Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Canadian Regulators To Take Another Look At Rules

From the Hollywood Reporter: Head of Canadian regulatory agency CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions) Jean-Pierre Blais says he and his fellow commissioners are re-thinking the regulatory regime, particularly with regard to Netflix Canada. Canadian content on television, radio, and in other media has been a priority, but, says Mr. Blais, regulation for regulation's sake is not the goal. "[W]hat matters is having the audacity to do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons in the right circumstances. Sometimes that means we, at the CRTC, have to step back. Boldly dare to let creative or market forces take over."

Here is a link to a transcript of his speech at the Banff World Media Festival.

June 13, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Representations of Abortion in Argentine Media

Yanel Mogaburo, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, has published Representaciones Sobre El Aborto En La Prensa Argentina: Análisis Crítico Del Discurso De Los Medios Masivos De Comunicación (Abortion Representations in the Argentine Press: Critical Analysis of the Media Discourse) in Comunicación y Ciudadanía 2013. Here is the abstract.

El trabajo busca contribuir al conocimiento del proceso discursivo de construcción de las representaciones e identidades genéricas en torno a la problemática del aborto en el espacio público durante los primeros años del siglo xxi, a partir del análisis del discurso de los medios masivos de comunicación.

El análisis, enmarcado en la corriente del Análisis Crítico del Discurso, se centra en la cobertura que realizaron distintos medios gráficos de circulación nacional y local sobre tres casos emblemáticos de aborto no punible. Tiene como objetivo dar cuenta de las posturas de valor que adoptan los medios masivos de comunicación sobre la práctica social “aborto” y como, al mismo tiempo, negocian dichas posiciones con sus interlocutores reales o potenciales.

Este análisis encuentra sus fundamentos teóricos en la Teoría de la Valoración, que tiene como propósito principal presentar una reorganización comprehensiva y sistemática de los recursos lingüísticos que pueden ser usados para valorar la experiencia social.

Las conclusiones a las que llegamos a través del análisis de las voces y las valoraciones (appraisal theory) aparecidas en el corpus antes descripto, confirman nuestra hipótesis de que los medios masivos (como locutores) despliegan recursos que permiten el alineamiento o distanciamiento de las voces a favor y en contra del aborto, al mismo tiempo que reproducen las representaciones e identidades genéricas hegemónicas. Del análisis se desprende también que el aborto no punible en Argentina termina siendo criminalizado y la violencia que se ejerce sobre la mujer que aborta o desea abortar invisibilizada por los medios de comunicación.

The aim of this article is to show the discursive construction of gender identities and representation in the public sphere, during the first years of this century, from the analysis of the discourse of the news about the “problem of abortion” in three national newspapers and on national television. 

The analysis, framed in feminist critical discourse analysis, focuses on the different media coverage on three emblematic cases of legal abortion. It aims to account for the value positions that adopt the mass media about social practice “abortion” and at the same time, to analyze the negotiation of those positions with their actual or potential readers/viewers.

This analysis finds its theoretical foundations in the Appraisal Theory, which has as main purpose to present a comprehensive and systematic reorganization of language resources that can be used to evaluate the social experience. The conclusions arrived at by analyzing the voices and valuations (appraisal theory) appeared in the corpus described above, confirm our hypothesis that the mass media (as speakers) deploy resources that enable the alignment or distance of the voices for and against abortion, while reproducing the hegemonic representations and gender identities. 

The analysis shows that even in cases where the abortion is not punishable in Argentina, ends up being criminalized by the media that ignore or inflict violence on women who want to abort.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. The text is in Spanish.

June 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

EU Media Law and the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

Mira Burri, University of Bern Law School & The World Trade Institute has published Business as Usual? The Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity and EU Media Law and Policies in volume 3 of the European Law Review. Here is the abstract.

