Category Archives: Media & Communications

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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Crossed Signals in a Wireless World: The Seventh Circuit’s Misapplication of the Complete Preemption Doctrine

By: Matthew J. Kleiman As the number of wireless telephone users continues to proliferate, so does the number of lawsuits against wireless service providers. While consumers seek to utilize various consumer-friendly state law causes of action, the wireless industry continues … Continue reading

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Wireless Local Number Portability: New Rules Will Have Broad Effects

By: Stephen M. Kessing After a delay of over seven years, wireless local number portability rules (“WLNP”) finally went into effect on November 24, 2003. These rules, promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission, allow wireless subscribers to change service providers … Continue reading

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Investigating Terrorism: The Role of the First Amendment

By: Amy E. Hooper This iBrief discusses the constitutionality of a government policy enacted shortly after September 11, 2001 that denies public access to deportation hearings in cases allegedly bearing some connection to terrorism. This ibrief discusses two Circuit Courts … Continue reading

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The FCC Under Attack

By: Kerri Smith The Federal Communications Commission voted in a contentious three-two split to relax rules limiting ownership of TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers. Among its critics are members of Congress who may pass legislation reinstating the old rules. … Continue reading

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The FCC and Congress Should Consider Consumer Rights When Making the Transition to DTV

By: Frank Ing-Jye Chao This ibrief discusses the copyright issue surrounding the transition into Digital Television. It proposes that the Federal Communications Commission should balance the copyright interests of all parties involved in the DTV transition. Creators of informative and … Continue reading

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Do Not Advertise: The Current Fight Against Unsolicited Advertisements

By: Dannielle Cisneros Have you ever received a phone call from a telemarketer during dinner? Do e-mails entitled “Protect Your Computer Against Viruses for $9.95″ or “GET A FREE PASS TO THOUSANDS OF XXX SITES” annoy you? Are you tired … Continue reading

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