What areas does media law cover? This presentation overviews the types of issues media law covers.
Bob Schieffer College of
Oct. 9, 2015
First Amendment, but also 4th, 5th, 6th, 14th…
Defamation, Privacy, IIED
Terms of Service, Employee/Freelancer, Licensing
Intellectual Property (copyright, TM)
Trespass, Recording, CFAA, Espionage Act
Freedom of Information
“Congress shall make no law…abridging
freedom of speech, or of the press”
Congress doesn’t mean Congress, no law doesn’t
mean no law, speech doesn’t mean speech, press
doesn’t mean press
Speech clause: Makes it difficult for
government to punish speech it doesn’t like
Unprotected speech: Obscenity, Fighting Words,
False Advertising, True Threats, some libel
Press clause: Makes prior restraints on
publication extremely difficult for gov’t
Near v. Minnesota (1931), Pentagon Papers (1971)
What about gag orders?
In smartphone/drone era, recording photos
and videos are easy and cheap
Quick drone law: Gov’t use OK, commercial not,
fly below 400 feet, don’t interfere with aircraft
First Amendment generally protects people’s
right to take photos/record in public places
Especially activities of public servants, police
Consider Texas improper photography law
What about live streaming?
Don’t ignore it!
If you have a lawyer, get letter to him or her
Will mean other lawyer will have to contact your
lawyer from then on
Can begin negotiation on your own as well
Respond promptly, be professional, be polite
Listen to concerns of complainant
Is there a simple, non-threatening fix
(clarification, correction, run letter to editor?)
Think like a hurt reader/source – what are
they looking for?
Don’t ignore it!
See what it’s asking for (testimony?
Give it to your lawyer if possible
Can file motion to quash if inappropriate
Texas Reporter Shield Law may help
Passed in 2009
Covers people who work as journalists for a
“substantial portion” of their livelihood
Generally, party must show no other way to get
info, central importance to case, not overbroad
But no federal shield yet…
That’s the next presentation…