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Wireless Ship Act of 1910
- - Required all commercial vessels with
- 50 or more passengers to have a
- wireless telegraphy on board.
- - Established SOS as the official distress
Radio Act of 1912
- - Established government control under
- the Secretary of Commerce to issue
- licenses to radio transmitters.
Hoover v. Intercity Radio (1923)
- Facts: Intercity Radio was denied a
- license on the grounds of insufficient
- spectrum space by the Secretary of
- Importance: A federal court
- determined that the Secretary of
- Commerce had to give a broadcast
- license to any person who applied.
U.S. v. Zenith Radio (1926)
- Facts: Zenith Radio was unhappy with
- its radio frequency. When their
- application to change frequency was
- rejected, Zenith moved it anyway.
- Importance: A federal court ruled that
- the Commerce Department lacked the
- authority to regulate frequency, power
- or hours the radio station could
Radio Act of 1927
- - This legislation established the Federal
- Radio Commission as a separate
- agency which only oversaw the radio
- - Telephone was regulated by the
- Commerce Department.
Communication Act of 1934
- This legislation established the Federal
- Communication Commission which
- oversees the telephone, radio, TV,
- cable, etc. industries.
NBC v. U.S. (1943)
- Facts: The FCC adopted a rule that
- limited the amount of network
- broadcast time that any affiliate station
- could carry.
- Importance: The USSC held that the
- FCC can regulate the electronic media
- and the rules it makes must be obeyed.
- - In re Mayflower Broadcasting (1941) -
- Stations could not use their stations
- to express opinions or editorialize.
- - In re United Broadcasting Co. (1945) -
- Stations could not refuse to sell time
- for discussion of controversial issues.
Report on Editorializing by Broadcast Licenses (1949)
- Two Provisions: (1) Devote a
- reasonable percentage of time to the
- coverage of controversial public issues
- and (2) Provide a reasonable
- opportunity for the presentation of
- contrasting viewpoints.
Controversial Public Issues
- In re Representative Patsy Mink (1976) -
- FCC ruled that a station had not met its
- obligation to air controversial
- programming regarding strip mining
American Security Council Educational Foundation v. CBS (1979)
- Facts: The ASCEF had requested CBS
- to cover national security issues as if
- they were controversial public issues.
- Importance: A federal court declared
- when a complaining party and a
- broadcaster disagree on the
- characterization of a controversial
- issue or its public importance the
- FCC must accept the broadcaster’s
- reasonable characterization.
- - FCC examines the amount of time
- devoted to the topic;
- - How often a topic is aired;
- - And the size of the listening audience.
- - In re Cullman Broadcasting Co. (1963) -
- A station must not wait for a
- spokesperson to appear.
- Banzhaf v. FCC (1968) - Applied
- fairness doctrine to cigarette smoking -
- later dropped against commercial ads.
Syracuse Peace Council v. FCC (1989)
- Facts: The FCC eliminated the public
- controversy portion of the fairness
- Importance: A federal court ruled that
- the FCC had the right to eliminate the
- fairness doctrine because it thwarted
- the discussion of public issues.
Personal Attack Rule
- - Attack on honesty, integrity, and
- character of a person or group.
- - Must notify as to time, date, and ID of
- broadcast within one week.
- - A script or tape or accurate summary
- must be supplied.
- - An offer of a reasonable opportunity
- to respond.
- - Attacks on foreign groups or public
- - Personal attacks made by legally
- qualified candidates or their
- - Bona fide newscasts, news interviews
- or on-the-spot news.
Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC (1969)
- Facts: The Reverend Billy James
- Hargis sharply criticized author Fred
- Cook over WGCB. Cook requested free
- time to reply and the FCC agreed.
Importance: The USSC upheld the FCC's PAR as constitutional.
- Miami Herald Pub. Co. v. Tornillo (1974)
- - USSC held that newspapers have different First Amendment rights than electronic media.
Children and TV
- Children’s TV Act of 1990 - limited
- commercial time and set requirements
- for the child audience to be considered
- at license renewal time.
- By 1993, FCC determined that 90-95%
- of stations had met the requirements of
- the statute.
FCC v. WNCN Listeners Guild (1981)
- - A radio station is free to change its
- format without considering the impact
- on the public.
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (1978)
- - USSC ruled that the FCC could regulate
- indecent programming. Obscene
- programming can’t be aired because of
- section 1464 of the US Code.
ACT v. FCC (1988)
- Facts: Action for Children’s Television
- wanted the FCC to regulate a broader
- definition of indecency than the words
- used in Carlin’s monologue.
- Importance: The DC Circuit ruled that
- the FCC should regulate a broad range
- of offensive descriptions or depictions
- of sexual or excretory activity.
ACT v. FCC (1992)
- Facts: Action for Children’s Television
- wanted the FCC to declare a 24 hour
- ban on indecent material.
- Importance: The US Court of Appeals
- for the D.C. Circuit declared a 24 hour
- ban unconstitutional.
