Archive for August, 2006

FCC wants to reconsider indecency ruling

by   |  08.30.06  |  Current Events, broadcast decency

This may be about as confusing as an NYPD episode, but in March the Federal Communications Commission found profane language was used during the CBS program “The Early Show” in 2004, incidents involving Cher and Nicole Richie on the “Billboard Music Awards” shows broadcast by Fox in 2002 and 2003, and various episodes of the ABC show “NYPD Blue” that aired in 2003. Now it wants to reexamine that ruling after hearing from the producers. More »

Ownership: Gore on media

by   |  08.28.06  |  Current Events

When I agree with Al Gore, I should most likely point it out. He makes a good point about the international direction of media ownership. The flip side is the Internet, which threatens the power of tradiational media as long as it remains unregulated and unregulatable. More »

Privacy: Mason says he’s no Jew for Jesus

by   |  08.26.06  |  Current Events

It looks like comedian Jackie Mason is relying on appropriation of likeness to sue the Jews for Jesus organization. I’d love to see the pamphlet. Oy vay!

Restraint: Appeals court limits Tinker

by   |  08.25.06  |  Current Events

In Tinker v. Des Moines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a school district erred when it punished students for protesting the Vietnam war by wearing black arm bands. In Bethel v. Fraser, the Court ruled another district was within its rights to punish a student who used sexual innuendos in a speech to the student body.

The difference was the potential for disruption. The anti-gay t-shirt case referred to in this story ignores disruption and considers infringement of “the rights of others.” Odd. More »

Judiciary: Hecht faulted for Miers support

by   |  08.23.06  |  Current Events

This is interesting in that its based on rules that limit what a member of the Texas judiciary can say about a colleague. More »

Shield Laws: Judge Calls for Leak Probe

by   |  08.23.06  |  Current Events

I don’t know anyone who would argue the media should never be forced to reveal any information they receive from sources, though the legislation that’s been pending for a year in the House and Senate calls for a complete privilege for sources’ names. More »

Establishment: Ten Commandments Not Entirely Bad

by   |  08.22.06  |  Current Events

The Associated Press reports, in a Houston Chronicle story this week, that an Oklahoma monument that includes the Ten Commandments has been deemed constitutional (not violative of the First Amendment). Based on the story’s description of the collection of monuments involved in the case, the decision appears to be in line with Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary County v. ACLU from the Supreme Court’s last term.

However the kicker of the story is this paragraph, which offers an incomplete, if not outright false, description of Supreme Court jurisprudence: More »

Shield Laws: Steroid scribes must name sources

by   |  08.21.06  |  Current Events

Under the Branzburg case, reporters must reveal their sources if (1) they have knowledge of a specific violation of the law, (2) the information they have is crucial to the disposition of the case, and (3) prosecutors wouldn’t be able to get the information from anywhere else. More »

Copyright: Downloads to disk

by   |  08.21.06  |  Current Events

“…the movie industry has plans to relax controls over how films are copied to DVDs.” Every time there is an advancement in technology, some shakeout must occur during which the market leaders figure out how to use it to their advantage. The movie makers may finally be figuring it out. More »

Copyright: Mercury News wins lawsuit

by   |  08.21.06  |  Current Events

This is a little old, but it’s a great discussion of fair use and copyright. This picture was at the heart of the lawsuit.