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Media law

Media law



This covers the basis of all that is media law

This covers the basis of all that is media law



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    Media law Media law Presentation Transcript

    • Law and Regulation J. Matthew Melton, Ph.D Lee University, Cleveland, TN
    • A free press
      • Free Press Precedent
        • New York Times v. Sullivan
        • Media role defined as
          • “ Uninhibited, robust and wide-open debate”
      • Legal and regulatory issues
        • Balancing press freedom with
          • Interests of individuals
          • Interest of government
      AP/Wide World Photo
    • U.S. Constitution
      • The First Amendment to the Constitution
        • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
      • The “Fourth Estate”
        • The press as “tribune of the people”
        • An extra constitutional branch of government
        • Exposes public mismanagement
    • Government Attempts to Restrict Press
      • Alien and Sedition Laws, 1789
        • Prohibited anti-government speech
        • Expired in 1801
      • The Espionage Act of 1918
        • Prohibited anti-war speech in WWI
      • The Smith Act of 1940
        • WWII press censorship
      • HUAC and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
        • House Un-American Activities Committee
        • Cold War congressional hearings
        • Hunting for communists
        • Discredited by news media
      Bettmann/Corbis HUAC
    • Prior Restraint
      • Near v. Minnesota
        • Saturday Post, 1931
        • Printed names of Prohibition violators
        • State could not stop publication
      • The Pentagon Papers
        • Time Magazine, 1971
        • printed classified Vietnam War documents
        • Temporarily halted by court order
      • The Progressive Case
        • The Progressive Magazine, 1979
        • Article on how to make a hydrogen bomb
        • Publication temporarily stopped
      J.P. Laffont/CORBIS Sygma Daniel Ellsberg-Pentagon Papers
    • Obscenity & Censorship
      • Obscenity issues
        • Boston and H.L. Mencken’s The American Mercury, 1926
        • “ Salacious” content
        • Magazine won the case
      • Roth vs. United States , 1957
        • Obscenity not protected by the 1st Amendment
        • Obscenity: “Material utterly without redeeming social importance”
        • Obscenity appeals to “prurient interest”
        • The “Roth Test” of contemporary community standards
    • Censorship
      • Miller vs. California , 1973
        • Local courts must determine:
          • applying community standards, whether a work appeals to “prurient interest”
          • Whether a work violates state law with offensive sexual depictions
          • Whether a work lacks Literary, Artistic, Political or Social value - the LAPS test
      • School Boards
        • Banning library books
        • Censoring curricula
      Unpopular with school boards
    • National Efforts to Control Free Speech
      • The Meese Commission on Pornography, 1986
        • Argued that pornography is harmful
        • No legislation resulted
      • The Hazelwood Case 1988
        • Hazelwood High School, Missouri
        • Articles in school paper censored by principal
        • Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court
        • Minors do not possess same extent of freedom as adults
      • Student Press Law Center
    • California’s “Free Choice”
      • AB 47809 Students have the right to choose whatever topic they desire, within certain ethical boundaries, upon which to report. School administrators cannot legally stop the publication of any story by a school newspaper.
      • What does this mean for us?
      • Should we have a “no holds barred” approach to decide what stories/topics we should cover?
      • What type of stories/topics should we avoid?
    • Libel Law
      • The Sullivan Case, 1964
        • Public officials must prove malice
        • Gertz v. Robert Welch , 1974
          • Editorial opinion is not libel
          • Public figures
        • Herbert v. Lando , 1979
          • Public figures may investigate reporters’ sources
        • Masson v. The New Yorker , 1991
          • Grammatical changes not necessarily libelous
      • Media Law Resource Center
        • Libel FAQ
    • Libel Defense
      • To prove libel, must show that:
        • Statement communicated to third party
        • Subject easily identifiable in the statement
        • Statement injured the subject’s reputation
        • Publisher of the statement is at fault
      • Defenses for libel
        • Truth
          • If it’s true, it’s not libel
        • Qualified privilege
          • Information obtained in court or legislature
        • Fair comment
          • Opinion/Commentary/Editorials are not libel
    • Famous Libel Cases
      • Carol Burnett v. National Enquirer
        • Sued for $10 million, 1983
        • Awarded $150,000
      • Gen. Westmoreland v. CBS
        • Sued for $120 million, 1984
        • Settled out of court
        • $18 million in legal fees
      • Ariel Sharon v. Time
        • Sued for $50 million, 1988
        • Lost, paid $1 million in fees
      • Wayne Newton v. NBC
        • Sued for $6 million, 1990
        • Won, no damages awarded