- - Today, “adult” themes may be aired
- from the “safe harbor” of midnight to
In re Infinity Broadcasting Corp. (1987)
- Importance: The FCC stated it would
- look at the “serious merit” of a program
- as a factor in determining “indecency”;
- the reasonable risk of children in the
- audience; and a warning should
- precede the program.
FCC v. Fox tv (2009)
- FACTS: Fox had two live broadcasts (Billboard Music Awards 2002/2003) where the F and S words were aired. FCC stated that lack of repetition doesn’t enter in to a finding of indecency and held that Fox’s broadcast were in violation of the new FCC test. No forfeitures were issued. This case was about whether the FCC followed the Administrative Procedure Act, i.e., procedural correctness, in dealing with the broadcasts. The Second Circuit
- ruled in favor of Fox TV.
Sable Communications v. FCC (1989)
- Facts: Congress passed a statute to
- eliminate indecent and obscene dial-a-
- Importance: A total ban on dial-a-porn
- is unconstitutional. Indecent phone
- messages have some constitutional
Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992
- Importance: 900 & 976 numbers must
- disclose costs in ads; block children
- under 12; and pay restrictions must be
- Lotteries can only be broadcast if a
- state lottery - chance, consideration
- and prize.
- US v. Edge Broadcasting (1993) -
- USSC held that a state can regulate
- commercial speech broadcast such
- as lottery results.
- carry local broadcasters.
- - Must Carry Restrictions - cable has to
- carry local broadcasters.
- - Anti-leapfrogging - Cable cannot
- generate signal outside of area.
- - Syndex Rule - Syndication Exclusivity.
US v. Southwestern Cable Co. (1968)
USSC held that FCC has a right to apply broadcasting rules and regulations to cable television.
Fortnightly Corp. v. United Artists TV, Inc. (1968)
- Importance: USSC held that
- retransmission of a TV signal wasn’t a
- copyright infringement because it
- wasn’t a performance.
Teleprompter Corp. v. CBS (1974)
Importance: USSC held that retransmission by a microwave facility wasn't a copyright infringement.
Copyright Act of 1976
- - Created a Copyright Tribunal to redistribute copyright funds.
- - Local governments were given the power to regulate franchise agreements.
Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984
- - Gave FCC direct control over the cable
- - Restrictions were placed on how much
- cable companies can charge during a
- typical 15 year contract.
- - Allowed “leased access” channels.
- - Obscene programming not allowed.
- - Government can ensure broad
- categories of programming.
- - PEG left up to local governments.
Quincy Cable TV, Inc. v. FCC (1985)
Importance: USSC held that "must carry" rules were unconstitutional.
Telecommunications Research and Action Center v. FCC (1986)
Importance: A federal court applied section 315 to teletext.
National Association for Better Broadcasting v. FCC (1988)
Importance: A federal court determined that DBS is a non-broadcast service.
Feist Pub. v. Telephone Service Co. (1991)
- Facts: Feist had created a new
- phone book by copying the
- information from another source.
- Facts are not copyrightable. !
- Importance: USSC rejected the
- “sweat of the brow” argument.
- Feist did not create a work that
- could be copyrighted. No
- copyright infringement because
- what he copied lacked
- originality, which is what
- copyright protects and not effort.!
Droit de suite
- The right to follow a work so owners will continue to receive royalties from all works sold.
- (Moral Rights)
- A person can protect alterations of a painting, drawing, and photography; but not motion pictures, posters, charts, books, magazines, or newspapers.
Reader's Digest v. Conservative Digest (1986)
Layouts are similar and in violation of Trademark and Copyright Act. Court issued an injunction and awarded nominal damages for similar layout, fonts, placement, etc.
Greatest American Hero v. Superman (1981)
- Facts: Superman Comic Books
- sued the parties involved in the
- television program, Greatest
- American Hero for infringement.
- Importance: The court ruled that
- the program were not
- substantially similar and there
- was no infringement.
Williams and Wilkins v. US (1973)
- Facts: Libraries run by the
- National Institutes of Health and
- the National Library of Medicine
- made multiple copies of articles
- from a single scientiﬁc journal
- for library patrons.
- Importance: The Court ruled that
- preventing noncommercial
- copying would hamper medical
- research. Also, there was
- insufﬁcient evidence that the
- multiple copies hurt the journal
- publishers ﬁnancially.
Wainwright Securities Inc. v. Wall Street Transcripts (1978)
- Facts: Wall Street Transcripts
- summarized Wainwright
- Securitiesʼ report. Wall Street
- Trans. then advertised that it was
- unnecessary to buy the reports.
- Importance: The US Court of
- Appeals held that summaries of
- commercial reports infringed on
- Wainwrightʼs copyright because
- the summaries made it
- unnecessary to purchase the
Harper and Row v. Nation (1985)
- Facts: The Nation published
- 300-400 words from President
- Fordʼs memoirs which was under
- contract to Harper and Row.
- This action by Nation also voided
- a contract H & R had with Time.
- Importance: The USSC held that
- Nation had captured the “heart”
- of the book. This action by
- Nation was determined not to be
- fair use.
