Blogs

Florida Court Restricts Reporter's Use of Laptop During Murder Trial

As if there hasn't been enough judicial scrutiny of live media coverage during ongoing trials recently, last week a Florida court banned a Florida Times-Union reporter from live-blogging during a high-profile murder trial in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Duval County, Florida.

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Google's "Oprah" Moment, Gwyneth Paltrow's Rave, and Two Tests for FTC's Endorsement Guides

It could have been a moment right out of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  But instead of the entire audience getting Pontiac G6s (click here for a fun mash-up video of that big event), all the reporters attending the unveiling of Google's new Nexus One mobile phone on January 5 were given a special offer: they could get one of the phones for free, or to opt for a free, 30-day trial, after which the phone will be returned (loan agreement). (The free offer is mentioned in the 1:55 p.m. posting on this Wall Street Journal live blog of the press conference.)  It appears that some other reporters who were not at the event also got the phones.

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Is There a Mini Constitution in Sky Mall? How the TSA Forgets Citizens' Rights

In recent years, the American public seems to have fallen under the impression that providers and regulators of airline travel have extra-legal powers. These fictional powers typically mean that passengers can be treated like cattle.

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CMLP Publishes New Guide to FTC Disclosure Requirements for Product Endorsements

As part of our legal guide series on Risks Associated with Publication, today CMLP published a guide to Publishing Product or Service Endorsements

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Some Gray Areas Surrounding the FTC's Disclosure Requirements

On this page, we look at some areas where it is not entirely clear how the FTC's Guidelines will apply to online publishing activities:

The Occasional Freebie. Perhaps the most troubling gray area is whether you have to disclose your "relationship" with a company that sends you a freebie once in a while in anticipation of your writing a review about it, but with whom you have no other formal ties. It is not clear how the FTC will deal with this situation.

Complying With the FTC's Disclosure Requirements

If you have a relationship with a company that needs to be disclosed, then you should do so in a "clear and conspicuous" manner. Don't put it in small print or hide it away on a backwater page on your website. You want readers to easily notice the disclosure, and you want them to understand it. So make the disclosure clear and unambiguous so it can be understood by the average reader.

One of the Classic Blunders: Microsoft’s De-Listing Campaign Makes No Sense

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Microsoft held talks with News Corp. in an attempt to convince the titan of information to de-list its content from Google.

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Citizen Media Law Project Launches Legal Assistance Network for Online Journalists

We are delighted to announce the public launch of the Berkman Center's Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), a new pro bono (i.e., free!) initiative that connects lawyers and law school clinics from across the country with online journalists and digital media creat

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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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Miami Herald v. Bill Cooke d.b.a. Random Pixels

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Correspondence

Date: 

08/20/2009

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Random Pixels Blog, Bill Cooke (owner)

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Media Company

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Individual

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Blog

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Pending

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On August 20, 2009, counsel for the Miami Herald sent a cease and desist letter to Bill Cooke, the blogger behind Random Pixels, accusing him of copyright infringement.  The Herald alleged that Random Pixels was reproducing entire articles and large size pictures from the newspaper on the blog. The cease and desist letter requested that Cooke remove any full-length articles, and limit all photo reproductions to smaller thumbnail sizes.

The blogger responded to the Herald's claims by asserting that the articles he copied are about 20 years old and hence "historic artifacts." He also noted that the pictures he used have been reduced substantially from their original size, although not to a thumbnail size.  Cooke has so far refused to comply with the Herald's demands.

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1-High

CMLP Notes: 

Stylianou, Oct/09

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Think Twice Before You Dust Off Those Mix Tapes

Digital technologies have allowed people to share music in unprecedented ways, and earlier this week recording artists, music industry leaders, and policymakers gathered at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for the Future of Music Policy Summit sponsored by the Future of Music Coalition to talk about their impact on the music community.

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New FTC Rules Aim to Kill the Buzz on Blogs

On October 5, the Federal Trade Commission issued new guidelines (large pdf) on advertising involving endorsements and testimonials.

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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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Weight Watchers from Hell – Iran’s New Method for Slimming Tortured Bloggers

A little while back, I wrote about the Iranian persecution of bloggers and opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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'Skanky' Blogging, Anonymity and What's Right

Here we go again -- a new attack on anonymous speech, misusing the facts ripped from the current headlines about a case of one person's slimy online attacks on another.

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