Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Secular and the Sectarian Meet In Tunisia

In Tunis, a director faces a trial for blasphemy for broadcasting the French film Persepolis. More here from The New York Times.

January 31, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Books, e-Books, and Barnes & Noble

The New York Times on how the last giant, Barnes & Noble, is hanging on in the face of a tremendous challenge from

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Twitter Begins Censoring Messages

The New York Times reports on Twitter's agreement to block messages at the request of certain foreign governments. Some individuals react with outrage, others understand Twitter's position. Twitter says it will remove only "illegal" communication (illegal being defined by the country from which the communication issues) and notes that users can reset their locations manually to see all communications.

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More On the Fight Over the Proposed Piracy Bill

From the New York Times, an article on the proposed piracy bill, who's for it, who's against it, and why. In particular, the Times analyzes why so many "netizens" are so violently opposed to the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect I.P. Act) bills.

January 24, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Protests, Washington, Media Reactions

The Hollywood Reporter and the New York Times report on the Web protests over SOPA. The media is trying to fill the information void. Washington reacts.

January 18, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The Hollywood Reporter on Washington's stronger anti-piracy laws.

January 17, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Turkish Court Brings Charges Against Sarah Ferguson For 2008 Documentary

A Turkish court has charged Sarah Ferguson with violating the law in the way she and ITV acquired footage for a 2008 documentary about the treatment of orphans in Turkish orphanages. If convicted, she could be sentenced to more than 22 years in prison. Sources for the UK government indicated, however, that the former wife of the Duke of York is unlikely to be extradited to Turkey because the offense she is charged with in Turkey is not a crime in the UK.

January 13, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Domain Names Available Beginning Today

From NPR: a story (print and audio) on ICANN's expansion of domain names and critiques from both advertisers and regulators.

January 12, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

French Journalist Killed In Syria

A France TV2 journalist who won an award for his coverage of the Tunisian revolt in 2011 has died in a mortar attack in Syria. Gilles Jacquier was covering a pro-government rally when the area came under fire. He is the first Western journalist to die during the current Syrian violence. The Syrian government has expressed its condolences to his family and to the French government.

January 12, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Supreme Court of Canada's Ruling on Hyperlinks

Emir Crowne, University of Windsor Faculty of Law, and Arif A. Mahmood have published Hyperlinks Not Defamatory According to Supreme Court of Canada, forthcoming in the Constitutional Forum, Centre for Constitutional Studies. Here is the abstract.

In Crookes v. Newton, 2011 SCC 47, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a hyperlink, by itself, cannot be defamatory, as it cannot be seen as a “publication” of the content to which it refers.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 12, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Call For Submissions From a New Law Journal

From the Editorial Board of the Cincinnati Law Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal

The Cincinnati Law Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal has issued a Call for Papers for its Spring/Summer 2012 Inaugural Issue.

 The Cincinnati Law Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal is proud to announce its inaugural issue to be published in the Spring/Early Summer of 2012. We invite candidates to submit scholarly papers on one or more of the following topics:

     Computer law

     Patent law

     Copyright law

     Trademark law

     Trade secret law

     Internet and Telecommunications law

     Counterfeiting and fashion industry law

     Bootlegging and piracy issues

     Entertainment and sports law

     First Amendment rights

     Mass media law

 Intellectual Property Law is a specialty in which technological, fiscal, political, social, economic, medical, and ethical issues all present a challenge to practitioners. Intellectual property practitioners constantly face challenges in resolving various corporate, administrative, securities, contracts, constitutional, tax, and litigation questions.

 We require that each submission relate to one of the above fields and Intellectual Property and/or Computer Law in some way.

  General Submission Guidelines:

 1) Short Article: usually fifteen to twenty-five pages (not including endnotes or footnotes), discussing, such as articles discussing but not limited to, Supreme Court cert granting cases and/or cases expected to be heard in the federal appellate courts;

 2) Full-length Article: usually twenty-five to forty pages (not including endnotes or footnotes), providing in depth analysis of some significant area of Intellectual Property law.

 Topics may be reviewed by The Cincinnati Law Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal’s faculty advisor to ensure that the book contains a balanced variety of articles and topics.

 If you are interested in having your article published in The Cincinnati Law Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal, please contact us at (cc:  for more information. The deadline to commit to submitting an article is February 13, 2012; initial articles will be due on February 24, 2012; final revised articles will be due on April 30, 2012.


Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to working with you!


The Cincinnati Law Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal Editorial Board


January 12, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Egyptian Businessman On Trial for Tweet of Mickey and Minnie Mouse In Islamic Dress

Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris is on trial for tweeting a comment about Islam that some allege defames the religion. Last year he sent out cartoons of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed as Muslims, but almost immediately apologized for doing so, saying it was just a joke. Some people didn't find the cartoons funny, however, and filed a complaint, which made its way to court. Mr. Sawiris and his family are Christian, and are known for their support of free speech and related causes. More here from the BBC.

