Arthur Bright's blog

Fox News DMCA-Bombs News1News on YouTube

Like many former newspaper employees, I hate the 24-hour "news" networks.  Be it Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN, I think they're just across-the-board awful.  The only time I'll pay any attention to them is in the midst of some event that demands real-time attention, say a presidential election or a terrorist attack (and even then, I may just switch to BBC coverage instead).  Other than in those situations, the news channels are just echo chambers for the dreck spewed by your Becks, O'Rei

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A New Leistungsschutzrecht? Say It's Nicht So!

It's tough being a publisher these days.  Of course, no one is having much fun in the current economic downturn, but publishers were up against it even before the slowdown.  Circulations have been down across the board for years now, which in turn has slashed the advertising revenues that print publications have always relied upon to survive.  It's just a bad time to be publishing newspapers and magazines, at least while using the classical publishing business model.

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Yet Another Plaintiff Faceplant, Thanks to Section 230

I am constantly impressed with plaintiffs' hapless charges against the nearly impenetrable immunity that is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“Section 230”).  Time and time again, angry plaintiffs bring suit against websites because some unknown third party posted questionable, if not illegal, material.  And time and time again, those claims are stymied by Section 230, which grants the websites immunity from liability for those third-party postings.  Seriously

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Showing Cyberbullying No Mercy in the Show Me State

On the broad grade-school spectrum of the bullies and the bullied, I tended to fall closer to the bullied side of things.  Fortunately, I quickly proved taller than average — thus harder to intimidate — and smarter than average — thus more useful as a source for homework help than as a target for abuse — so the bullies moved on to other targets.  Still, although not subjected to it much myself, I got to see a fair amount of bullying in my youth.

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Jim Dolan Shows Why Anti-SLAPP Laws Are Good (And Why New York Needs a Better One)

Now, I am not from New York.  Thus, I don't know much about Jim Dolan, the owner of Cablevision, Newsday, Madison Square Garden, and the New York Knicks.  But the local press offers a sense of the man.  The New York Daily News said that he is "a little bit wacky, lashing out indiscriminately behind the scenes, speaking nonsense whenever he talks at all.&q

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Senate Cuts Citizen Bloggers From Federal Shield Bill

For citizen journalists, the federal shield law front was looking good for a while.  Although the House of Representatives version of the bill, passed in April, only offered a shield to professional bloggers, the Senate version didn't differentiate between the pros and the amateurs.  So there was hope that amateur journalists might actually, eventually, get its protection.

No longer though.

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Australia's Facebook Five and the Right to Whinge About Your Boss Online

It's hard to be a prison guard in Australia, and not just because the entire country is a penal colony — zing!  Apparently you run the risk of being fired for griping about your job in a private Facebook group, even if other corrections officers are the only ones reading your complaint.  Such is the threat looming over those officers whom the Australian press has dubbed

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The Judge Would Like to Be Your "Friend"

I'm always pleased to see judges embracing new technology.  And it's not just because, as an aspiring lawyer and a Webby, techie guy, my ability to find a job in this economy may depend on it.  I really do believe that technology can help judges do their jobs better.

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British Court Clears Google of 'Defamatory' Search Results, But It Still Sucks to be a Web Host in Britain

As nearly every American lawyer knows, London is the libel capital of the world.  There are a bunch of reasons why, of course: defendants have the burden of proving the truth of their statements; neither negligence nor actual malice is required for liability; there's no distinction between public and private figures; etc.  But regardless of the reasons, Great Britain is the place to sue for defamation.  Heck, it's so b

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NY Legislature Proactively Considering Whether Shield Law Applies to Bloggers? How Novel!

As anyone who's been faithfully reading the CMLP blog knows, the law hasn't been particularly good at dealing with the intersection of media shield laws and bloggers.  Although there seems to be a modest trend towards application of shield laws to anonymous commenters on news stories, the judiciary's application of shield laws to bloggers has been pretty

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China Blocks YouTube, Shoots Self In Foot

Everyone knows that China's not fond of the Tibetan protestors. As a result, sad as it is to say, the world's press just doesn't pay much attention when China does something to smack the Tibetans down.  So long as China's actions aren't too violent or otherwise noteworthy, the press won't invest more than a sentence or two on the topic.  But when China, in order to censor a video of Tibetan protestors being beaten, blocks the whole of YouTube, the press is damn well going to sit up and take notice.

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Wisconsin Athletic Association Fumbles with Lawsuit Over Paper's High School Football Webcast

High school athletics tend to be held out as an important tool for teaching youth important skills: teamwork, fair play, and hard work.  The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association ("WIAA") is adding one more lesson to the lesson plan: disrespect for freedom of the press.

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Do No Harm (But Don't Let Anyone Talk About You)

The online community reviews everything these days.  Be it via stars, thumbs, or free-form comments, the denizens of the Internet are keen to offer their assessments of books, movies, restaurants, and all else out for public consumption and aggregation.  Most subjects seem to accept it as a part of offering goods or services to the public.

Not the doctors, though.

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Congressional Efforts to Stymie "Libel Tourism" Rev Up

After several false starts, it looks like Congress is finally going to address the issue of "libel tourism," an unfortunate practice where foreign plaintiffs pick the jurisdiction with the most draconian libel laws in which to sue. 

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Texas Judge Orders 178 Anonymous "John Does" Who Posted on Topix Be Revealed

Once again, the right to anonymous speech is being tested, this time in Texas, where a judge has ordered news portal Topix.com to reveal the identities of 178 forum posters accused of defaming a Texas attorney and his wife.

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