Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Data Protection, Copyright, and the Digital World

Lee A. Bygrave, University of Oslo, has published Data Protection vs. Copyright in Internationalisation of Law in the Digital Information Society: Nordic Yearbook of Law and Informatics 2010-2012 55 (Dan Jerker, B. Svantesson, & Stanley Greenstein, eds., Copenhagen: Ex Tuto Publishing, 2013). Here is the abstract.

This paper charts changes in the relationship of copyright and protection of personal data brought about by the evolution of technological-organisational measures for enforcing copyright in the digital world. It assesses the impact of such measures on privacy and related interests in light of data protection legislation and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

November 26, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alec Baldwin's Talk Show Gone From MSNBC Line-Up

The MSNBC-sponsored Alec Baldwin talk show "Up Late" is no longer on the network's schedule, apparently by mutual consent according to Variety, although The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Mr. Baldwin's recent anti-gay comments might have had something to do with the cancellation. More here from across the pond (the Daily Mail).

November 26, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 25, 2013

They Had the Beat

Jose Bellido, University of London, has published Popular Music and Copyright Law in the Sixties at 40 Journal of Law and Society 570 (2013). Here is the abstract.

Copyright and its relationship with popular music is one of the most disputed issues amongst music and copyright scholars. While some have accused copyright of being blind (or deaf) to the particularities of popular music, others have defended its significance within the industry. This article contributes to this debate by tracing the networks of connections between lawyers, musicians, and clerks that emerged in a formative period in British pop music (the Sixties). It considers how their collaborative efforts and strategies to present evidence in copyright infringement trials were articulated in an attempt to influence music copyright infringement tests in Britain. By highlighting the concrete geographical and temporal contexts from which these networks emerged and their particular contingencies, the article also casts a new light on the impact of the legal profession on copyright, showing a practice‐oriented and historically situated way of observing differences between French and British copyright systems.


The full text is not available from SSRN.

November 25, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

European Guidelines For Cookie Use and Online Privacy

Joasia Luzak, University of Amsterdam, Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL), has published Privacy Notice for Dummies? Towards European Guidelines on How to Give ‘Clear and Comprehensive Information’ on the Cookies’ Use in Order to Protect the Internet User's Right to Online Privacy as Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-65. Here is the abstract.

Recently reviewed ePrivacy Directive aims at ensuring internet users’ online privacy by requiring users to give informed consent to the gathering, storing and processing of their data by internet service providers, e.g., through the cookies’ use. However, it is hardly possible to talk about an ‘informed’ consent if internet users are not aware of cookies or do not understand when and how they work. Currently, European rules require internet service providers to provide internet users with a ‘clear and comprehensive’ information on the cookies’ use without further specifying what kind of disclosure would be seen as compliant therewith. This paper assesses the need for harmonized European guidelines on transparent and readable disclosure on the cookies' use and suggests the way forward based on the comparative legal research and findings from consumer behavior research.


Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

November 25, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Television Product Placement in Two Countries

Amy Rungpaka Hackley, Queen Mary, University of London,  and Chris Hackley, University of London, Royal Holloway College, have published Television Product Placement Strategy in Thailand and the UK, in volume 3 of the Asian Journal of Business Research (2013). Here is the abstract.

This paper discusses the implications for international brand communications management of a qualitative cross-national research study on television product placement in the United Kingdom and Thailand. The study involved secondary research into the respective media environments and depth interviews with leading agency practitioners in each country. The research suggests that, while television product placement practice may be superficially similar in Asia and the UK, there are important differences arising from the very different regulatory, media and consumer environments. As a consequence, detailed local knowledge is essential for successful product placement strategy which crosses cultural borders. The paper explains key differences in regulation and practice and explores implications for brand communications practice and research.


Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 21, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Toronto Mayor Ford's Reality Series Dropped After One Episode

The Sun News Network has cancelled Ford Nation after one episode. The show, which featured Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug, a Toronto City Councilman, drew a viewership of about half of Canada's households, not enough to secure it a continuing slot on the network's primetime lineup, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Ford brothers also lost their radio show several weeks ago. It's not entirely clear that the show was intended to be the premiere of an on-going series, however. The Toronto Sun describes the episode, taped November 17, as "what could be the first of a regular show." I will forego making any comments about Edsels. 

November 20, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Rupert and Wendi Murdoch Agree On Divorce Settlement

The Hollywood Reporter has a story on the divorce settlement of News Corp's Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi here. The couple, married fourteen years, has two daughters. Terms of the settlement are confidential.

November 20, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Media Images of Minorities

Dana D. Dyson and John R. Arnold, and Sasha Drummond-Lewis, University of Michigan, Flint, have published Lights, Camera, Action: Repressive Policies and Minority Images in Media.  Here is the abstract.

