Internet On Trial

Internet On Trial

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

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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, 2012.… 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 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 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

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

“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