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Mass Media Law

The Printing Press to the Internet

Arthur S. Hayes

Digital media law is now the dynamic legal territory. Mass Media Law: The Printing Press to the Internet is a textbook designed to introduce students to the panoply of legal theories raised by the Internet revolution as well as those supporting traditional media. The book takes a historical approach beginning with the printing press and the telegraph and proceeding to the digital technologies of today, such as social media and search engines. Concepts such as defamation, broadcast regulation, privacy, and free expression are covered along with new media legal theories including Internet exceptionalism, cyber libertarianism, and digital speech and democratic culture. These are introduced to explain why traditional theories such as First Amendment medium-specific analysis, common carriage, and network neutrality are just as relevant today as they were in the early twentieth century. In order to help readers develop critical reasoning skills, each chapter opens with a highly readable realworld vignette and goes on to identify and explain legal doctrines and tests. Key passages from court opinions are highlighted, and each chapter closes with a list of online media law resources and thought-provoking questions, including legal hypotheticals, to give readers a solid understanding of the area in question. Mass Media Law is designed to be the main text and a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate courses covering media, mass communication, free expression, and journalism law.


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Hayes_Hayes 5/14/2013 3:00 PM Page vii Television Regulation,” and Chapter 14, “Copyright, New Technologies & Trademark.” Also, law and media technologies are central in the less obvious ones: Chapter 5, “Defamation: Constitutional and Cyber Law,” Chapter 6, “Privacy,” and Chapter 10, “Fair Trial/Free Press.” There is another feature that sets this book apart from other communications media law texts. At the end of each chapter, the reader will find questions in the form of legal hypotheticals. The hypo- theticals will give students the opportunity to put the principles of legal precedent, and the analyti- cal skills of analogy and distinguishing, discussed in Chapter 1, “Principles of Reasoning and First Amendment Theory,” to work. Each chapter identifies and explains the doctrinal tests students need to apply to the hypotheticals. The author of this book has used many of the hypotheticals published here to spark in-class discussion and as questions on midterm and final exams. Furthermore, Web addresses to online media law sources are provided at the end of each chapter. The Web provides a great deal of authoritative information that can enliven any discussion of media law, sometimes found in the unlikeliest of places. Chapter 13, “Copyright Law,” for example, identifies a YouTube webpage where students can better understand the copyright doctrines of infringement and substantial sim- ilarity at issue in Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music, 420 F. Supp. 177 (S.D.N.Y. 1976) by lis- tening to the pop hits “He’s So Fine,” and “My Sweet Lord” layered on top...

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