This ethnography specifically looks at images depicted in media of minorities, using the 1971 Kerner Commission, which charged media to create a more balanced picture of minorities with more realistic and positive representations. Positive images can challenge notions of inferiority and systems of inequality. This research is an overview of stereotypical images of minorities permeating news media today, reflecting how far we have come in eliminating ignorance and discomforting messages. We are especially interested in reviewing the effects of minority images on recently developed and implemented policing policies, such as Stop and Frisk and Stand Your Ground. The improper portrayal of African-Americans in the media may contribute to the use of ungrounded force and mistreatment on innocent bystanders. We believe that W.E.B. DuBois’s maxim about the problems of the color line still resonates within the American ethos in spite of the election of our nation’s first African-American President. It is our hope that this examination adds to our understanding of race and media in the 21st Century.

The full text is not available from SSRN.

November 19, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Categorizing Socia Media In the Workplace

Jon Garon, NKU Chase College of Law, has published Social Media in the Workplace – From Constitutional to Intellectual Property Rights. Here is the abstract.

Social media has become a dominant force in the landscape of modern communications. From political uprisings in the Middle East  to labor disputes in Washington State,  social media has fundamentally disrupted the way in which communications take place. As noted constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky explained, “technology has changed and so has First Amendment doctrine and American culture. It now is much more clearly established that there is a strong presumption against government regulation of speech based on its content.”  Just as the government must tolerate more speech, the same thing is true about employers. Chemerinsky further notes that “for better or worse, profanities are more a part of everyday discourse.”  Abrasive speech may be coarse from the word choice or may more readily upbraid the objects of the speech. Whether foul or abusive, such speech now pervades commercial and social media.
Social media fundamentally upends the notion of the traditional commercial media environment and with that, it reverses the established legal doctrine from constitutional assumptions to everyday rules involving copyright, defamation, and unfair labor practice. For employers, these rules are particularly important to navigate because they effect the manner in which the companies communicate with the public, how employees communicate with each other, and how laws are restructuring the employee-employer relationship. The transformation is taking place with changing policies affecting trade secrets, confidential information, copyrighted material, aggregated data, trademarks, publicity rights, and endorsements.
This article highlights the nature of the changes as they present the new paradigm shift and provides some guidance on how to prepare policies for the transitional model. The article tracks the rise of the many-to-many model of social media, its effect on commercial speech, intellectual property, and labor law. The article concludes with suggestions on employment policies geared to managing these changes in the modern workplace.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

November 19, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Canada and the Regulation of Advertising

Peter Neufeld, York University, Osgoode Hall Law School, has published Undermining Parental Authority, Unethical Advertising and the Accountability of Self-Regulation: as a Fable. Here is the abstract.

This paper demonstrates the shortcomings of Advertising Standards Canada, the Canadian self-regulatory body overseeing advertising to children. It uses a case study initiated by a complaint regarding a parental undermining advertisement. Advertising Standards Canada failure to address this complaint illustrate the greater need for Canada to move away from self-regulation in children advertising to a less de-centralized regulatory regime. This move is increasingly important due to the unprecedented rise in electronic marketing and its ability to use stealth advertising and collect information from its child consumers.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

November 19, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Brief of Amici Curiae in the Viacom v. YouTube LItigation

Now available:

Jennifer M. Urban, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Brianna L. Schofield, University of California, School of Law, Brief of Amici Curiae National Alliance for Media Art and Culture, the Alliance for Community Media, and Kartemquin Films in Viacom v. YouTube, published as UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2349143. Here is the abstract.

This case presents important doctrinal, technical, and theoretical issues for online platform users and innovators - especially for independent voices that rely on open online platforms to reach audiences.  Online media platforms like YouTube offer independent media artists opportunities to reach national and global audiences that did not exist in the offline world.
Before online platforms, artists and creators were subject to the physical limitations and editorial gatekeepers of traditional media outlets - movie theaters, television, radio, and the like - which often limited their reach. This was especially true for underrepresented voices. Online platforms changed this equation by dramatically lowering the barriers to media dissemination and by giving artists, rather than gatekeepers, the power to decide what information is worthy of broadcast.
For this reason, these platforms have revolutionized both who can reach wide audiences and how artists and creators reach those audiences.  Voices long neglected by or underrepresented in mainstream media can find room on online platforms. Online platforms have also greatly increased creator-to-creator and and creator-audience interaction by removing geographic and temporal barriers and allowing for communication and collaboration. This capacity has fueled an enormous amount of expressive activity, including collaborations that range from art projects to international political movements.
In this amicus brief, organizations that represent independent media artists ask the court to consider the impact on independent voices of lowering the standard for platform liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Section 512 safe harbor. The brief argues that the safe harbors have made the shift described above possible by giving OSPs the legal certainty they need to innovate new offerings and to provide open access to online platforms. It further argues that the proper liability threshold for when OSPs are held liable for the copyright infringement of users is critically important to to these benefits. Too low, and, fearful of liability coupled with the practical difficulty of determining the difference between lawful and illegal content,  OSPs are likely to filter or otherwise restrict material on the platform. Additionally, a low standard would likely chill innovative and emerging online platforms instead of encouraging them, thus reducing competition in the online platform market and  limiting the ability of independent media artists to reach a wide range of audiences. 
Ultimately, such a result would greatly diminish the richness and diversity of expression currently available to the public via the Internet. Amici therefore urge the court not to adopt a new, lower willful blindness standard that would require much more policing of networks.

