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 »
Federal judge hears arguments over Pa. prior restraint law
On March 30, U.S. District Chief Judge Christopher Conner heard arguments in Prison Legal News v. Kane, a legal challenge to a Pennsylvania law that allows victims to sue convicted offenders for speech that perpetuates “mental anguish.”
The American Booksellers for Free Expression and the Freedom to Read Foundation signed an amicus brief arguing that the law violates the First Amendment rights of media.
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.
- DC Circuit Court rules that anti-SLAPP law doesn’t apply to lawsuits brought in federal court. http://t.co/GML9PzTzlx
- ICYMI: Minnesota bans on-camera interviews with prisoners, due to “general concern about well-being of victims.” http://t.co/G6HMyQbWwW
- Paul Sassone: Threatening to withhold tax break for “Chiraq” because of title is a slippery slope. http://t.co/axEWGKbkH3
Indiana S.B. 313: Governor asked to veto bill
We sent a letter to Gov. Mike Pence on April 16 asking him to veto Indiana Senate Bill 313 and send it back to the legislature so they can address the constitutional issues with the underlying law. The bill would broaden Indiana’s statute criminalizing sexually explicit depictions of minors.
The existing law, however, is overbroad. It applies to written descriptions and drawings of minors, as well as images of adults who appear to be minors. Our letter explains that the law criminalizes a wide variety of mainstream material: young adult novels like Judy Blume books, art books that contain paintings or drawings with sexual themes, sexual education materials, and movies such as Romeo and Juliet, American Beauty and Animal House.
California S.B. 676: Bill would criminalize certain news reporting
We submitted a memo in opposition to California Senate Bill 676, which would make it a crime to publish the name, address or other personal information “associated” with a nude or sexually explicit image distributed without consent. The bill is not limited to malicious invasion of privacy, and it sweeps in publishers of artistic, historical and newsworthy information, as well as countless Internet users who innocently post information online. It could be used to prosecute journalists who identify Anthony Weiner as the sender of his intimate photos or any news website who publishes a story about the stolen photos of celebrities, even if the story does not include the actual photos.
Arkansas S.B. 79: Governor vetoes publicity rights bill
Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed Arkansas Senate Bill 79, which would create a right of publicity in a person’s name, voice, signature, image or likeness. Artistic use is exempted from the right only if it is protected by the First Amendment. We, along with several of our members, submitted letters asking for the veto, because the caveat in the artistic use exemption left media organizations vulnerable to costly and prolonged litigation. The threat of lawsuits could lead to self-censorship by producers and distributors of biographies, histories, documentaries and other important social commentary.
Recent Legislation Updates
April 22, 2015: Hearing scheduled for the bill on the House Committee on Judiciary.
The bill would bar distribution of a nude or sexually explicit image without consent if the person knows or should have known the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
April 21, 2015: The House Committee on Business and Industry held a hearing on the bill. The bill was left pending in committee after the hearing.
The bill would bar the publication of any image on the Internet if the person in the image did not consent to its capture and publication. There is an exception for “bona fide member of the news media,” but this term is undefined.
April 21, 2015: The bill is referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.
The bill would require websites to remove arrest information upon request. The bill was amended to include an exception for media organizations.
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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.