Media Law Roundup 07.27

Free Speech and Chick-fil-A

07.24 – Free speech and Chick-fil-A – The Muppets are well within their rights to shun Chick-fil-A after the chain restaurant donated to anti-gay groups and its president, Dan Cathy, made statements implying a strong, biblically-based stand against same-sex marriage.

07.26 – The Attack On Chick-Fil-A Is An Attack On The Freedom Of Speech Of Every American – If you are an American, your freedom of speech is under attack.  Over the past week, remarks made by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy defending traditional marriage have sparked controversy all over the nation.  Many Americans have expressed support for his remarks and many have expressed disdain for his remarks.  And all of that is fine, because in the United States people are supposed to be able to express their opinions.  But in Chicago, Boston and other U.S. cities, politicians are actually promising to keep any more Chick-fil-A stores from opening because their CEO does not support gay marriage, and that crosses the line.

Youtube and Anonymity

07.24 – Can Real Names on YouTube End Nasty Comments?– YouTube is making it harder for users who post negative and hurtful comments on videos to hide behind the site’s anonymity. The video-sharing site is urging users to start using their full name when commenting and uploading clips. Instead of displaying a pen name linked to the YouTube account, the company wants to link to the user’s full name and picture used on their Google+ account.

Who really invented the Internet

07.22 – Gordon Crovitz: Who Really Invented the Internet? – A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: “The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet.”

07.23 – So, who really did invent the Internet? – Gordon Crovitz of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page reopens the ancient debate over who invented the Internet with a column Monday calling out the notion that it was the government as an “urban legend.”

07.23 – WSJ mangles history to argue government didn’t launch the Internet – “It’s an urban legend that the government launched the Internet,” writes L. Gordon Crovitz in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, launching into just one of a myriad of problems with his short opinion piece. While he concedes that the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program funded the creation of the ARPAnet, the first large-scale packet-switched network, he argues that the government doesn’t deserve credit for the creation of the Internet.

07.25 – No credit for Uncle Sam in creating Net? Vint Cerf disagrees – Vint Cerf is one of the privileged few computer scientists who can claim to have helped change the course of history. His pioneering work with Robert Kahn led to the development of the TCP/IP networking protocols, which would underpin the Internet. Both Kahn, who at the time was on the payroll of the Defense Department, and Cerf received government funding for their research. Ditto for much of the collaborative work undertaken by Cerf and the other now-legendary names involved in creating the myriad integuments of the Internet.

Leveson Inquiry

07.23 – New Ethics Code, Regulation Group Proposed at UK Leveson Inquiry – A group called the Media Regulation Roundtable’s proposed “Code of Ethics and Responsibility” and media regulation body were discussed at the UK Leveson Inquiry into press standards and practices, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

07.24 – Leveson Inquiry: Hearings to conclude after eight months– The inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice was prompted by the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Over eight months, 650 witnesses testified in person or in writing, generating 6,000 pages of evidence.


07.27 – In Syrian Conflict, Both Sides Vie To Control Message – In Derat Azza, it’s not just about how the world perceives the rebel movement. It’s about how its own people perceive it. The more the people in these towns think the rebels are their only hope, the more they are likely to support the rebels.

Chinese-African Relationship

07.24 – Media key to Sino-Africa ties: Chinese official– media is an important avenue in the promotion of friendship between Chinese and Africa people, a Chinese government official said on Monday. That is the reason Chinese media firms with global reach have established their operations in Africa, said Chinese Embassy in Nairobi Counselor Yan Xiusheng told journalists.

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