Monday, March 27, 2017

First Amendment and Social Media

Social media and First Amendment issues were debated in oral argument before the US Supreme Court in Packingham v. North Carolina.

See:  http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/packingham-v-north-carolina/

Issue:  Whether, under the court’s First Amendment precedents, a law that makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of websites – including Facebook, YouTube, and nytimes.com – that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is “know[n]” to allow minors to have accounts, is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner, who was convicted based on a Facebook post in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring “God is Good!”

In oral argument on 27 February 2017, Justice Kennedy drew an analogy between social media and the public square.  Justice Ginsburg said restricting access to social media would mean being cut off from a very large part of the marketplace of ideas.  The First Amendment includes not only the right to speak, but the right to receive information.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It is hard to control where your ads will appear online

Advertisers are leaving YouTube, because their advertisements are being placed in close proximity to hate speech and other offensive material.

See NY Times story, Perils of Online Ads

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Book - The Last Days of Night

An interesting book, a novel, about a new lawyer in New York, Paul Cravath, who founded one of NY's best law firms, and his representation of Westinghouse against Edison in patent disputes.  The Last Days of Night.  It shows that patent disputes have been going on for 100 years whenever new technology suddenly blossoms.