Communications & Media Constitutional Law

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County's Decision to Reject Controversial Ad Did Not Violate the First Amendment

Rejecting a First Amendment challenge, a county can choose to not run an advertisement on its own bus system if it might cause vandalism and violence, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held this week. The court...more

Time for Your Close-up: The Right of Publicity in the Social Media Era

Michael Jordan is one of America’s most revered and iconic professional athletes. He spectacularly led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, was named league MVP for five years and, off the court, reached a...more

Liability for Commercial Speech: A Guide to False Advertising, Commercial Disparagement, and Related Claims

This volume summarizes related bodies of law – false advertising, commercial disparagement, and defamation – that govern the conduct of business communications. It sets forth elements, damages, and related defenses for each...more

Advertising Law - March 2015 #3

Response To FCC’s New Net Neutrality Regs Anything But Neutral - In a split vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved a new net neutrality measure that would ban fast lanes and re-label broadband as a...more

Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Facebook Revamps Community Guidelines By Cracking Down on Hate Speech, Graphic Violence and Nudity

Sensitive to the expanding diversity of the online community, the world’s largest social network has taken a step to curb highly contentious postings....more

Take Care When Crafting an Offer of Judgment

In Compressor Eng’g Corp. v. Thomas, Case No. 10-10059, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20079 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 19, 2015), Defendant Charles Thomas Jr. sought to moot the claim of Plaintiff Compressor Engineering Corporation...more

Reflections on the Mann v. CEI Oral Argument

Two days before Thanksgiving, your intrepid blogger joined approximately 60-70 others in the DC Court of Appeals’ ceremonial courtroom to watch the Mann v. CEI oral argument. The panel was comprised of Judges Ruiz, Beckwith...more

Social Media SmackDown: Elton John, Dolce & Gabbana, The First Amendment and a Brand in Peril

Dolce & Gabanna is a famous Italian fashion house, founded thirty years ago by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. The company has been a significant player in the fashion industry for decades, dressing celebrities and...more

Tennessee Court of Appeals Rejects Dormant Commerce Clause Challenge to Cable Exemption in DIRECTV, Inc. v. Roberts

The Tennessee Court of Appeals held on February 27, 2015, that the Tennessee Cable Exemption, which exempts the first $15 of cable television service from sales tax, does not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States...more

Bob Latham Speaks: Satire and Democracy

In the past two months, the role of satire in a free society has been front and center, once for tragic reasons and several times for sentimental reasons. The horrifying and outrageous murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices in...more

Privacy Settings Won’t Keep Social Media Posts Out Of Court

On Jan. 7, 2015, in Nucci v. Target Corp., et al, the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fourth District, upheld a lower court’s order compelling plaintiff Maria Nucci to produce photographs originally posted...more

Business Law Newsletter - March 2015

In This Issue: - Small Businesses: Responding to and Resolving Scathing (or False) Online Reviews - DWI in Your Driveway - Excerpt from DWI in Your Driveway: Drivers in the Commonwealth be...more

POM Wonderful Inc. v. FTC: Lessons Learned

On January 30, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in a case regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) challenge to the advertisements of POM Wonderful’s (“POM”)...more

Advertising Law - March 2015

NAD: A Product Can’t be The “#1 Prescribed Brand” Without Other Prescribed Brands - A “#1 brand prescribed” claim implies that professionals have a choice in prescribing brands, the National Advertising Division...more

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Online Threats Are Illegal

As the internet continues to swiftly transform the way we do business, shop and socialize, it also offers a new platform for those with more criminal or malicious intentions. While some of these activities are clearly...more

Small Businesses: Responding to and Resolving Scathing (or False) Online Reviews

The Internet is a great resource for businesses to market to clientele in both an efficient and cost-effective manner. Unfortunately, the ease with which a person can use the Internet also results in the possibility of...more

Statements Regarding Live Scientific Debate Still Subject to False Advertising Claim - Eastman Chemical Company v. PlastiPure,...

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, even if scientific claims are the subject of live scientific debates, that status will not immunize such statements containing such claims from false advertising...more

Pennsylvania and Ohio High Courts Issue Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Operators

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Extend Primary Term of Oil and Gas Lease - In Wayne Harrison, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 75 MAP 2014 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania...more

TCPA Connect - February 2015

TCPA Suit on Hold Pending FCC Petitions - A federal court judge has stayed a class action pending a decision by the Federal Communications Commission on the issue of whether the agency overstepped its bounds by issuing...more

California May Limit Law Enforcement’s Warrantless Data Collection

Eager to retain its spot among the principal laboratories for domestic privacy legislation, California’s legislature is set to debate Senate Bill 178, legislation restricting state law enforcement agencies from requesting...more

Court Interprets Quebec French Language Sign Requirements, Trade-mark Exception

A recent, lengthy decision gives interesting guidance on Quebec language legislation as to the rules applicable to the predominance of French, the use of trade-marks on signs and in particular the protection for unregistered...more

FCC Should Use Scalpel, Not Ax to Preempt State Laws Limiting Muni-Broadband

On Feb. 26, the FCC plans to act to preempt state laws that retard development of municipally owned broadband networks. The breadth of the potential preemption is unclear. The decision will occur at the same meeting at which...more

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Can Taylor Swift Shake Off Accusations of Trademark Greed?

Had enough of Taylor Swift yet? For those of you who hate to love her, you might consider Swiftamine, because she is not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, her media foot print continues to grow. And while one...more

"Courts Parse First Amendment Protections for Anonymous Critics Online"

The Supreme Court has long recognized that the freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment extends to anonymous speech, noting that “persecuted groups and sects … throughout history have been able to criticize...more

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