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Communications & Media Constitutional Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.

Calling President An Idiot May Be Protected Speech (But Maybe Not)

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

“President Trump is a Big Fat Idiot” or, for that matter, “Secretary Clinton is a Sore Loser.” Let’s suppose you see one of your employees tweeting one of these expressions on Twitter during non-work hours from a personal...more

You Betcha: “It doesn't make it a gotcha just because it got ya.”

by Sedgwick LLP on

On August 29, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, Jed S. Rakoff, dismissed Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times. The case was filed in June 2017. Judge Rakoff stated...more

Do Constitutional Protections Allow for the Reduction of TCPA Statutory Damage Awards? A Closer Look at Golan

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Sometimes the toughest job a court faces is finding a way to do the right thing. When it comes to the crushing damages afforded by statute for violations of the TCPA, the “right” thing is often to reduce the award to...more

Sarah Palin v. The New York Times - Six Lessons for Public Figures in Defamation Cases | Sands Anderson

by Sands Anderson PC on

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the New York Times don’t much like each other. So much so that Palin sued the Times for defamation. Her claim stemmed from a Times editorial that wrongly linked her political action...more

hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp.: A Federal Court Weighs in on Web Scraping, Free Speech Rights, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse...

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

In recent years, a number of firms in a variety of industries have utilized automated research methods, including web scraping tools and certain forms of artificial intelligence such as bots, to gather information from a...more

“Not so fast, my friend*” — Judge Orders DreamHost Comply with DOJ’s Disruptj20 Search Warrant, with Caveats

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC on

Can the government force the hosting service of an activist website company to turn over vast amounts of user data in order to track down political protesters? According to a federal court ruling, the answer — Yes, but...more

Gavel to Gavel: Scandalous and immoral (trademarks)

by McAfee & Taft on

Since 1946, federal law has prohibited registration of scandalous, immoral and disparaging trademarks. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court found the prohibition on disparaging trademarks to be unconstitutional, creating...more

Cyber Briefing: Second “Envelope” Lawsuit Against Aetna, Yahoo to Answer for 1.5 Billion Hacked Accounts and Eighth Circuit...

As we head into the new week, here’s a quick summary of major data security developments from around the country. Aetna Hit With Second “Envelope” Lawsuit - Aetna Inc. is now facing a second lawsuit over the disclosure...more

The Washington Redskins Win Their Trademark Battle in Overtime

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

Simon Tam of the Asian rock band, The Slants, probably was not envisioning an 8-year-long legal battle when he chose the group’s name. Slant is known as a racial slur for Asians. Tam hoped to strip the term of its derogatory...more

U.S. Attorney General Announces Plans to Pursue Leak Investigations

by Jackson Walker on

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled a potential sea change in the Department of Justice’s treatment of the news media. Sessions proclaimed that the Justice Department will pursue leak...more

Zazzle Fizzles: Website Operator Denied Copyright Safe Harbor Protection for Its Sale of Physical Products Featuring...

We discussed last year the trend toward companies seeking to monetize user-generated content. A recent Central District of California decision in Greg Young Publishing, Inc. v. Zazzle, Inc. serves as an important reminder of...more

Still Standing: Ninth Circuit Again Finds Standing in Spokeo Remand

by Carlton Fields on

The Ninth Circuit recently issued its latest opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the closely-watched putative class action dating back to 2010. The plaintiff initiated the lawsuit against Spokeo, which aggregates publicly...more

Palin v. The New York Times Co.: Newspaper Wins, Palin Loses

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

Bottom line: On August 29, 2017, Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff dismissed, with prejudice, Sarah Palin’s defamation complaint against the New York Times Company. The dispute arose from an editorial first...more

Spokeo—Round 3: The Ninth Circuit Finds Alleged Statutory Violation Sufficiently “Concrete” To Satisfy Article III Standing

The Ninth Circuit recently issued its long-awaited opinion in Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2017 WL 3480695 (9th Cir. Aug. 15, 2017), on remand from the United States Supreme Court. Once again, the Ninth Circuit reversed...more

Department of Justice Announces Review of Media Subpoena Policies

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

DOJ may revise policies on using investigatory tools to procure information about the media, with significant legal and business implications. Key Points: ..The review marks DOJ’s second significant evaluation of media...more

Ninth Circuit Construes Family Movie Act and Affirms Injunction Against Streaming Service

by Snell & Wilmer on

In December 2016, a California federal court issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, Inc.’s custom-filtered video streaming service. Thursday, in Hollywood Studios v. VidAngel, Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed...more

More Details on Matal v. Tam: Are Other Parts of The Lanham Act at Risk?

by Revision Legal on

As we recently discussed in June, the US Supreme Court declared the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act unconstitutional as a violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. In general, the disparagement clause...more

City’s On-site and Off-site Business Signs Distinction Upheld - Ninth Circuit Says Code is Proper Regulation of Commercial Speech

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A City of San Francisco Planning Code section that distinguishes between “general advertising signs” and “business signs” was upheld last week by a federal appeals court. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling...more

Stand Up, Sit Down, Stand Up: Ninth Circuit Revives Spokeo No-injury Suit

In a decision surely welcomed by the plaintiffs’ bar, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held, on August 15, 2017, that a putative class action plaintiff has Article III standing as long as the plaintiff alleges...more

Charges of "Fake News" May Bring New Threats from Jury Verdicts

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Alarmingly high defamation damages—such as Hulk Hogan's $140 million Florida verdict against Gawker and a broadcast network's reported $177 million settlement with a South Dakota beef producer—are disturbing recent...more

AD-ttorneys@law

by BakerHostetler on

“Iron Mike” Tyson is a controversial sports figure who seems in equal parts loved and loathed by the public. Celebrated for a genuine world-class talent and derided for his behavior in and out of the ring, Tyson has a public...more

Social Links: A seminal opinion on web scraping; Obama breaks Twitter record; court holds state’s subpoena law applies to digital...

In an opinion granting a preliminary injunction preventing LinkedIn from blocking a startup’s use of information in LinkedIn profiles accessible to the entire public, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of...more

The Spokeo Saga Continues: Ninth Circuit Finds That Incorrect Consumer Report About Age, Marital Status, Wealth, Education Level,...

Takeaway: In Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016) (“Spokeo II”), the Supreme Court ruled that not every statutory violation gives rise to a concrete injury for standing purposes. An inaccurate report of a person’s...more

California Employers May Sue For Online Defamation

by Fisher Phillips on

The situation is a familiar one. Disgruntled current or former employees leave negative and harmful comments about their employer on online workplace review websites such as glassdoor.com or vault.com, or on customer review...more

Déjà Vu All Over Again: The Ninth Circuit Finds Concrete Injury in Spokeo Remand

by Bryan Cave on

The U.S. Supreme Court held in its 2016 Spokeo decision that for a plaintiff to have standing to assert a claim based on a statutory violation that the plaintiff must have suffered real—and not just legal— harm. Spokeo...more

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