Communications & Media Civil Rights

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MVPD Annual EEO Program Reports and SIS Responses Due Sept. 30, 2014

The FCC’s equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) rules for multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPD”) require MVPD employment units with six or more full-time employees to file an Annual EEO Program Report, FCC Form...more

FCC Regulations On Phone Call Captioning Held To Be Arbitrary and Capricious

On June 20, 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated two FCC regulations on phone call captioning technology designed for the hearing impaired, holding that the rules were made arbitrarily and capriciously in violation...more

The New ADA Design and Construction Issue: Website Accessibility

- The DOJ has indicated that it plans on issuing a separate regulation to address website accessibility. However, no official action has been taken since it first sought comments on its proposal for addressing website...more

Websites Hit with Demand Letters on Accessibility Issues Despite Courts' Rejection of Claim

In recent weeks, numerous businesses have received letters asserting that their websites are not accessible to persons with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Unruh Act. These...more

Websites Hit With Demand Letters on Accessibility Issues Despite Courts’ Rejection of Claim

In recent weeks, numerous businesses have received letters asserting that their websites are not accessible to persons with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Unruh Act. These...more

Brazil Enacts "Internet Bill of Rights," Including Net Neutrality and Privacy Protections

Brazil’s long-debated “Internet Bill of Rights” has finally become law. The legislation, which passed the Brazilian Senate unanimously in April, is intended to secure equality of access to the Internet in Brazil—i.e., Net...more

Royal Charter Appeal Dismissed

On 18 March 2013, the government, following the recommendations of the Leveson report, proposed a Royal Charter on press regulation. The Press Standards Board of Finance Limited (PressBoF), the body charged with raising a...more

Microsoft Mail and the 4th Amendment: Do Any of Us Seriously Think We Have a Right Not to Have Email Seized as Possible Evidence?

A perspective on the recent Fourth Amendment and privacy considerations raised by Judge James C. Francis' recent Memorandum and Order: 'In The Matter Of A Warrant To Search A Certain E-Mail Account Controlled And Maintained...more

The Future is Here - Is the Internet a Place?

The California Supreme Court has certified a question for review posed by the Ninth Circuit – Is the internet a “place of public accommodation” as described in the California Disabled Persons Act (“DPA”), Civil Code §§ 54, et...more

Bill of law on Internet-related matters is voted in Brazil

The so-called “Marco Civil da Internet” (i.e. the Bill of Law 2,126/2011, which establishes a civil rights framework for the Internet) was voted and approved by the Brazilian House of Representatives (Câmara dos Deputados)...more

#Harassment: EEOC Addresses Potential Issues with the Use of Social Media in the Workplace

On March 12, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) convened a meeting to gather information about the growing use of social media and how it impacts the laws that the agency enforces. Of particular...more

Would Texas Law Support Disgorgement of Payments When Plaintiff’s Daughter Makes Comments On Facebook?

In a case that received national attention, on February 26, 2014, a Florida District Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff’s comments to his daughter regarding a settlement with his former employer and his daughter’s...more

Reminder: Accessibility Record Keeping Certification Required by April 1, 2014

Entities providing traditional telecommunications services, interconnected VoIP, advanced communications services (ACS) (which includes non-interconnected VoIP, electronic messaging services, interoperable video...more

Ninth Circuit Asks California Supreme Court to Decide in GLAD v. CNN Whether State Disabled Persons Act’s “Public Accommodations”...

Court Also Holds Failure to Closed-Caption Online Videos is Not Intentional Discrimination Under State Unruh Civil Rights Act, and that Website Decisions Whether to Caption Occur in Furtherance of First Amendment Rights Under...more

Court Upholds New Jersey’s Ban on Unemployment Discrimination in Job Advertisements

New Jersey’s law prohibiting discrimination against the unemployed in job advertisements – the first of a new crop of similar state and municipal laws – is constitutional, according to a recent New Jersey appeals court...more

Guilt by Geolocation? Bulk SMS Intimidation of Protesters in Ukraine

Reports that the Ukrainian government may be tracking the movements of anti-government protesters using their cellphones raises a number of difficult questions for telecommunications providers operating in that country....more

Web-Surfing Your Job Applicants—TMI?

The ever-increasing volume of information that people—your current employees, former employees, and job applicants—publish through the use of social media, email, tweets, and other types of electronic posts can be helpful in...more

Financial Services Law -- Jan 17, 2014

Community Banks and the Volcker Rule: What’s Next? - For now, banks that have investments in CDO securities that are issued by funds that are invested in trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs) have dodged a bullet. On...more

Presidential Review Group Report on NSA Spying: Liberty and Security in a Changing World

Full-text copy of "Liberty and Security in a Changing World," the 300-page report and recommendations of the group tasked by President Obama with reviewing the National Security Administration’s systematic collection of...more

Employee's Dishonesty About Facebook Posts Supports Defense To Retaliation Claim

A recent opinion out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrates the important role social media plays in labor and employment lawsuits. In Debord v. Mercy Health System of Kansas, Inc., a Kansas hospital was found not...more

European Court confirms that an Estonian Internet news portal is responsible for defamatory comments posted by readers

In the case of Delfi AS v Estonia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld an Estonian domestic court decision to hold Delfi, one of the largest Estonian internet news portals, liable for defamatory comments posted...more

(A Short History of) The Misuse of Trademarks to Control Free Expression

Paper included in the CLE materials for a panel on which I was a participant at the American Intellectual Property Law Association's annual meeting on October 24, 2013. The Panel was entitled "Trademarks, Goodwill and Free...more

The Social Media Merry-Go-Round

I have posted before about National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s interest in social media, in several cases where employees were fired or disciplined after posting messages on social media sites critical of their employer...more

Two new laws in New Jersey are a balancing act between businesses and employees

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie promised to promote economic activity and job creation. Recent legislative activity illustrates how he is striking the balance between making New Jersey business-friendly and protecting the...more

What's in a "Like"? Precedent-Setting Case Poses New Risk for Employers

The ubiquitous thumbs-up icon in Facebook has gained new prominence for private employers. In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an employee fired for "liking" the campaign...more

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