Intellectual Property Blog

Broadcasters: How to Protect Yourself from Photo Lawsuits

By Edward L. Birk and Crystal T. Broughan In a recent post, we wrote about the fast-paced world of broadcasting, made even faster by the Internet age, and how this has led to the temptation of pulling imagery from websites without confirming copyright and securing proper permission. The reuse of online content is very easy to accomplish. The consequences can be very painful to the bank account. According to Federal court listings, a comparison of […]

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Social Media Photo Copyright: Apart from Selfies, Who Can Give Permission for Reuse Is Not Always Clear

By Crystal T. Broughan and Edward L. Birk As fast-paced as the internet has made the transmission of news and information, it can be tempting for media outlets and bloggers to grab the first eye-catching image relevant to a story. But any trusted intellectual property or media law attorney would tell you not to do this – otherwise, you could find your organization neck deep in litigation over what seemed to be an “open source” […]

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Can a Court Squelch Public Statements by a Criminal Defendant Before Conviction?

Long-time Republican political operative, staunch Trump supporter, and self-described “dirty trickster” Roger Stone has never been one to hold his tongue in the face of controversy. Even in the wake of criminal indictment on five counts of making false statements, one count of obstructing an official proceeding, and one count of witness tampering, he betrayed no sign of avoiding the spotlight. In response to colorful public proclamations of his innocence, the federal judge hearing his […]

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California Court Rules Social Media Posts Are Not Always a First Amendment Right

We have a Constitutional right to express ourselves on social media, right? Social media is the new public square, a traditional public forum, right? Not so fast… Generally true. But there are narrow situations where a court may lawfully restrict social media use. A 16-year-old juvenile defendant found this out that hard way in a California case known only as “The People v. A.A.” The Facts of the Case Initially, A.A. was convicted of felony […]

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The First Amendment and the “Purported Fan” Who Posted an Ugly and Hateful Image of FSU Coach Being Lynched

On November 24, the FSU Seminoles lost to the Florida Gators 42-14, giving the football team a 5-7 record and making them ineligible for a bowl game for the first time in over 30 years. Following that loss, a man named Tom Shand posted an image in a Facebook group of FSU’s head coach – an African American – being lynched. There was an immediate outcry from others in the Facebook group, leading the creator […]

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CNN’s Jim Acosta Banned from – Then Restored to – the White House Briefing Room

According to the White House, CNN’s Jim Acosta was banned from the briefing room for “unacceptable” conduct, including “yanking back” when a staffer tried to grab the microphone. The White House Correspondents Association didn’t see it that way. They issued a statement calling President Trump’s decision “out of line” and argued it was made “to punish a reporter with whom [he] has a difficult relationship.” CNN quickly made an emergency request in court to temporarily […]

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