January 11, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Google Criticized For Adding Google Plus Posts Into Search Results

The Guardian reports that Google is under fire from Twitter for incorporating results from its Google Plus network into search results. Critics warn that Google might be breaking the antitrust laws by doing so. More here. More on the changes in Google's search results here from the Financial Times.

January 11, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New York Times Opinion: The Supreme Court Should Abandon Pacifica

From the New York Times Opinion pages: One First Amendment.

In F.C.C. v. Fox Television Stations, which the court heard on Tuesday, the justices should overturn the 1978 ruling and apply the same First Amendment principles to all media. If the court refuses to go that far, it should at least uphold the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the F.C.C.’s indecency policy is “unconstitutional because it is impermissibly vague” and must be revised to give reliable notice about what can be broadcast.

Read more here.

January 11, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FCC v. Fox Broadcasting Transcript

Here's a link to the transcript of oral argument in FCC v. Fox Broadcasting.

(Link courtesy of SCOTUSBlog).

January 10, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Supremes Hear Oral Argument In FCC v. Fox Broadcasting

The Supreme Court hears oral argument today, January 10, in FCC v. Fox Broadcasting, on appeal from the 2nd Circuit. More here from the Legal Information Institute, here from the First Amendment Center, here from SCOTUS Blog.

January 10, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cameras in the Courtroom

Nancy S. Marder, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, has published The Conundrum of Cameras in the Courtroom.

In spite of a communications revolution that has given the public access to new media in new places, the revolution has been stopped cold at the steps to the U.S. federal courthouse. The question whether to allow television cameras in federal courtrooms has aroused strong passions on both sides, and Congress keeps threatening to settle the debate and permit cameras in federal courts. Proponents of cameras in federal courtrooms focus mainly on the need to educate the public and to make judges accountable, whereas opponents focus predominantly on the ways in which cameras can affect participants’ behavior and compromise the dignity of the court and the fairness of the trial.

In this article, I lay out the traditional arguments that proponents and opponents make to justify their positions, but I also examine the weaknesses of each side, and the underlying motivations and aspirations, which neither side ever articulates. I explore the unintended consequences of cameras in the courtroom because institutions are not static. For example, cameras might contribute to a growing trend, which I call the “vanishing oral argument,” in which appellate courts do away with oral argument and simply decide the case on the briefs. I also look at other contexts in which cameras have been introduced, such as Supreme Court nomination hearings and congressional speeches, and draw lessons from cameras in these other settings.

In the end, the debate entails competing values and perspectives. Proponents primarily take a “public-centered” view of courts and focus on protecting public access to court proceedings, whereas opponents primarily take a “participant-centered” view and consider the participants in the proceeding and how they are affected by cameras. However, both perspectives can be accommodated, at least to some extent. Federal courts should post transcripts and audio recordings of court proceedings online, but stop short of permitting cameras in the courtroom. Federal judges need to consider the power of the image, the omnipresence of the camera, the spread of images via the Web, and the current lack of a “technology etiquette” that will guide the use of courtroom images on the Web. Until that etiquette develops, federal judges should take incremental steps to make courts more accessible, but should not allow cameras in federal courts, particularly in federal district courts.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

January 9, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Analyzing the Citizens United Decision

Randall P. Bezanson, University of Iowa College of Law, is publishing No Middle Ground? Reflections on the Citizens United Decision in the Iowa Law Review. Here is the abstract.

My interest in this brief essay is to explore precisely what the Court decided in Citizen’s United and the constitutional basis upon which the decision rests. I will turn first to the Kennedy opinion, its broad holding that corporations are first amendment speakers, its logical consequences, and the analytical problems under the First Amendment and Supreme Court doctrine that Kennedy basically ignored. I will then turn to the Scalia opinion and its significance for first amendment theory and doctrine. Finally, I will make the claim that Justice Scalia’s opinion is, for analytical purposes, the governing opinion. At least this is so on all of the “holdings” in the Court’s opinion that Justice Kennedy’s style of decision unnecessarily (in terms of Justice Scalia’s reasoning) reached out to announce. These broad holdings are the very basis upon which the controversy about the decision has rested.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 9, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

National Security and South Korean Writers

From the New York Times: South Korea's national security law and its application to writers, particularly satirists.

January 8, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Interior Designers and the First Amendment

From the National Law Journal: an opinion piece on the upcoming case before the Supreme Court, Locke v. Shore. Petitioners are challenging a Florida law that requires interior designers practicing in non-residential, commercial settings to be licensed. Few other states require such licensing. The authors of the NLJ piece are the attorneys for the petitioners, who allege that their First Amendment rights are being violated. Here's a link to the 11th Circuit opinion upholding the law.

January 6, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)