Internet On Trial

Internet On Trial

Modern Day Litigation, Cyber Defamation, and Law in Sports & Entertainment

Category Archives: Media Law

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Does IOC Rule 40 Violate the First Amendment?

Posted in Media Law, Sports
As I'm sure was the case with most people who watched any track & field coverage during the summer Olympics, I was practically blinded by the fluorescent green shoes worn by more than 400 Olympians, and nearly half of all medal winners. So it never occurred to me that Nike wasn't an official sponsor of the Games. Apparently it wasn't Nike, but rival brand adidas that was the official shoe sponsor of the the 2012 Games. Adidas paid $155 million for that right. Why is that a big deal? Aside from the fact that Nike's Volt sneakers literally stole the show, they did so in spite of an IOC rule that stubstantially regulates advertising, and outright prohibits athlete endorsements from July 18 through August 15, … Continue Reading

Thou Shalt Know Thy First Amendment

Posted in Entertainment Law, Media Law
Besides giving me a good laugh, Sarah Palin's statement that boycotting Chick-fil-A chills free speech' made me question whether the average person understands how the First Amendment works. (I do realize, however, that the average person--probably even the average fifth-grader--understands a lot more than does Sarah Palin.)… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rules Against FCC in Wardrobe Malfunction Case

Posted in Media Law
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently, it’s not worth a half million bucks. While we’re all still waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear oral argument in the F.C.C. v. Fox case later this term (see earlier posts here & here), we finally have an answer to a related question concerning … Continue Reading

Law360.com Article: “FCC. . .Could Be F’d Before the High Court”

Posted in Media Law
Shortly after I posted about the FCC's broadcasting indecency policy heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, a senior writer from Law360.com interviewed me for a feature article she was working on in anticipation of the site's new Media & Entertainment section. Ordinarily, I would say thanks, and post a link to the article, but the article can't be viewed without buying a Law360 subscription, so I've asked for and received permission to repost the article here. The article is well written and well researched, and includes the perspectives of a few different attorneys, one of whom was my lawschool mentor, Chris Fairman, who just published a book titled Fuck: Word Taboo and Protecting Our First Amendment Liberties… Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Decide Constitutionality of FCC’s Indecency Policy

Posted in Media Law
At the 2003 Golden Globes, U2 front-man Bono accepted the award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture (Martin Scorcese’s Gangs of New York), and when Bono took the microphone he was apparently speechless, because all he could say was: “This is really, really…fucking brilliant!” (footage of the live broadcast available here). Probably not … Continue Reading

BCS Has New Home on ESPN; Brennaman Can Take Ted Williams’ Old Job

Posted in Media Law
  Regardless of whether you liked the teams or the outcome of last night’s BCS National Championship game, you have to admit how much better the championship is now that it’s back on ABC’s family of networks. During the three years that Fox carried the title game, the coverage was dreadful. The production was bad, … Continue Reading

Law Firm X’mas Cards

Posted in Copyright, Media Law
  Because of the fact being that I’m in the process of opening a second office—in another state, no less—my office won’t be sending out “holiday” cards this year. It’s not that I don’t have the time. I could easily plug something into my word processor, send it through mail merge, and they’d all pop … Continue Reading

Jury Awards Professors $5M in Defamation Suit Against West

Posted in Defamation, Intellectual Property, Media Law, Right of Publicity, Trademark
  For everyone who says that juries aren’t giving out mega-verdicts anymore, here’s your exception: Last week, a federal jury in Philadelphia gave a $5,000,000 early X’mas present to a couple law professors in a defamation suit.† (Jury’s Verdict pdf file). Outside of legal contexts, the term defamation gets thrown around a lot, and although … Continue Reading

Commercial Loudness Mitigation Act to Bring Relief to TV Viewers

Posted in Media Law
Congress Agrees on Legislation Impacting Americans in All Tax Brackets It may soon be tougher to catch your teenage child watching TV when they’re supposed to be studying (or sleeping). But actually, this may be a good thing. Everyone is all too familiar with spikes in TV volume during seques between programming and commercial breaks, … Continue Reading

“Sports Law” – Why it Doesn’t Really Exist: Part I, Introduction

Posted in Intellectual Property, Media Law, Right of Publicity, Sports
If criminal law is the body of law that governs criminals and the commission of crimes, and labor law is that which governs wages, employment, and labor unions, shouldn’t it follow that sports law is the body of law that governs athletes and athletic competition? Although attorneys, law students, and the media refer to sports … Continue Reading