Welcome to the website of the Digital Media Law Project. The DMLP was a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2007 to 2014. Due to popular demand the Berkman Klein Center is keeping the website online, but please note that the website and its contents are no longer being updated. Please check any information you find here for accuracy and completeness.
This post is another in our series looking at state election laws that regulate activities at polling places on Election Day. These laws, which we cover from a general standpoint in the Documenting Your Vote section of our legal guide, may impact your ability to document your own voting experience through video and still photography, as
well as your ability to carry out other newsgathering functions, such
as interviewing other voters outside of polling places.
The CMLP is currently doing research on the state laws regulating activities at polling places on Election Day. Our specific focus is on laws that impact voters' ability to document their own voting experiences through video and still photography, as well as their ability to carry out other newsgathering functions, such as interviewing other voters outside of polling places. In this post, I'll look at how California's election laws affect these activities.
ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and the Associated Press have joined forces to challenge a Minnesota statute that forbids non-voters to stand within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place on election day. In their complaint, the media companies allege that this restriction, as applied to their planned exit polling activities, violates the First Amendment.
Judge Todd Baugh of Montana's 13th Judicial District ruled on Wednesday that Montana's shield law protects an online newspaper from having to disclose the identities of anonymous commenters. The ruling treats anonymous commenters like other confidential sources, whose identities are commonly protected by state shield laws.
Does Oregon's reporter shield law apply to an independent journalist who publishes online? That question looks set to be answered, thanks to the refusal of Tim Lewis to comply with a grand jury subpoena for his video of a May 30, 2008, demonstration in Eugene, Oregon, where police tasered an 18-year-old protester.
“Photography is not a crime, it’s a First Amendment right,” proclaims the title of photojournalist Carlos Miller’s blog. Nonetheless, a jury found Miller guilty of obstructing traffic and resisting arrest without violence during his encounter last year with five Miami police officers that he photographed on a public street. As a result, Miami County Court Judge Jose Fernandez sentenced him to one year of probation,100 hours of community service, anger management lessons, and over $500 in court fees, well in excess of the three months
This is the sixth in a series of posts calling attention to some of the topics covered in the Citizen Media Legal Guide we began publishing in January. This past month, we rolled out the sections on Newsgathering and Privacy, which address the legal and practical
issues you may encounter as you gather documents, take photographs or
video, and collect other information.
We are looking for contributing authors with expertise in media law, intellectual property, First Amendment, and other related fields to join us as guest bloggers. If you are interested, please contact us for more details.