Irrespective of the diverse stances taken on the effect of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity in the external relations context, since its wording is fairly open-ended, it is clear to all observers that the Convention’s impact will largely depend on how it is implemented domestically. The discussion on the national implementation of the Convention, both in the policy and in the academic discourses, is only just emerging, although six years the Convention’s entry into force have passed. The implementation model of the EU can set an important example for the international community and for the other State Parties that have ratified the UNESCO Convention, as both the EU and its Member States acting individually, have played a critical role in the adoption of the Convention, as well as in the longer process of promoting cultural concerns on the international scene. Against this backdrop, this article analyses the extent to which the EU internal law and policies, in particular in the key area of media, take into account the spirit and the letter of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. Next to an assessment of the EU’s implementation of the Convention, the article also offers remarks of normative character – in the sense of what should be done to actually attain the objective of protecting and promoting cultural diversity. The article seeks to critically evaluate the present state of affairs and make some recommendations for calibration of future policies.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 10, 2013

IP Infringement and Differing Audiences

Jeanne C. Fromer, New York University School of Law, and Mark A. Lemley, Stanford Law School, are publishing The Audience in Intellectual Property Infringement in volume 112 of the Michigan Law Review (2014). Here is the abstract.

Every IP right has its own definition of infringement. In this paper, we suggest that this diversity of legal rules is largely traceable to differences in the audience in IP cases. Patent, trademark, copyright, and design patent each focus on a different person as the fulcrum for evaluating IP infringement. The fact that patent law focuses on an expert audience while trademark looks to a consumer audience explains many of the differences in how patent and trademark cases are decided. Expert audiences are likely to evaluate infringement based on the technical similarity between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s works. Consumers, by contrast, are likely to pay more attention to market substitution and less attention to how things work under the hood. Understanding the different audiences in IP infringement is critical to understanding how the IP regimes define infringement.

The focus on audience has normative as well as descriptive implications. Neither patent law, with its focus on experts and technical similarity, nor trademark law, with its market-based consumer focus, has it entirely correct. Rather, we suggest that as a general matter infringement of an IP right should require both technical similarity and market substitution. Assessing infringement through the expert’s eyes ensures that the law prevents closely related works in the field while allowing later contributions to the field that are sufficiently different. The consumer vantage point ensures that we protect IP owners only when they have been harmed in the marketplace. 

IP owners who want to show infringement should have to show both that the defendant’s work is technically similar to their own from the expert’s vantage point and that the defendant’s use causes the plaintiff market harm. Copyright law, which does look both to experts and to consumers at various points in infringement analysis, is on the right track.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 10, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Two Men First Identified as "Possible Suspects" In Boston Marathon Bombing Suing New York Post For Defamation

Two young men whose photographs were published in the New York Post and identified as "possible suspects" being sought by police in the Boston Marathon bombing are now suing the paper for defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Salaheddin Barhoum and Yassine Zaimi say the newspaper's negligence in identifying them caused them to fear that others might do them physical harm, given the magnitude of the event. The Post has issued a statement that reads: "We stand by our story. The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects." Read the complaint here.

More here from the National Law Journal, here from the Washington Post. Commentary and links to the original story here from the Huffington Post.

June 10, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights Watch Asks Sri Lankan Government For Answers On Whereabouts Of Government Critic

Human Rights Watch has called on the Sri Lankan government to explain the disappearance of cartoonist and government critic Prageeth Ekneligoda, who has not been seen since 2010. A member of the Sri Lankan Parliament says Mr. Ekneligoda is living in hiding in France. The government has not responded. More here from the HRW website.

June 10, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Plagiarize, Plagiarize, Plagiarize!

Joe Nocera discusses the money that former plagiarists can derive from reviving their failed careers. He argues that Mr. Glass repented, and has been forgiven, and rightly so. Jonah Lehrer, though, he says, is a different case. Readers differ. More here.

June 10, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Plagiarize, Plagiarize, Plagiarize!

Joe Nocera discusses the money that former plagiarists can derive from reviving their failed careers. He argues that Mr. Glass repented, and has been forgiven, and rightly so. Jonah Lehrer, though, he says, is a different case. Readers differ. More here.

June 10, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Celebs and Products

From the New York Times: an article discussing celebrity tweets and products. Is this the new face of product placement?

June 10, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)