Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wait! Don't Post That!

From warnings that intemperate postings, even parodies, can get you in trouble with law enforcement and the district attorney.

April 19, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

UK Supreme Court: Browsing Webpage Through Link Not Copyright Infringement

The UK high court has ruled that merely opening and browsing a webpage through a link is not a copyright infringement, holding that the page is merely temporary. The case is Public Relations Consultants Associations v. Newspaper Licencing Association.

However, the UK Supreme Court has also asked the European Court of Justice to examine the issue of the applicability of article 5.1 of the Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001 to  "temporary copies made for the purpose of browsing by an unlicensed end-user." (see paragraph 38). More here from the Guardian.

April 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Fair Use In Comparative Law

Martin Senftleben, VU University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law, has published Comparative Approaches to Fair Use: An Important Impulse for Reforms in EU Copyright Law, in G.B. Dinwoodie (ed.), Methods and Perspectives in Intellectual Property (G. B. Dinwoodie, ed., Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar, (2014, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.

Fair use provisions in the field of copyright limitations, such as the U.S. fair use doctrine, offer several starting points for a comparative analysis of laws. Fair use may be compared with fair dealing. With the evolution of fair use systems outside the U.S., fair use can also be compared across different countries. The analysis may also concern fair use concepts in different domains of intellectual property. Instead of making any of these direct comparisons, the present analysis deals with another aspect of comparative analyses: the study of foreign fair use provisions as a basis for the improvement of domestic legislation. More specifically, the analysis will show that important impulses for necessary reforms in the EU system of copyright exceptions can be derived from a comparison with the flexible approach taken in the U.S. 

For this purpose, the legal traditions underlying the legislation on copyright limitations in the EU (civil law) and the U.S. (common law) will be outlined (section 1) before explaining the need for reforms in the current EU system (section 2). On this basis, strategies for translating lessons to be learned from the U.S. fair use approach (section 3) into the EU system will be discussed. This translation is unlikely to fail because of an inability or reluctance of civil law judges to apply open-ended norms (section 4). Under existing EU norms, however, a degree of flexibility comparable to the flexibility offered in the U.S. cannot be achieved (section 5). To establish a sufficiently flexible system, EU legislation would have to be amended (section 6 and concluding section 7).

Download the full text of the essay from SSRN at the link.

April 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Copyright Symposium Taking Place This Week, Berkeley, CA

Taking place this week: Reform(aliz)ing Copyright for the Internet Age, April 18-19, 2013 at the Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, CA. More information available here. CLE is available.

April 17, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ABA Honors Six Members of Congress For Leadership

Six members of Congress will receive the American Bar Association's Congressional Justice Award for accomplishment in lawmaking that serves the cause of justice. The ABA will honor Senators Mike Crapo, Dick Durbin, Tim Johnson, and Lisa Murkowski and Representatives Rodney Frelinghuysen and Nita Lowey. More here from the National Law Journal. More here from the ABA.

April 17, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

How Conspiracy Stories Start points out that false (or fake) stories about the Boston bombing abound already, and even though the media and individuals try to debunk them, they have already taken on a life of their own.

April 17, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

FCC Rules Governing Emergency Information In Video Form To Visually Impaired

The FCC has published rules governing the accessibility of emergency information in video format for those who are blind or visually impaired. These rules are available in the Federal Register. Here's a link. Comments are due 60 days after the date of publication, which was April 8, 2013.

April 16, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

UK Channel Pulls London Marathon-Themed Film After Boston Bombing

From the Hollywood Reporter: The UK network Channel 4 says it will not broadcast a film called "Four Lions" in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The film, made in 2010, has as its subject a suicide bomb attack during the London Marathon. This year's London Marathon takes place Sunday, April 21. More here from Screen Daily.

April 16, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Offense and the First Amendment

Alexander Tsesis, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, is publishing Inflammatory Speech: Offense versus Incitement in volume 97 of the Minnesota Law Review (2013). Here is the abstract.

The commonly accepted notion that content regulations on speech violate the First Amendment is misleading. In three recent cases - Snyder v. Phelps, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n, and United States v. Stevens - the Court made clear that free speech includes the right to express scurrilous, disgusting, and disagreeable ideas. A different set of cases, however, concluded that group defamation, intentional threats, and material support for terrorist organizations are not protected forms of expression. This Article seeks to make sense of this doctrinal dichotomy and to develop clearer guidelines for regulating incitements that are posted on the Internet and in public areas. 

Many leading First Amendment scholars regard the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on outrageous and inciting expressions to be inconsistent. These academic authors often adopt a libertarian theory of the Free Speech Clause. They generally agree with cases that strike limits on offensive statements but disregard, or outright ignore, those that uphold restrictions on threats and defamations made in the absence of any imminent threat of harm. This Article demonstrates that opponents of incitement regulations fail to differentiate policies that protect public safety from those that silence outrageous but benign expressions. 

I propose a relatively straightforward method for evaluating the constitutionality of incitement laws. The mens rea of a speaker is key to judicial determinations about whether true threats, group defamation, and material support for terrorists are actionable or constitutionally protected. This Article parses the Court’s analysis of unprotected incitement that poses a threat to public safety. A small but significant group of decisions belies the libertarian claim that incitement is constitutionally protected. My proposal will undoubtedly be controversial because the method I propose would augment juries’ and judges’ authority to assess the context within which threatening statements are made and qualify the relevance of the canonic imminent threat of harm doctrine.

Download the full text of the article from SSRN at the link.

April 15, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

What People Think About IP

Gregory N. Mandel, Temple University School of Law, has published The Public Psychology of Intellectual Property. Here is the abstract.

Though the success of intellectual property law depends upon its ability to affect human perception and behavior, the public psychology of intellectual property has barely been explored. Over 1700 U.S. adults took part in an experimental study designed to investigate popular conceptions of intellectual property rights. Respondents’ views of what intellectual property rights should be differed substantially from actual law, and popular conceptions of the basis for intellectual property rights are contrary to commonly accepted bases relied on in legal and policy decision-making. Linear regression analysis reveals previously unrecognized cultural divides concerning intellectual property based on people’s income, age, education, political ideology, and gender.

Download the full text of the paper from SSRN at the link.

April 15, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

BBC Won't Ban "Wizard of Oz" Tune Used To Refer To Mrs. Thatcher's Passing

The BBC says it will not forbid the playing of the song "Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead!" or ignore its rise to popularity on music charts in response to the death of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. BBC Radio1 controller Ben Cooper said the network would treat the song's popularity as a news story (link to a NYTimes story). More here  from the BBC from the BBC website on the debate over the song.

April 14, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)