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Archive for March, 2009

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Bain call

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Can’t say I understand why Justice Pankhurst refused to allow the media to broadcast David Bain’s telephone call from the day of all the killings. We could hear reporters¬†describing what he said. The jurors can’t be prejudiced by a repetition of evidence they’ve already heard. I can accept that there are problems allowing live streaming […]

Googling jurors again

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

A Florida drugs trial had to be abandoned this month because no fewer than nine of the jurors had been conducting their own research online, despite a warning from the judge not to. In NZ Judge David Harvey has been warning about this for ages. Is anyone listening? It’s becoming clear that we can’t rely […]

NYT enforces copyright over bloggers

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I’ve noted before that lots of bloggers routinely flout copyright. One of the ways they do so is by lifting photos from others’ websites. This will rarely be protected by a defence of fair dealing. The US “fair use” defence is wider, but not that much wider. The New York Times has apparently gotten fed […]

Should agencies be punished for breaching the OIA?

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Stephen Franks makes an interesting comment in response to my post below, where I argued that the Department of Corrections breached the Official Information Act. Should agencies be punished for wilful breaches?¬† (There are no sanctions for breach of the OIA, except criticism from the Ombudsmen). Are we becoming increasingly disdainful of laws that can’t […]

OIA and the Department of Corrections

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

You might have seen me on One News last Friday, commenting on the Department of Corrections’ response to TVNZ’s Official Information Act request. I was pretty critical of the department, who had provided minimal information. Either they genuinely didn’t know the answers, which was mind-boggling, I said, or they were lying about it. TVNZ used […]

Media harassment

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

UK popster Lily Allen has obtained an order against paparazzi under the UK’s Protection from Harassment Act. Our Harassment Act contains similar provisions for anti-harassment orders. I’m not aware of any being used against the media here yet, but harassment is widely defined, and journalists or photographers who persistently hound people (including by accosting them […]


Monday, March 16th, 2009

Mediawatch this weekend was terrific. I think it’s absolutely at it’s best when it’s exposing serious media lapses. The two that Mediawatch highlighted this week illustrate what I think are two of the most common ethical failings: leaving things out because the story is sexier without it (as in the case of the surf rescue […]

Sign up for Media Law conference

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Lexis Nexus is running its annual media law conference in Auckland on 17 April 2009. I’ll be chairing it. It covers many of the hot issues in media law, including¬†suppression, contempt, defamation, privacy, and from a range of angles – people involved in the litigation itself, academics analysing the end results, and journalists trying to […]

Geddis on Crow

Friday, March 13th, 2009

My mate Andrew Geddis has been sparring with me a bit in the comments section on this blog, and is always good value. In this thoughtful post at Pundit, Andrew rightly takes on the Auckland City Council for trying to do an end-run around the NZ Bill of Rights Act in its attempt to squelch […]

Sentences for sale

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Private prisons in the US have bribed judges to lock up more offenders so they can receive more money for incarcerating them. Only in the US? Or should it be part of the debate here about privatising prisons? [Update: I see TV One News did raise this point in a report last night.]

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