Communications Law (2)

  1. Protection of Opinion
    the law has traditionally shielded statements of opinion from suits for defamation

    in 1991 the Supreme Court ruled that a statement of "pure opinion" on a matter of public concern is protected by the FA
  2. Milkovich Standard
    The consensus seems to be that defining an opinion statement using the single criterion of proving a statement true or false is far too conservative, that it would deny FA protection to statements that an author intended to be opinion and that a reader or viewer would assume was opinion.
  3. Ollman Test (4 questions to asl
    • 1. Can the statement be proved T/F?
    • 2. What is the common or ordinary meaning of the words?
    • 3. What is the journalistic context of the remark?
    • 4. What is the social context of the remark?
  4. Pure Opinion
    tested whether astatement can be proved true or false
  5. Rhetorical Hyperbole
    broad, exaggeratedcomments about someone or something
  6. Consent
    when a person says that it isokay with them to have something printed
  7. Implied Consent
    Constructed onsound legal theory, but only a handful of courts have accepted this theory
  8. Fair Comment
    a common-law defense that protects the publication of statements of opinion
  9. Fair Comment and Criticism- Three part test
    • -Is the common an opinion statement?
    • -Does the defamatory comment focus on a subject of legitimate public interest?
    • -Is there a factual basis for the comment?
  10. Tips on Avoiding a Libel suit
    • -Try to make sure that when stating an opinion that it is understood as such (in my opinion doesn't count(
    • -Don't rely on journalistic context to protect you
    • -Clearly state and summarize the facts
    • -Make certain the facts are true
  11. consent
    a defense in both libel and invasion of privacy cases that provides that individuals who agree to the publication of a libelous story or the appropriation of their name cannot then maintain a lawsuit based on the libel or the appropriation
  12. right of reply
    • "the self-defense"
    • a little used libel defense that declares as immune from a lawsuit a libelous remark made against an individual in reply to a previously published libelous remark made by that individual
  13. implied consent
    when a person comments on a defamatory charge and this response is published with the charge; or if plaintiff has told others of defamatory charges against him

    constructed on sound legal theory, but only a handful of courts have accepted this theory
  14. actual damages
    damages for actual injury - had to take off work (loss wages, medical damages {diagnosis & prescription}; injury + pain & suffering)
  15. special damages
    specific items of pecuniary (monetary) loss as a result of the libel - have a receipt for the damages cost
  16. presumed damages
    damages such as loss of reputation; not easily quantifiable - general damages
  17. punitive damages
    punitive in nature; designed to punish and to deter - exemplary damages

    to punish a person & warn other; depends on the nature of the claim - designed to
  18. Retraction
    both an apology and an effort to set the record straight
  19. Retraction Statues
    • The plaintiff must give the publisher an opportunity to retract the statement before filing a suit. If the retraction is promptly published in a place in the publication as prominent as the place the libel originally appeared, the retraction may reduce or cancel damages
    • (33 states have retraction statues)
  20. Criminal Libel
    Founded on the theory that if the state does not act the injured party may take violent action to compensate for damages
  21. Four Areas of Privacy Law
    • 1. Appropriation of name or likeness for trade purposes
    • 2. intrusion upon an individual's solitude
    • 3. publication of private information about an individual
    • 4. publishing material that puts an individual in a false light
  22. Appropriation
    • taking a person's name, picture, photograph or likeness and using it for commercial gain without permission
    • illegal without consent
  23. Right of Publicity v. Right of Privacy
    Monetary // PUBLIC v. Emotional // PRIVATE
  24. Exceptions
    • News & Information Exception (if a photo is used to news reasons it is okay)
    • Doctrine of Incidental Use (if someone is in the back of a photo- not the focal point of the photo)
  25. Consent as a Defense
    • -Written consent is usually incontestable and will stand as a solid defense in an appropriation claim
    • -Written consent is not always required, especially where there is evidence of oral consent
    • -Written consent may be invalid if it was given years before publication, obtained illegally or materials have been altered
  26. Intrusion
    it is illegal to intrude, physically or otherwise, upon the seclusion or solitude of an individual

    >>focus on HOW information is gathered<<
  27. There is no privacy in public
  28. Intrusion & Publication of Information Obtained Illegally
    Broadcaster not held liable for publishing material obtained from an illegal intrusion by a third party; they did note that if the facts has been different so would have been their decision. (Bartnicki)
  29. "Keyhole journalism"
    It is illegal to publicize private information about a person of the matter that is publicized would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and is not legitimate public concern or interest.
  30. publiciation
    communicate the material to a single third party
  31. publicity
    material is communicated to the public at large or to a great number of people, making it certain that the facts will shortly become public knowledge
  32. Private Facts
    Before an invasion-of-privacy suit can be successful, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the material was indeed private.
  33. When private facts about a person's life have been published, a court must ask two subsequent questions:
    • 1) Would the publication of the material offend a reasonable person?
    • 2) Was the published material of legitimate public interest or concern?
  34. Factors some courts take into account in determining legitimate public concern:
    • ·How much public interest or importance is there
    • in the material?
    • ·How deeply does publication of these facts
    • intrude into an individual’s privacy?
    • ·How public or private is the individual who is
    • the focus of the story?
    • ·Is there a nexus between the information about
    • the private life and the public life?
  35. False-Light Privacy
    • 1) publication of material must put an individual in a false light
    • 2) the false light would be offensive to a reasonable person
    • 3) the publisher of the material was at fault
  36. Fictionalization
    • the purposeful distortion of the truth, usually for dramatic purposes
    • >>use of fictional rather than real names (false light suit); coincidental use of real names in a novel of stage play (will not stand)
  37. Other falsehoods
    • >False light lawsuits more typically involve simple editing or writing errors or errors in judgement. And, most false light cases result from the publication of false information about a person in a news or feature story.
    • >Misuse of photos is a common problem, so pictures of people who are not involved in the story that the pictures are used to illustrate frequently succeed on false light claims
Card Set
Communications Law (2)
so that i can study for my upcoming quiz