that the characteristics of the work, as well as how it is distributed and accessed are important to courts when deciding whether a work is in the public domain. These findings are especially noteworthy, since contrary to popular belief, courts increasingly encounter the issue of publication when answering a wide variety of copyright questions. Drawing upon the empirical findings, the Article recommends that the commonly used definitions of publication be changed to reflect the factors upon which judges actually rely in deciding these cases.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

March 14, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Ghost On the Book

Julia Moskin writes about ghostwriting cookbooks,here, for the New York Times.

March 14, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yahoo Sues Facebook For Patent Infringement

Yahoo is suing Facebook for patent infringement over FB's use of technology tied to the social media company's many activities. Read the complaint here.

March 13, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Rebekah Brooks, Five Others, Arrested Today

From the Guardian: Rebekah Brooks, formerly head at News International, has been re-arrested by London police as part of the ongoing investigation into phone hacking by employees at News of the World and other newspapers owned by News International. Law enforcement took Ms. Brooks and five other persons, including NI employees into custody today.

March 13, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Getting Your Name Back

Delia Ephron writes about reclaiming your (domain) name on the net.

March 11, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)