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Of Note...

Communications Forum

Gary Epstein, chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force of the Federal Communications Commission, reports on the results of the recently completed spectrum auction at a Communications Forum luncheon at the Willard Hotel in Washington on April 19.

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Gary Epstein, chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force of the Federal Communications Commission, reports on the results of the recently completed spectrum auction at a Communications Forum luncheon at the Willard Hotel in Washington on April 19. » Read More

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Issue Watch

President Trump's Tweet Distinguishes 'Fake' From 'Real' News » Read More

Lariat Tries To Lasso FCC's BDS Item Before Vote » Read More

FCC's O'Rielly: Substantial Analysis Needed of Auction » Read More

 
 

Media & Communications Policy

Sunshine Week: A Timely Celebration
by Richard T. Kaplar

Sunshine Week is an annual reminder that access to government information is not something we can take for granted. In fact, prior to July 4, 1967, when the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) took effect, access to federal government information was not a given at all. It took an act of Congress to counteract the tendency of government bureaucrats to over-classify, obfuscate, and procrastinate
» Read More

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October 16-22, 2017

freespeechweek.org

In ‘Media vs. Trump’ Battle, the President
Has the People on His Side

by Patrick Maines

It’s safe to say that nobody alive today has ever seen anything like it: A newly elected president who, so far from being a professional politician, says off-the-cuff things in conversation or midnight tweets that positively invite indignant responses – and a media and entertainment industry that has been loudly marching against him ever since he won the nomination.

The consuming question in these parts is less how it began than how it will end, and with what consequences. » Read More

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Intellectual Property Issues

‘Courts Have Twisted Themselves Into Knots’:
U.S. Copyright Protection for Applied Art

by Jane C. Ginsburg,
Columbia University School of Law

United States copyright law explicitly enumerates “pictorial, graphic or sculptural works” [henceforth “PGS works”] among the subject matter of copyright. These include “works of artistic craftsmanship,”…. » Read More

IP Law and the Capacity To Take a Joke
by Dean Rodney A. Smolla,
Delaware Law School, Widener University

Louis Vuitton can’t take a joke. That was the view of Judge Jesse Furman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in a decision earlier this year involving a trademark and copyright infringement action brought by Louis Vuitton against My Other Bag, Inc.
» Read More

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Sunshine Week

A Successful Celebration of Open Access

Sunshine Week, which concluded on March 18, was marked by about three dozen events around the country sponsored by a variety of journalism organizations, free speech groups, universities, and government agencies. Several more events, including a major conference and expo in Washington sponsored by the Digital Government Institute, were slated for the week of March 20. More information about this year's activities can be found on the Sunshine Week website here
» Read More

Media Institute Salutes Sunshine Week

The Media Institute expresses its strong support for Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide celebration of access to public information, observed this year from March 12 to March 18.  The Media Institute is an official Sunshine Week participant. 
» Read More

Sunshine Week and the First Amendment

Journalism marks its annual Sunshine Week at an extraordinary moment in the relationship between the presidency and the press.  First Amendment advocates call the Trump administration the most hostile to the press and free expression in memory.  Yet free speech advocates say the press, at least on legal issues, is well positioned to withstand Trump. » Read More

Information Under Attack

Wondering who is visiting the White House? The web-based search has gone dark.  Curious about climate change?  Some government sites have been softened or taken down.  Since taking office, the Trump Administration has made a series of moves that have alarmed groups with a stake in public access to information.  Previous presidential transitions have triggered fears about access to government data, but not on this scope. » Read More

Dazed and Confused

Fake news, social media bots, a post-fact world.  One of the great lessons of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign is that people could not – or would not – distinguish between actual news stories and fabrications.  More fact-checking may or not be the answer.  Why is it important to solve the fake news conundrum, and is it even solvable? » Read More

Texas Records

When Texans ask state and local officials for records detailing their operations, more and more the answer is no.  The reason why is in dispute.  A quirk of the Texas public records law, adopted almost 45 years ago, says that when officials deny the public the right to see something, they usually have to run that decision by the state attorney general’s office.  The number of those denials has been soaring. » Read More

‘The Press Is Not the Opposition Party’

Foon Rhee of the Sacramento Bee writes: “As I’ve listened to President Donald Trump go on tirades against the ‘very dishonest’ media, I’ve tried not to take his criticism personally….   So here’s the truth: The press is not the opposition party.  The media is not the enemy of the American people.  Negative stories are not fake news.  And when Trump keeps making these claims, he isn’t just attacking the press; he is chipping away at one of the pillars of our democracy.”
» Read More

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