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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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20 How the Internet Has Affected Publishing and the Law


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How the Internet Has Affected Publishing and the Law

The rapid expansion and popularity of the internet, as well as its permanent, searchable, and world-wide nature, have created some interesting questions about how traditional legal principles should be applied to new technologies. In some instances, new laws have been proposed to address particular concerns. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize at the outset that most legal principles and issues have not changed because of the internet. Rules that apply in the bricks-and-mortar world also apply online.

Throughout this book, I have incorporated cases and examples arising out of internet use to illustrate how traditional legal principles are being interpreted with respect to online material. In most cases, the rules applied are the same. For example, with respect to trademark infringement, the courts have used the same test—likelihood of confusion—to evaluate whether a URL infringes a mark as they would have used to evaluate whether any other use is an infringement. The logic and thought-processes used are similar and the outcomes in cases involving the internet are not much different than pre-internet cases.

That said, there are certain areas where the internet has made a noticeable impact and where laws have been introduced to address particular issues. This chapter will discuss some of the issues that are truly novel or unique to internet communication. They include:

1. Terms of Service (or Terms of Use)...

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