    • Media Invasion of Privacy
      • Intruding on physical or mental solitude
        • Galella v. Onassis
        • Photographers must maintain distance
      • Publishing embarrassing personal facts
        • Information not in the public record is private
        • Bartnicki v. Vopper
          • Cell phone conversations not protected if criminal in nature
      • False Light
        • Must portray subjects truthfully
      • Right of Publicity
        • May not use a celebrity’s name for promotion without permission
      Jacqueline Onassis
    • Fair Trial, Access & Sources
      • Fair Trial
        • Sheppard v. Maxwell , 1954
        • Jury access to media later ruled as influence on a conviction (1966)
        • Original verdict overturned
      • Courtroom Access
        • Gag orders
          • Limited press access
        • Closed proceedings
          • No press access
        • Both rarely applied
      • Shield Laws
        • Protect source confidentiality
        • No federal protection
    • War Coverage
      • Grenada Invasion
        • 1983, Press blackout
        • No access for 5 days
      • Gulf War
        • 1991, Press pools
        • Blackouts
      • War in Afghanistan
        • 2003, press pools
        • Footage provided by the military
      • Iraqi War
        • 2003, “embedded” reporters
        • More, but still limited access to the front lines
      • The Patriot Act
        • Access to library records
      AP/Wide World Photos
    • Access to Courtrooms Illustration 14.1
    • Regulating Broadcast and Cable
      • Federal Communications Commission
        • Regulates broadcasting
        • 5 commissioners, 5-year terms
        • Appointed by President, approved by Senate
        • Licences all stations
      • Federal Trade Commission
        • Regulates advertising
      • Airwaves are a “public trust”
      • Broadcasters are “trustees operating in the public interest”
    • Telecommunications Act of 1996
      • Philosophy of Deregulation
        • Competition improves choices
        • Favors larger media companies
      • Selling “The Bundle”
        • Combination of services
        • TV, telephone, cable, Internet
      • Targeting “Power Users”
        • People using a lot of media
        • Spends three or more times what the average user spends
    • Effects of Deregulation
      • Goal of Universal Service
        • Access to all media for all people
      • Deregulation of Free Media
        • Radio & TV are “free media”
      • Relaxed ownership/licensing rules
        • Cross-ownership allowed
          • TV and radio in the same market
      • Local Phone Competition
        • Phone companies allowed to offer video service
      • Unregulated Cable Rates
        • 1992 Cable Act removed
        • Deregulated cable rates
    • Failed Regulation Attempts
      • Communication Decency Act (CDA)
        • Program Blocking
          • Attempted to block adult programming
        • Indecent Material on the Internet
          • A felony to send indecent material over a computer network
        • Struck down by Federal Court, 1997
      • Child Online Protection Act (COPA)
        • Tried to prevent minors accessing explicit material on public computers
        • 2002, Supreme Court rules that Congress may not limit Internet access
    • Filters and Chips
      • U.S. v. American Library Association , 2003
        • Congress may require Internet filters in publicly funded libraries
      • TV ratings imposed (1997)
        • TVY: ages two to six
        • TV7: seven and above
        • TVG: suitable for all ages
        • TVPG: unsuitable for young children
        • TV14: unsuitable under 14
        • TVMA: unsuitable under 17
      • Monitoring Broadcast Indecency
        • “ Bubba the Love Sponge”
        • Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl
        • Howard Stern
      AP/Wide World Photos
    • Network TV Ratings System Illustration 14.2
    • Intellectual Property Rights
      • Ownership of creative ideas
      • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
        • 1998, Ownership issues and the Internet
        • World International Property Organization treaties (WIPO)
        • Aimed at preventing illegal copy of Internet published material
        • Illegal to circumvent password protection technology
      • New York Times v. Tasini
        • Protects freelancer royalties, 2001
      • MGM v. Grokster , 2005
        • File-sharing software is liable
    • Advertising, Public Relations Law and Regulation
      • Central Hudson v. Public Service Commission
        • 1980 Supreme Court ruling
        • Government may not regulate commercial speech so long as it is lawful and does not mislead
      • The Texas Gulf Sulphur Case, 1960s
        • U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that publicly owned companies may not conceal information that may impact investment options
    • Critical Discussion
      • Banning books in grade school libraries continues to be a controversial issue. Should any books be forbidden to certain age groups? How should a community make this decision?
      • Recent decisions of the FCC to enact fines on perceived indecency have had a major impact on decisions in radio and television. Should the FCC be monitoring broadcast content in this fashion?