Category Archives: Media & Communications

Aereo and Internet Television: A Call to Save the Ducks (A La Carte)

By: Pooja Patel If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. The most recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Copyright Act employed this “duck test” when determining … Continue reading

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Noriega v. Activision/Blizzard: The First Amendment Right to Use a Historical Figure’s Likeness in Video Games

By: Joshua Sinclair Panama’s former dictator, Manuel Noriega, recently sued Activision Blizzard in the California Superior Court for using his likeness and image in the popular video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” In his complaint, Noriega alleged that … Continue reading

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Authenticity and Admissibility of Social Media Website Printouts

By: Wendy Angus-Anderson Social media posts and photographs are increasingly denied admission as evidence in criminal trials. Courts often cite issues with authentication when refusing to admit social media evidence. Cases and academic writings separate recent case law into two … Continue reading

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The Constitutionality and Legality of Internet Voting Post-Shelby County

By: Logan T. Mohs The technological and electoral landscapes have changed drastically since the turn of the century. While it once might have made sense to view voting online as unconstitutional, as opposed to merely impractical, the expanded range of … Continue reading

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Tragedy of the Regulatory Commons: LightSquared and the Missing Spectrum Rights

By: Thomas W. Hazlett and Brent Skorup The endemic underuse of radio spectrum constitutes a tragedy of the regulatory commons. Like other common interest tragedies, the outcome results from a legal or market structure that prevents economic actors from executing … Continue reading

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Sharing is Airing: Employee Concerted Activity on Social Media After Hispanics United

By: Ryan Kennedy Section 7 of the United States’ National Labor Relations Act allows groups of American workers to engage in concerted activity for the purposes of collective bargaining or for “other mutual aid or protection.” This latter protection has … Continue reading

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More from the #Jury Box: The Latest on Juries and Social Media

By: Hon. Amy J. St. Eve,  Hon. Charles P. Burns, & Michael A. Zuckerman This Article presents the results of a survey of jurors in federal and state court on their use of social media during their jury service. We began … Continue reading

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Ensuring an Impartial Jury in the Age of Social Media

By: Amy J. St. Eve & Michael A. Zuckerman The explosive growth of social networking has placed enormous pressure on one of the most fundamental of American institutions—the impartial jury. Through social networking services like Facebook and Twitter, jurors have … Continue reading

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Privacy Expectations and Protections for Teachers in the Internet Age

By: Emily H. Fulmer Public school teachers have little opportunity for redress if they are dismissed for their activities on social networking websites. With the exception of inappropriate communication with students, a school district should not be able to consider … Continue reading

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Who Owns the Virtual Items?

By: Leah Shen Do you WoW? Because millions of people around the world do! Due to this increased traffic, virtual wealth amassed in MMORPGs are intersecting in our real world in unexpected ways. Virtual goods have real-life values and are … Continue reading

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The Anonymous Poster: How to Protect Internet Users’ Privacy and Prevent Abuse

By: Scott Ness The threat of anonymous Internet posting to individual privacy has been met with congressional and judicial indecisiveness. Part of the problem stems from the inherent conflict between punishing those who disrespect one’s privacy by placing a burden … Continue reading

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The Future of “Fair and Balanced”: The Fairness Doctrine, Net Neutrality, and the Internet

By: Sasha Leonhardt In recent months, different groups–pundits, politicians, and even an FCC Commissioner–have discussed resurrecting the now-defunct Fairness Doctrine and applying it to Internet communication. This iBrief responds to the novel application of the Doctrine to the Internet in … Continue reading

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The U.S. On Tilt: Why the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Is a Bad Bet

By: Gerd Alexander The United States federal government’s attempts to curb Internet gambling are beginning to resemble a game of whack-a-mole. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (the “UIGEA” or “Act”) represents its most recent attack on Internet … Continue reading

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Taxation of Virtual Assets

By: Scott Wisniewski The development of vast social networks through Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games has created in-game communities in which virtual assets have real-world values. The question has thus arisen whether such virtual assets are legal subjects of taxation. … Continue reading

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FCC Regulation: Indecency by Interest Groups

By: Patricia Daza FCC regulations are among the most controversial administrative law regulations because of their impact on broadcast television. This iBrief analyzes the history of FCC regulation and highlights the problems associated with the current model. Applying theories of … Continue reading

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Is the Internet a Viable Threat to Representative Democracy?

By: David M. Thompson The Internet, despite its relatively recent advent, is critical to millions of Americans’ way of life. Although the Internet arguably opens new opportunities for citizens to become more directly involved in their government, some scholars fear … Continue reading

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T-Mobile USA Inc. V. Department of Finance for Baltimore City: What the Latest Salvo in Disproportional Cellular Phone Taxation Means for the Future

By: Daniel P. Slowey Seventeen percent of the average monthly cellular phone bill in 2004 was comprised of federal, state, and local taxes. As the number of wireless subscribers across the nation continues to increase, states, cities, and counties are … Continue reading

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When Is Employee Blogging Protected by Section 7 of the NLRA?

By: Katherine M. Scott The National Labor Relations Act forbids employers from retaliating against certain types of employee speech or intimidating those who engage in it. This iBrief examines how blogging fits into the current statutory framework and recommends how … Continue reading

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The End of Net Neutrality

By: William G. Laxton Jr. In 2005, the FCC changed the competitive landscape of the high-speed Internet access industry by classifying both DSL and cable modem service as “information services.” While many hail this move as a victory for competition … Continue reading

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Shielding Journalist-“Bloggers”: The Need to Protect Newsgathering Despite the Distribution Medium

By: Laura Durity The failure to agree on a sufficiently narrow definition of “journalist” has stalled efforts to enact a federal shield law to legally protect reporter-source communications from compelled disclosure in federal court. The increasing use of the Internet … Continue reading

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When Discrimination Is Good: Encouraging Broadband Internet Investment Without Content Neutrality

By: Christopher E. Fulmer Cable television and traditional telephone companies are increasingly offering the same set of services: telephone, television, and broadband Internet access. Competition between these two types of companies would ordinarily require them to improve these services, but … Continue reading

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Fighting Terrorism in an Electronic Age: Does the Patriot Act Unduly Compromise Our Civil Liberties?

By: Christopher P. Raab The USA PATRIOT Act is tremendously controversial, both lauded by law enforcement and decried by civil liberties groups. This iBrief considers two of the Act’s communications monitoring provisions, concluding that each compromises civil liberties to a … Continue reading

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Completing the Connection: Achieving Universal Service Through Municipal Wi-Fi

By: K. Joon Oh The federal universal service scheme is designed to ensure that everyone has affordable access to advanced telecommunications and information services. Despite the development of cost-effective technologies that drastically reduce the cost of telephone services vis-à-vis the … Continue reading

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Buggy Whips and Broadcast Flags: The Need for a New Politics of Expression

By: Garrett Levin In response to growing fears from the entertainment industry over online file-sharing of valuable content, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) enacted sweeping regulations over the production of electronic devices in the name of protecting digital television broadcasts. … Continue reading

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Regulating Indecency: The Federal Communication Commission’s Threat to the First Amendment

By: Reed Hundt This paper is adapted from a talk given by the author at Duke University School of Law on April 6, 2005. The author argues that the Federal Communication Commission’s recent crackdown on television indecency poses a significant … Continue reading

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