Love Twitter: US and UK Style – Amber Melville-Brown

18 02 2014

courtney-loveCourtney Love has successfully defended her former lawyer’s US Twitter libel claim – ‘Twibel’ as it been labelled by media and on social media. The case has been lauded as breaking new ground in defining the nexus of social media and defamation. Read the rest of this entry »





Texas Bill Would Allow Publishers to Correct or Retract Content to Avoid Damages – Jillian Stonecipher

16 03 2013

texasccTexas State Representative Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, has proposed a “retraction statute” that, if passed, will protect journalists both online and offline and promote truth and efficiency both in and out of court.

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and the Texas Press Association assisted Hunter in drafting Texas House Bill 1759 (HB 1759), which would require a prospective plaintiff to give a publisher an opportunity to correct, clarify, or withdraw false content before filing a defamation lawsuit. Read the rest of this entry »





Hawaii’s new “anti-pap” laws – Michael Cameron

28 02 2013

gazetteHollywood’s war on being terrorized by paparazzi has moved from California to Hawaii. Michael Cameron reports from New York on the new fight between celebrities and the entertainment news industry. Read the rest of this entry »





Campaign Lies and the First Amendment – Jacob Rowbottom

11 11 2012

It is now a tradition that during an America presidential election year, commentators shall declare the campaigns to be the ‘nastiest’ and ‘dirtiest’ ever. It is difficult to know whether such a claim is true of the 2012 election, as tough campaigning has a long history in the USA (as a recent NY Times article explains). Read the rest of this entry »





US Case Law, Tattooing is constitutionally protected free speech, Coleman v City of Mesa

13 09 2012

We had, last week, another reminder of the extraordinary reach of the First Amendment right to free speech. Arizona’s Supreme Court has held that tattooing is a “constitutionally protected free speech”.  It appears that this is the first decision by a State Supreme Court giving such recognition to what the court described as “tattoo artists”. Read the rest of this entry »





US Freedom of Expression and Media Law round-up – 27 August 2012 – Gervase de Wilde

27 08 2012

The boom in litigation which features social media, both as a means of publication, and where its use plays a part in other proceedings, continues throughout the American court system. This phenomenon was highlighted here when Northcliffe Media tried and failed, in a California court last month, to force Twitter to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster behind a spoof account. Judges at all levels grapple with the difficulties presented by new technology and their decisions, as evidenced in the links below, receive more comment and scrutiny than ever. Read the rest of this entry »





US Law: The Blackmail Paradox – Eugene Volokh

24 08 2012

Some commentators have recently brought up the perennial question of when speech becomes constitutionally unprotected blackmail. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of the thorniest conceptual questions in all of jurisprudence. (Our own Jim Lindgren has written oft-cited articles on it, and blogged on it as well.) It’s sometimes called the Blackmail Paradox, and here’s how it goes: Read the rest of this entry »





US Freedom of Expression and Media Law round-up – 22 April 2012 – Gervase de Wilde

22 04 2012

The last Inforrm US round up was published in November 2011 – apologies for the long delay since then. As well as a number of important Supreme Court decisions in the interim, there have been a number of developments, including a large award of damages, in the Obsidian Finance v Cox litigation. A judge decided that a blogger was not a journalist for the purposes of Oregon’s media shield law, provoking national and international comment. Web-based media more generally to be the focus of new developments in the law. Read the rest of this entry »





Twitter Libel Actions in Three Jurisdictions – Courtney Love, Chris Cairns, Joseph Meggitt

19 02 2012

Three libel actions involving Twitter have been in the news around the world this week.  The first is in the USA and involves Courtney Love (again).  The second is due to be the first twitter libel trial – in England in two weeks’ time.  Finally, in Australia there is news of a claim against Twitter Inc itself as the publisher of a defamatory tweet.  Read the rest of this entry »





Phone Hacking, What Phone Hacking? – News Corporation and “wilful blindness”: Kirsten Sjøvoll

19 02 2012

If nothing else, the phone hacking furore is keeping lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic busy. This time, it is the turn of the New Yorkers, as it was announced this week that the FBI, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and the Security Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are stepping up their investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption at the New York-based News Corp. Read the rest of this entry »








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