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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 3:01 PM Page 279 Categorical balancing. When courts disregard the individual circumstances of a case and place a free expression interest, or constitutionally protected one, into a class in which the balance tips in one direc- tion, they are engaging in categorical balancing. For example, courts rate political speech the most deserving of protection, while obscenity warrants no protection. Certiorari. Parties seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court must file a writ of certiorari asking the court to review their case. The Court may either accept or deny certiorari. Chilling Effect. The Court first used the term “chilling” in the free expression context to strike down McCarthy-era, government-imposed loyalty oaths. Such oaths indirectly infringed upon government employees’ right of association protected under the First Amendment guarantees of speech, assem- bly, and petition. In a concurrence, in Wieman v. Updegraff, 344 U.S. 183, 195 (1952), Justice Felix Frankfurter noted that an Oklahoma loyalty requirement had “an unmistakable tendency to chill [emphasis added] that free play of the spirit which all teachers ought especially to cultivate and prac- tice; it makes for caution and timidity in their associations by potential teachers.” Common carrier. A long-distance mass medium, such as a telephone system, the postal service, and direct broadcast satellite, that operates as a business to convey the content created by others. Common law. Law created by judges as distinguished from statutory law, created by legislatures. Communications Act of 1934. The federal statute that created the Federal Communications Commission,...

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