Federal judge rules Pennsylvania’s prior restraint law is unconstitutional
On April 28, U.S. District Chief Judge Christopher Conner struck down Pennsylvania’s law allowing victims to sue convicted offenders for speech that perpetuates “mental anguish.”
Earlier this year, the American Booksellers for Free Expression and the Freedom to Read Foundation signed an amicus brief arguing that the law violates the First Amendment.
Read about the case »
Arizona legislature fails to pass amendment to non-consent photo law
The Arizona Senate adjourned its 2015 session before passing House Bill 2561, which would have amended the law challenged in Antigone Books v. Horne.
The lawsuit was put on hold after a court order issued at the request of both parties to give the legislature a chance to fix the law.
Read about the case »
Legislative Tracker 2015
Media Coalition tracks hundreds of legislation in Congress and all 50 states that may have First Amendment implications every year.
The Legislative Tracker includes up-to-the-minute updates of state and federal legislation, as well as Media Coalition’s summary of the legislation.
Bills we are currently tracking »
MEDIA COALITION is an association that defends the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of books, movies, magazines, recordings, home video, and video games, and defends the American public’s First Amendment right to have access to the broadest possible range of information, opinion and entertainment.
- 9th Circuit reverses decision ordering Google to take down film: http://t.co/TM1ATz6OIE
- Chicago Park District considers proposal to restrict drone use: http://t.co/YbQYcdAz5f
- Spike Lee responds to threats of censorship over film title “Chiraq.” http://t.co/UnwVQLyKDZ
Alabama S.B. 197: Governor signs publicity rights bill
Governor Robert Bentley signed the right of publicity bill that has a caveat for the exemption for expressive works, making the exemptions contingent on whether the use if protected by the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions.
Our letters explain that the amendment would threaten the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of biographies, histories, documentaries and other important social commentary. The caveat leaves these creators and distributors vulnerable to the threat of lengthy and costly lawsuits.
Indiana S.B. 313: Governor enacts bill expanding unconstitutional law
We sent a letter to Gov. Mike Pence requesting a veto of Senate Bill 313, which would expand Indiana’s law that criminalizes sexually explicit depictions of minors. Our letter explains that the current state law is overbroad because it applies to written descriptions of minors, adults portraying minors and drawings of minors. It could allow the prosecution of a wide variety of mainstream material, from coming-of-age books like Judy Blume novels, art books of paintings and drawings, sexual education materials and movies such as Romeo and Juliet, American Beauty or Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Louisiana H.B. 153: Bill would require websites to “ID” visitors
We submitted a memo in opposition to Louisiana House Bill 153. It would require websites that publish “harmful to minors” material to make each person visiting the website “acknowledge and attest to” being 18 years old prior to allowing access to the material. Our memo explains that the requirement forces each visitor to provide personal information, depriving them of their ability to browse a website anonymously. It also points out that the bill does not provide any guidance for websites on what it means to “acknowledge and attest to” their age and on what exact information they need to collect from each visitor and for long in order to avoid prosecution.
Recent Legislation Updates
May 20, 2015: The bill was reported in the Senate without the amendments that would require that the person who discloses the image has the intent to harass or cause emotional distress to the person depicted AND the person knew or should have known that the disclosure could harass or cause emotional distress.
The bill would bars the dissemination of an identifiable person nude or engaged in sexual activity without the consent of the person depicted.
May 20, 2015: The bill was amended on the House floor to remove the intent element of the nonconsensual distribution crime.
The bill would make it a crime to electronically disseminate an intimate image without the consent of the person depicted in the image, knowing that the other person did not want the photo disseminated, and if the person depicted suffers harm as a result of the dissemination.
May 20, 2015: The Assembly Committee on Appropriations recommended the bill be passed.
The bill would require any person, organization or company that enters into a contract with a person who has been convicted of a crime to report it to the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
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Media Coalition is the only organization whose sole mission is to protect the First Amendment rights of the media in Congress, state legislatures and the courts. Our members represent the majority of booksellers, publishers, librarians, film, recording and video game producers, and home video and video game retailers in the United States.