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Archive for February, 2008

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Bloggers flout copyright

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I’m not a copyright Nazi. I think copyright laws could stand to be loosened. This is just an observation: some bloggers routinely breach other people’s copyright by posting large chunks of stories, columns and editorials. Where they exceed a reasonable extract for fair dealing purposes, these posts are infringing copies. But where they can be […]

Case exposes vulnerable underbelly of contempt laws

Friday, February 15th, 2008

An Australian judge has banned the broadcast of a TV series about the mafia in Victoria (it can be broadcast elsewhere in Australia) because it may prejudice upcoming mafia trials. Of course, people have recorded it and put it online, and now anyone in Victoria who wants to is downloading and watching it. Some media may […]

Crimes in the public interest

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

A quick note on recent stouch about the journalist who took a knife and toy gun on a regional flight to demonstrate lax security. (Bonus gossip: it was Jonathan Marshall, who was behind a hideously intrusive celebrity expose website, but has since taken a journalism course and is doing serious work). I say: give that man […]

NZLS media law seminar

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

TVNZ lawyer Willy Akel, Fairfax lawyer Robert Stewart and I are presenting a law society seminar on media law in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in April. Sign up now! Watch Willy and I slug it out over the laws of privacy and qualified privilege! He’s bigger than I am, but I’m nippy. Actually, it will mostly be […]

Osmose part-settled

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

You might remember that the Osmose defamation case in the High Court appeared to revolutionise the defence of qualified privilege: opening it up to all stories about matters of public interest, not just those about politicians, and making it easier for journalists to show they’d acted responsibly (a condition of the defence). The case was […]

New Law Commission report on privacy out

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Get your copy here. It’s an early stage in the Commissions Herculian project aimed at reviewing the entire law of privacy. In this study paper they look at the big picture: the concepts behind privacy, and the effect of the rapidly changing social, legal and technological environment. (I’m part of a reference group that the […]

More grumbling about the Press Council

Monday, February 11th, 2008

A lot of lawyers I know think the Press Council is a waste of time. It’s generally pro-press, it’s poorly resourced, its decisions are sloppy, and it has no power to impose a penalty worth spit. Heck, I’ve criticised the Press Council myself in the past. But recently, I’ve been encouraging people to take another look. […]

Press Council ducks interesting issue

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

If you talk to a journalist on the basis that what you say is “not for publication” and the journalist publishes your remarks anyway, has the journalist behaved unethically? I think most people would think so. In the past, the Press Council has leaned this way, too: … if the conditions under which the [source] agreed […]

The Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Bill of Rights

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

As I mention below, Claudia Geiringer and I delivered a paper at the conference for John Burrows about the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Bill of Rights Act (BORA). The BORA requires the BSA to ensure that any restriction it imposes on the media’s freedom of expression (by upholding a complaint, for example) is reasonable […]

Tribute to John Burrows

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

The University of Canterbury’s law school held a conference in honour of John Burrows last weekend. It was called “Law, Liberty and Legislation” and covered the broad sweep of issues that Professor Burrows has expertise in – from statute and contract law to media law (he’s written the leading texts in all three). On the […]

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