Freedom of Expression

News & Analysis as of

Tinker, Take Two

Two legendary figures in the ongoing fight for student free speech rights are asking the Supreme Court to revisit this thorny area of First Amendment jurisprudence. John and Mary Beth Tinker were petitioners forty-six years...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

Free Speech: Paris Mayor Off-Message by Threatening Fox News Suit

The scene of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris ten days later. I returned from Paris on Tuesday after a short vacation.  As a bit of a news junky, it was admittedly an exciting time to be there.  When I arrived on Friday, we...more

The Defamation Act 2013: To sue or not to sue?

The Defamation Act 2013 (“the Act”) reformed the law relating to slander and libel in England. It was heralded by a Justice Minister as “the end of a long and hard fought battle to ensure a fair balance is struck between the...more

Bill 3 Amendments to Alberta's Privacy Legislation Now in Force

Amendments to Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), originating in Bill 3, came into force on December 17, 2014. As discussed in our November 2014 Blakes Bulletin: Privacy Exceptions for Picketing: Alberta's...more

Social Media Freedom of Expression Cases Pit the Public Against Public Officials

In perhaps the next battleground for government and education, citizens who comment on social media sites are facing off with local government officials public and school administrators who find their online expression...more

European Court Establishes “Right to be Forgotten” Online

Today’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that individuals enjoy the right to have truthful yet unflattering information about them “forgotten” from online search results is generating a great deal of...more

High Court Dismisses UNITE HERE, Leaves Neutrality Agreements Issues Undecided

This morning, in a per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed the writ of certiorari in UNITE HERE Local 355 v. Mulhall as improvidently granted. As a result, the high court will not consider the...more

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Union’s Right to Freedom of Expression

As noted in our latest Privacy Press update, recently the Supreme Court of Canada in Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62, determined that Alberta’s...more

Europe: Mosley v Google – game, set but not match yet.

On November 6, a Paris Court ordered Google to filter out hyperlinks to images of former F1 boss Max Mosley in an allegedly Nazi-themed sadomasochistic orgy. (TGI Paris, 17e ch., 6 novembre 2013, RG 11/07970, Max Mosley c....more

Robin Thicke, Marvin Gaye, and the Blurred Line Between Inspiration and Infringement

Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines has been a pop-music juggernaut: the year’s best selling song in the United States and the UK is entering its 11th week at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart....more

Comparison on the rights, limitations and procedures related to public gatherings and demonstrations across Europe

The Right To Freedom Of Assembly And Expression In The European Union - A.) General Description Of The Applicable Legal Administrative Procedures - On a European level, fundamental rights are laid down in the...more

Recognizing Current Juror Attitudes Toward the First Amendment

The Newseum Institute's First Amendment Center recently released its annual survey of the "State of the First Amendment: 2013" and the results are cause for pause, though perhaps not alarm. The annual survey, which has a...more

Telecommunications Companies Release Guiding Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy

The Telecommunications Industry Dialogue, a group of eight telecommunications companies, recently published a set of Guiding Principles on freedom of expression and privacy. Originally formed in 2011, the Industry Dialogue...more

Transgender Youth Barred From Girls’ Restroom

Coy Mathis, born a male, has identified as a female since the age of 18 months. Now at six-years old she must confront issues that far exceed the normal trials and tribulations of the first grade classroom. Coy has dressed in...more

Restricting Outside Communications; How Far Can You Go?

On January 25, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board held that DirecTV's employee handbook contained unlawful rules restricting employees from communicating with media representatives and law enforcement officials and...more

Whatcott: Canadian Hate Speech Laws Live to Fight Another Day

The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-anticipated decision in Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v Whatcott today (they are all “much-anticipated” but this decision was on reserve for 16 months, a long time for the...more

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