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Media Law

A Practical Guide (Revised Edition)

Ashley Messenger

Media Law: A Practical Guide (Revised Edition) provides a clear and concise explanation of media law principles. It focuses on the practical aspects of how to protect oneself from claims and how to evaluate the likelihood of a successful claim. This new edition has been revised to reflect important changes and updates to the law, including recent developments relating to scandalous trademarks, embedding, fair use, drones, revenge porn laws, interpretation of emoji, GDPR, false statements laws, lies, and the libel implications of the #MeToo movement.

Media Law is divided into five sections that help non-lawyers understand how the principles apply to their actual behavior: background information about the legal system; things you can be sued for; how you actually gather information; ways the government can regulate speech; and practical issues that are related to media law. This book is perfect for courses in media and communications law or a combination course in journalism law and ethics, as it covers both the legal and ethical aspects of communication.

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14 Punishing or Restricting Protests and Other Public Speech

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CHAPTER 14

Punishing or Restricting Protests and Other Public Speech

People often think of leafletting or protesting as the most quintessential forms of public speech that should be protected by the First Amendment. The guy standing on his soapbox on a street corner or a march across a city typically are protected in some form, but the Supreme Court has established rules that outline how far speakers can go before they are subject to punishment. This chapter will discuss the rules that govern public speech and protests. The main questions are:

1. Will the First Amendment protect the dissemination of “dangerous” ideas or beliefs?

2. Where or how can ideas be disseminated?

3. Can particular methods of expression be prohibited?

Will the First Amendment Protect Dissemination of “Dangerous” Ideas or Beliefs?

Considering the amount of time the Founding Fathers spent discussing the importance of freedom of speech and press, it might be surprising to know that a lot of political speech, usually involving Communism or anti-war sentiment, was punished until fairly recently in America’s history. The courts struggled with how to prevent “dangerous speech” while still acknowledging the importance of freedom and preventing abusive government power. The Supreme Court addressed the issue several times in the early to mid-1900s, and the cases illustrate the difficulty the Court has had balancing the competing interests. Some of the opinions also contained nuggets of wisdom, describing...

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