Download the brief from SSRN at the link.

November 19, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Responsibility Not To Copy

Haochen Sun, University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, has published Copyright and Responsibility at 4 Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law 263 (2013). Here is the abstract.

This Article argues that the ethics of responsibility should be hailed as an intrinsic value undergirding copyright law. It considers how and why copyright law should be reformed to embrace a strong vision of copyright holders’ responsibilities. To this end, it calls for a more dynamic vision regarding the nature of copyrighted works. A copyrighted work, as the Article shows, is not only the embodiment of its author’s thought and personality, but also a social initiative in sharing intangible resources to promote creativity, shaping people’s cultural power, and pursuing the quest for justice. These social values inherent in all copyrighted works provide the ethical justification for introducing responsibility into copyright and enforcing it as another core function of copyright law. Following the ethics of responsibility, copyright law should function to grant exclusive rights to copyright holders and also to impose social responsibilities on them.


Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Judge Dismisses Authors Guild Suit Against Google

U. S. District Court Judge Denny Chin has dismissed the Authors Guild lawsuit against Google, ruling that the search engine company's practice of displaying parts of books as part of its Google Books Project does not violate the plaintiffs' copyright.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a webpage devoted to the Authors' Guild litigation here.

More here from CNN.

November 18, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Report Finds That Gun Violence Much Higher In PG Rated Films Since 1985

Researchers have published a study in Pediatrics suggesting that gun violence in MPAA films rated PG now exceeds that in films rated R, and has done so for some time. Researchers coded popular films for violence released since 1950 and gun violence released since 1985, and found that teens who watched those films were likely to have been exposed to increasing numbers of incidents of gun violence in PG-rated films since 1985. Further, the report found that PG rated films released since 2009 as coded by the researchers now have as many incidents of gun violence as do R rated movies.  The researchers used the Annenberg CHAMP system to code violent content. Read the entire report here. Reaction from the Los Angeles Times here, from the Guardian here. from Variety here.

November 17, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Social Media and Human Rights

Ira Steven Nathenson, St. Thomas University School of Law, has published Super-Intermediaries, Code, Human Rights at 8 Intercultural Human Rights Law Review 19 (2013). Here is the abstract.

We live in an age of intermediated network communications.  Although the internet includes many intermediaries, some stand heads and shoulders above the rest.  This article examines some of the responsibilities of “Super-Intermediaries” such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, intermediaries that have tremendous power over their users’ human rights.  After considering the controversy arising from the incendiary YouTube video Innocence of Muslims, the article suggests that Super-Intermediaries face a difficult and likely impossible mission of fully servicing the broad tapestry of human rights contained in the International Bill of Human Rights.  The article further considers how intermediary content-control procedures focus too heavily on intellectual property, and are poorly suited to balancing the broader and often-conflicting set of values embodied in human rights law.  Finally, the article examines a number of steps that Super-Intermediaries might take to resolve difficult content problems and ultimately suggests that intermediaries subscribe to a set of process-based guiding principles — a form of Digital Due Process — so that intermediaries can better foster human dignity.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 13, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Report on Net Neutrality Issues and Policy

Jan Kraemer, Lukas Wiewiorra, and Christof Weinhardt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology , have published Net Neutrality: A Progress Report, at 37 Telecommunications Policy 794. Here is the abstract.

This paper is intended as an introduction to the debate on net neutrality and as a progress report on the growing body of academic literature on this issue. Different non-net neutrality scenarios are discussed and structured along the two dimensions of network and pricing regime. With this approach, the consensus on the benefits of a deviation from the status quo as well as the concerns that are unique to certain non-net neutrality scenarios can be identified. Moreover, a framework for policy decisions is derived and it is discussed how the concept of neutrality extends to other parts of the Internet ecosystem.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 13, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Who Dere Owns Dat "Who Dat"?

NPR's Eve Troeh discusses the popularity, and the ownership issues, surrounding the "Who Dat" phrase. Listen here.

November 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Blockbusting Irony

Variety's Marc Glaser recounts some of the mistakes Blockbuster execs made over the past ten years, from failing to purchase Netflix, to a failed attempt to purchase the doomed Circuit City. 

November 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Copyright and the Internet

Peter S. Menell, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, has published This American Copyright Life: Reflections on Re-Equilibrating Copyright for the Internet Age as UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2347674. Here is the abstract. 

This article calls attention to the dismal state of copyright’s public approval rating. Drawing on the format and style of Ira Glass’s “This American Life” radio broadcast, the presentation unfolds in three parts: Act I – How did we get here?; Act II – Why should society care about copyright’s public approval rating?; and Act III – How do we improve copyright’s public approval rating (and efficacy)?
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

November 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Brian Stelter Joins "Reliable Sources" As Host

Brian Stelter is leaving the New York Times to become host of CNN's Reliable Sources, and will also report on media and entertainment news issues for the network. Reliable Sources needed a new host after longtime anchor Howard Kurtz left the show for a spot at Fox News. More here from The Hollywood Reporter, here from CNN.

November 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)