David Ardia's blog

Changes Ahead for the Citizen Media Law Project

On May 20, 2007, I wrote my first blog post. It also happened to be the first post on this blog. Entitled "Time to Launch," I agonized for days over what to write and struggled with the fear of putting my words out to the entire world (if you remember your first time blogging, you know exactly how I felt). Fortunately, nobody came after me with a pitchfork and I gradually learned to control that fear. I also learned that if I surrounded myself with bright and talented lawyers they would make me look good.

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CMLP and Cyberlaw Clinic Ask Supreme Judicial Court to Affirm Public Right of Access to Inquest Records

With the help of Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic, the Citizen Media Law Project and a coalition of New England media and advocacy organizations submitted an amicus curiae brief last week to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, seeking to ensure a public right of access to inquest materials that will allow journalists, bloggers, and other news gatherers to inform citizens on matters of public concern.

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Media Bloggers Assn Files Amicus Brief in Righthaven Case, Blasts Business Model Behind Lawsuits

Yesterday, the Media Bloggers Association filed an amicus brief in Righthaven LLC v. Hyatt, urging a federal judge in Nevada to award only minimal damages and no attorney's fees to Righthaven against a blogger who failed to appear in the case and is facing a default judgment.  We've covered a number of Righthaven lawsuits in our legal threats database, but this case now has a spicy twist.

On October 6, 2010, Righthaven sued Bill Hyatt, who operates a blog called "News for Everyone" (appears to be shutdown), for copyright infringement, claiming that he had copied a Las Vegas Review-Journal entertainment column titled "FX's Manly Man Shows Hold Outsider Appeal."  After Hyatt didn't respond to the lawsuit, Righthaven filed a motion for default judgment, asking the court to award it control of the domain name for Hyatt's website, $150,000 in damages, and $1,850 in legal fees and costs.

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CMLP and Cyberlaw Clinic Urge First Circuit to Affirm First Amendment Right to Make Cellphone Recording of Police

With the help of Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic, the Citizen Media Law Project and a coalition of media and advocacy organizations submitted an amicus curiae brief last week to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in a case involving a lawyer who was arrested for using his ce

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New Conference for Internet Law Scholars

Call For Papers:

The High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law and the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School are pleased to announce a new annual works-in-progress series for Internet Law scholarship. The inaugural event will be held at Santa Clara University on March 5, 2011. Thereafter, the event will rotate between NYLS and SCU each Spring semester.

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Introducing Guest Blogger Andrew Mirsky

I'm excited to welcome Andrew Mirsky as a guest blogger.  Andrew is an attorney and Principal of Mirsky & Company, PLLC, a law firm with particular emphasis in new media, intellectual property, technology, corporate and nonprofits. He has 17 years' experience as a business and commercial lawyer, including 5 years' experience in company management of media and technology enterprises.

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Citizen Media Law Project is Hiring an Assistant Director

Are you a lawyer interested in dealing with emerging legal issues related to law, journalism, and new media on the Internet?  Would you like to help online journalism and new media ventures meet their legal needs?  Do you want a stimulating yet laid back work environment?

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Free Speech Savior or Shield for Scoundrels? An Empirical Study of Intermediary Immunity Under Section 230

As many of you who read this blog know, we spend a lot of time thinking about -- and sometimes debating -- section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

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J-Lab: Exploring a Networked Journalism Collaborative in Philadelphia

Our friends at J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism just released a report analyzing the media landscape in Philadelphia. The William Penn Foundation commissioned J-Lab to conduct the study of Philadelphia's media landscape and the state of public affairs reporting and make recommendations for a possible media investment strategy.

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CMLP Publishes Guide to Live-Blogging and Tweeting from Court

As part of our legal guide series on documenting public proceedings and events, today we published a guide to Live-Blogging and Tweeting from Court.  Over the past year, we've published guides addressing how to stay out of legal trouble while

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Finkel v. Facebook: Court Rejects Defamation Claim Against Facebook Premised on "Ownership" of User Content

Back in February, Denise Finkel, a 2008 graduate of Oceanside High School on Long Island, sued four of her former high school classmates and their parents after the students created a private Facebook group called "90 Cents Short of a Dollar," which allegedly contained false and defamatory statements about her. 

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Case That Upended Truth Defense in Libel Actions Ends With Jury Verdict for Defendant

In a closely watched case that challenged (at least in Massachusetts) our long held understanding that truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim, the jury has returned a verdict for the defendant, finding that it acted without actual malice when it sent an email to its employees stating -- truthfully -- that one of its salesman had been terminated because he violated the company's travel and expense policies.

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Palin Threatens to Sue Blogger for Publishing Rumors of Investigation, Ensures Rumors Will Get Wide Attention

Exercising one of the freedoms Americans celebrate on Independence Day -- the freedom to threaten an ill-conceived lawsuit -- Alaska Governor Sarah Palin directed her lawyer to publish an open letter to Shannyn Moore, an Alaska blogger, radio personality, Huffington Post contributor, and frequent guest on MSNBC, threatening to file a defam

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CMLP Partners with YouTube to Help Launch Reporters' Center

As part of today's launch of YouTube's Reporters' Center, which features how-to videos on news reporting, the Citizen Media Law Project created a short video addressing some of the newsgathering and privacy issues people are likely to face as they head out with camera in hand to cover the news.  The two-part series of newsgathering videos (the first video is

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Berkman's Cyberlaw Clinic Submits Amicus Brief in Case Involving Prior Restraint and Reporter's Privilege

Today, Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic submitted an amicus curiae brief urging the New Hampshire Supreme Court to defend the First Amendment rights of a website that covers news about the mortgage industry.

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Journalism Graduates: It's Time to Reinvent Journalism

Spring is upon us and with it comes commencement season at universities across the country (Harvard's 358th commencement is this Thursday, FYI).  This is a tough time for graduates in almost every discipline, but especially so for journalism grads.  At least that is the conventional wisdom. 

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