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Communications & Media Constitutional Law

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

Courts Appear to Be Losing Patience with ACA Int’l Stay Requests as One-Year Anniversary Looms

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

It is hard to believe, but this coming Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of the oral argument in the big ACA, Int’l appeal of the FCC’s Omnibus Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) ruling. For the...more

Texas Court of Appeals Reverses T.G.I. Friday’s Label Decision

by McDermott Will & Emery on

On Friday, October 13, 2017, a Texas Court of Appeals handed down the long-awaited decision in Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission v. Mark Anthony Brewing, Inc., No. 03-16-00039-CV. The case involves Texas’ ban on...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | October 2017 #2

by Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. on

Chicago Repeals SSB Tax After Two Months of Enforcement - Chicago officials have voted to repeal a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax approved in November 2016 by the Cook County Board of Commissioners but delayed by a...more

Data Scraping, Bots and First Amendment Rights

by Patrick Law Group, LLC on

A recent case involving a small workforce analytics startup fighting for its right to extract data from the largest professional networking site on the Internet may set a precedent for applying constitutional principles to...more

Courts Uphold Law Enforcement Officer’s Discharge For Racially Insensitive Posts

The freedom of speech afforded by the First Amendment is remarkably broad. Several categories of speech, including even “hate speech,” are afforded varying degrees of protection. However, the freedom of speech guaranteed...more

Ninth Circuit Blocks San Francisco’s Warnings Ordinance for Sweetened Beverages

by Bryan Cave on

In a decision likely to have important implications for regulation of commercial speech, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a San Francisco ordinance requiring warnings about the health effects of certain...more

Recording Conversations with Your Cellphone: with Great Power Comes Potential Legal Liability

by Varnum LLP on

In the cellphone age, nearly everyone walks around with a multi-tasking recording device in their pocket or purse, and it comes in handy for many of our modern problems: Your dog suddenly started doing something adorable?...more

Cutting the Cord: Can Courts Trim TCPA Statutory Damages?

Whether courts can reduce statutory damages awards under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is an ongoing issue because potential liability can be strikingly disproportionate given the lack of actual harm to class...more

Russian Oligarch Spars With Associated Press Over Whether DC Anti-SLAPP Statute Applies in Federal Court

by LeClairRyan on

Last month, Oleg Deripaska filed his response to the Associated Press’ anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss. His brief argues that the Court should deny the Associated Press’ motion for multiple reasons...more

WARNING! No warnings allowed to stop sales of sugary drinks

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

San Francisco’s ordinance that required warnings about the health effects of certain sugar-sweetened beverages was shut down by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (see also, 9th Circuit rejects argument that ‘No Added...more

Social media and the workplace in South Africa

by Dentons on

Big Brother is watching you: a snapshot analysis of the employee’s right to freedom of expression and right to privacy versus the employer’s right to protect against reputational and brand damage....more

Government-Mandated Health Warnings in Sweetened Beverage Advertising Found Likely to Chill Protected Free Speech

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

On September 20, the Ninth Circuit blocked the City and County of San Francisco from implementing an ordinance that would have required health warnings on advertisements for beverages that contain one or more added sweeteners...more

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

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