Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Three Members of Russian Band Get Two Year Sentences For "Hooliganism"; Protests Break Out

A Russian judge has sentenced three members of the girl band Pussy Riot to two years in prison for "hooliganism" for their February performance in a Russian church, which was aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin. Their lawyer announced that they would appeal.

The sentence has drawn criticism both inside and outside Russia from supporters of the group, including the US and UK governments. At one protest, chess champion Garry Kasparov was speaking with journalists and was arrested. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.

August 17, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

For a Friday

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FTC Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: COPPA

Based on over 350 comments received to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in September of 2011 related to COPPA, the FTC has now modified its proposed rule and published proposed changes. Among them are a change to the definition of "operator." More here.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Ecuador Grants Assange Asylum

Ecuador has granted Wikileaks' Julian Assange political asylum. Mr. Assange sought asylum in the country's embassy in London some months ago, rather than surrender to Sweden on a European warrant. However, the UK has said it will not grant Mr. Assange safe passage to exit Britain to travel to Ecuador. More here from the BBC, here from CNN. One UK diplomat says he believes the British government may be ready to end the diplomatic stalemate by raiding the Ecuadorian Embassy and removing Mr. Assange by force. More here from Forbes.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

How Journalists Think About Fair Use

Patricia Aufderheide, American University School of Communication, Peter A. Jaszi, American University College of Law, Katie Bieze, Center for Social Media, and Jan Lauren Boyles, American University, have published Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public's Right to Know: How Journalists Think About Fair Use.

This study explores the problems that journalists face in employing the doctrine of fair use under copyright in their work. Journalists are key actors in the public sphere, because they create and circulate information for public knowledge and deliberation on public affairs, and shape knowledge and therefore expectations about the wider culture. To the extent that journalists inhibit their own performance because of copyright concerns, they limit their ability to perform that public sphere function. The study results from longform, open-ended interviews with 80 journalists in a variety of subject areas and on a range of media platforms. It finds significant evidence of delays, decisions to limit coverage and failure to disseminate on the basis of insecurity and misinformation about fair use. Journalists made aware of this problem took action to shape a set of principles interpreting their fair use rights.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

August 16, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Copyright and Digital Art

Smita Kheria, University of Edinburgh School of Law, has published Copyright and Digital Art: Through the Looking Glass. Here is the abstract.

This chapter explores the interaction between copyright and everyday life of artists in the digital environment. It focuses on the role of copyright in the every day context of a specific creative activity: digital art practice. It draws upon findings from a qualitative empirical study consisting of first-hand accounts from digital artists on their perspective and practice on matters such as creation, dissemination and exploitation of their artworks. The chapter provides a flavour of the life that copyright law and policy take, in ways which contrast with their own purpose, because of the various connections and complexities between the digital artist and other actors in an artistic practice. It emphasises that understandings of ‘copyright in action’ in new creative activities in the digital environment, particularly through the creators’ perspective, can offer valuable insights for policy making. 

Section I briefly introduces relevant policy discussions on copyright in United Kingdom. Section II contextualizes the empirical study and outlines the methodology employed. Section III presents some of the findings on the perceived role of copyright in digital artists’ creative practice, specifically the lack of belief in both the prevention of copying in the digital domain and in the usefulness of copyright law for creators. It illustrates how various actors influenced the artists’ understandings and decisions on the role of ‘copying’ and ‘copyright’ for their practice. Section IV provides concluding remarks.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.


August 16, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Former BBC Head Mark Thompson In at New York Times

More here from Hollywood Reporter, here from the New York Times.

August 15, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

FCC Chair On AT&T's Anti-Distracted Driving Campaign

FCC Chair Genachowski's statement on AT&T's "It Can Wait" Campaign:

Distracted driving continues to cost lives every single day. That’s why, last year, I challenged the wireless industry to step up and implement innovative solutions to help tackle this growing and dangerous problem. I commend AT&T for launching this important awareness campaign that will help make texting and driving as unacceptable as drinking and driving. All of us must be part of the solution, recognizing that while mobile technologies offer enormous benefit, they create new challenges we must tackle together.

More about the campaign here.

August 15, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Invasion of Privacy Lawsuit Against Hulu Proceeds

The New York Times discusses the invasion of privacy lawsuit brought against Hulu here. The suit is based on the Video Privacy Protection Act. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.

The case, In Re Hulu Privacy Litigation, raises the question of whether a company such as Hulu, which streams information, is a "video tape service provider" under the Act may transmit information it collects about its customers to third parties. Hulu moved to dismiss the action on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacks standing, that disclosures were in the ordinary course of business and that it wasn't a video tape service provider. The judge denied all of Hulu's motions and is allowing the suit to proceed, finding that the VPPA's language includes businesses involved in delivery of tapes "or similar audio visual materials."

Hulu had disclosed subscriber information to a third party called KISSmetrics; it no longer works with that service.


August 15, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

UK Man Convicted of "Facilitating" Copyright Infringement, Sentenced To Prison

Anton Vickerman, the owner of a UK media site that directed users to other sites that allowed them to download pirated videos, has been sentenced to four years in prison. The BBC reports that Mr. Vickerman was found guilty of "facilitating" copyrignt infringement through his company, The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) assisted law enforcement in acquiring evidence that led to Mr. Vickerman's conviction. More here from the BBC.

August 14, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Petition For Reconsideration of Action In FCC Rulemaking: CALM Act

A Petition for Reconsideration has been filed in the Commission's Rulemaking proceeding listed in this Public Notice and published pursuant to 47 CFR Section 1.429(e). The full text of this document is available for viewing and copying in Room CY-B402, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., or may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI) (1-800-378-3160). Oppositions to this petition must be filed within 15 days of the date of public notice of the petitions in the Federal Register. See Section 1.4(b) (1) of the Commission's rules (47 CFR 1.4(b) (1)). Replies to an opposition must be filed within 10 days after the time for filing oppositions has expired.


In the Matter of Implementation of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness

Mitigation (CALM) Act (MB Docket No. 11-93)

Filed By:

Rick Chesen, on behalf of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association,  (NCTA), 8/8/12 



August 13, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)