Salinger v. Random House (1987)
- Facts: An author working for
- Random House quoted from
- letters written by Salinger for an
- unauthorized biography. The
- letters had been donated to a
- university library collection.
- Importance: The Court of
- Appeals ruled that unpublished
- letters are assumed to have a
- copyright on them.
- - The writer of the letters may
- acquire an injunction to stop
New Era Pub. Int'l v. Henry Holt & Co. (1990)
- Facts: Henry Holt had a work
- based on letters by L. Ron
- Hubbard, founder of the Church
- of Scientology. New Era claimed
- copyright over the letters.
Importance: A Federal Appeals Court declared a person's unpublished material is deemed to have a copyright and a court must issue an injunction against any book or magazine violating such copyrights.
Sony v. Universal Studios (1984)
Facts: Universal Studios sued Sony claiming the VTR violated copyright law.
Importance: The USSC held that technology wasn't in violation of the fair use standard because people used the technology to "time shift."
Basic Books v. Kinko's Graphics (1991)
Facts: Kinko was sued for putting student course packets together without securing copyright.
Importance: The court declared course packets as commercial ventures in violation of fair use.
Acuff-Rose Music Inc. v. Campbell (1993)
Facts: 2 Live Crew did a parody of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" without securing copyright permission.
Importance: USSC ruled that the music parody was not a copyright infringement. It was a transformative use of the original.
Barnett v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp (2007)
Carol Burnett song and character in Family Guy - declared a classic protected parody.
Home Recording Act of 1992
This legislation allows people to record one copy or a record or CD for personal use.
Lentz v. Universal Music (2008)
YouTube video of son dancing - judge ruled that copyright holders cannot order a file deleted without determining whether the posting reflected "fair use" of the copyrighted material.
BMI, ASCAP, SESAC
Price paid depends on...
Types of Licenses
- Synchronization (image w/ music) - movie
- Performance - record
- Mechanical - music
INS v. AP (1918)
- Facts: International News
- Service (INS) was accused of
- misappropriating the news from
- the Associated Press (AP)
- Importance: The Court held that
- a news service could not take
- material that is a result of
- organization and expenditure of
- labor, skill and money
New Kids on the Block v. News America Pub. (1990)
- Facts: A company set up a 900
- number to determine the groupʼs
- most popular member. “New
- Kids” claimed this was a
- commercial misappropriation.
- Importance: The Court ruled that
- protection does not hinge upon
- the proﬁtability or unproﬁtability
- of news gathering.
WCVB-TV v. Boston Athletic Association (1991)
Facts: The trademark holder of the "Boston Marathon" did not want a TV station to use the phrase in its coverage of this athletic event.
Importance: A federal court rejected the trademark holder's argument.
- Service Marks (MGM-lion roars)
- Collection Marks (franchise marks/union stamps)
- Certification Marks (seals of approval)
- Trade Dress (used to id a company name)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- Representatives of 160 nations met in 1996 to adopt new regulations for the digital age.
- - Adopted two treaties in December 1996
- >One covers artistic and literary works
- >One covers recorded music
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
- - US Congress signed on to WIPO treaties in 1998
- - Act:
- >prohibits circumvention of technology measures
- >exempts ISP from liability when simply transmitting information
- >imposes a compulsory licensing and royalty distribution scheme for the transmission of music on the internet
- >three-person arbitration panel presently working on the royalty fee issue
- >OSPs who provide hosting services have certain safe harbors of liability protection of certain stored materials
Eldred v. Ashcroft (2003)
Significance: The USSC upheld the Bono Extension Act. The Court rulded that the Constitution gives Congress "wide leeway to prescribe 'limited times' for copyright protection."
MGM v. Grokster (2005)
Facts: Grokster and StreamCast distributed free software products that allowed P2P of MGM products.
Holding: Grokster's P2P product was found to be in copyright infringement and not in "safe harbor" of DMCA.
Arista, et al v. Limewire (USDC NY 2010)
Facts: 11 recording companies filed suit against Limewire for P2P music file sharing. Limewire argued for summary judgement.
Holding: Court held for recording companies.
Update: June 2010 Four more recording companies filed suit against Limewire claiming $150,000 per infringement. RIAA weighs in wanting shut down of facilities. Limewire not falling under "safe harbor" of DMCA.
October 28, 2010 Limewire shut down.
Viacom v. YouTube (USSD NY 2010)
Facts: Viacom sued YouTube over copyright infringement of 160,000 unauthorized clips.
Ruling: YouTube/Google awarded summary judgement protected under "Safe Harbor" of DMCA.
- Viacom has appealed the decision.
Vernor v. Autodesk (US 9th Cir. 2010)
Facts: Vernor put up on eBay listing certain used software that he had purchased at a garage sale. Autodesk issued several takedown notices and Vernor sued claiming he had right to do so.
Findings: Court ruled that Vernor is a licensee rather than an owner of the software and is only granted a license that restricts the user's ability to transfer the software and imposes restrictions on the user.