Legal workshop: Understanding libel and copyright (Sponsored by Knight Foundation)

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: George Freeman of Media Law Resource Center; Jeff Hermes of Media Law Resource Center; Carol LoCicero of Thomas & LoCicero PL; Rachel Fugate of Shullman Fugate PLLC
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 14 at 9:00am
  • Location: Mako
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

This three-hour workshop hosted by the Media Law Resource Center will go in-depth on two major areas of media law. Attendees are encouraged to participate in both sessions. Pre-registration is not required, but seats are limited in this workshop.

Libel and invasion of privacy (9 - 10:30 a.m.)

This workshop will focus on the legal problems which can arise from your content: How can you avoid getting sued for defamation and invasion of privacy? We'll discuss what the plaintiff has to prove to make out a libel case, your common law and constitutional defenses, the differences in defending cases brought by public and private figures, privileges for opinion and using public records, and the effect of corrections, denials, libelous implications and using anonymous sources. Lawsuits for publishing truthful but embarrassing private facts will also be considered. Discussion leaders: George Freeman, Media Law Resource Center; and Carol LoCicero, Thomas & LoCicero

Copyright and digital media (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

This workshop will cover hot issues in copyright and the law of digital media. We will start with a consideration of copyright law; just because something is on the internet does not mean it’s free for the taking. What is copyrightable, the fair use of newsworthy information and embedding and aggregation of content will all be discussed. We will also talk about ways in which the law treats online speech differently from traditional media, including the ramifications of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the role of social media platforms. Discussion leader: Jeff Hermes, Media Law Resource Center; and Rachel Fugate, Shullman Fugate

Speaker Bios

  • George is the Executive Director of the Media Law Resource Center, a non-profit trade association supporting media lawyers in the US and globally. Before that, for 31 years, he was the newsroom/First Amendment lawyer for the New York Times, leaving as V.P. & Assistant General Counsel in 2012.  He was in charge of the Times Company's litigations and counseled their newsrooms . The New York Times didn't lose or settle a libel or privacy case for dollars during his tenure. 

  • Rachel is a partner at Shullman Fugate. She defends publishers and broadcasters in complex defamation, invasion of privacy, and other content-related claims and prosecutes actions for access to government information. Rachel also provides daily advice on a variety of content related issues, including newsgathering advice, responses to retraction demands and subpoenas, pre-broadcast and pre-publication review, and internet content and publication practices. @rachfugate

  • Jeff Hermes (@MediaLawMLRC) is a Deputy Director of the Media Law Resource Center, where he focuses on digital media law issues. He previously ran the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard's Berkman Center, where he led initiatives to provide legal resources for independent journalists and online media ventures. Prior that, Jeff assisted clients in First Amendment, media, intellectual property and Internet law issues during fourteen years in private practice. 

  • Carol Jean LoCicero's practice includes handling litigation concerning defamation and privacy, public records and court access.  She leads statewide advocacy efforts on media issues and renders advice on investigative news stories. She has litigated many cases resulting in published opinions and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.  She is a regular panel member for national conferences on media law.  Carol also chairs the board of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. 

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