Media Law Round Up 12/7

//CGCS Presents this week’s Media Law Round Up – a collection of stories that developed over the week dealing with International Media Law & Policy, Freedoms of Speech, Information and Expression, Censorship, Privacy and all things Web 2.0.

// To read the articles in full, simply click on the title to go to the original host’s page.

Creative Commons Celebrates 10 year anniversary

12/6 Celebrating 10 years of Creative Commons(via OpenSource.com)

Creative Commons is celebrating 10 years of helping artists, writers, technologist, and other creators share our knowledge and creativity with the world. We’ve been able to maximize our digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. For example, governments are using Creative Commons for their open data portals.

Earlier this year, the UC Santa Cruz library adopted a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license for all of its content. YouTube now has over 4 million videos available under Creative Commons, allowing everyone to remix and edit the videos.

12/7 10 Years of Creative Commons (via The H)

As part of the festivities, local groups are organizing events all over the world from 7 to 16 December. The organization behind Creative Commons was founded in 2001 and produced and published the first set of licenses in December of the following year. The organization was founded by, among others, law school professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig, with the goal of giving both creators and consumers of content more freedoms than are usually afforded under traditional copyright licenses.

New Argentinian Media Law redistributes broadcast licenses, stirs free speech controversy for independent voices on both sides

Media conglomerate Grupo Clarin of Argentina was set to sell off assets and broadcasting silences by this week, facing anti-trust legislation. Current Argentinian president, Cristina Kirchner gave the company a limited window of time to sell off assets “such as it’s cable-television unit” in order to comply with a 2009 media law reform. “The idea of the 2009 reform was to decentralize the media industry and empower a constellation of new voices to come forward with a plurality of views,” writes the TimesUnion, “Unfortunately, the president’s obsession with Clarin has overwhelmed efforts to foster this diversity, said Martin Becerra, a communications professor at the National University of Quilmes, outside the capital.”

Clarin fought back this week, challenging the ’09 law’s constitutionality.The deadline for Clarin to present an argument passed today, and the media are reacting to Clarin’s predicament. Had Clarin been held responsible for liquidating assets, it would be forced to downsize from a reported but disputed count of 238 licenses overall to just 24 cable systems, 10 television stations nationwide and a total of 3 radio stations. Further restrictions of the ’09 law provide that individual cable networks were limited to a reach of 35% of the population. Additionally, foreign investors could own no more than 30% of a broadcasting company.

As a decision was made, Argentinian movers and shakers aim to bring Clarin back into questioning, with Cabinet Chief Abal Medina saying that as early as December 9th, “people will celebrate with joy 29 years of democracy and progress on human rights and social inclusion policies.””

12/4 Argentina prepares to auction Clarin assets (via TotalTele.com)

By dismantling Clarin, critics say the government would put free speech at risk because Clarin is one of Argentina’s few remaining independent multimedia companies that does not depend on government advertising to subsist.

Mr. Sabbatella, [head of the agency created to enforce the law] denied this and said the media law aims to guarantee that more voices are heard.

“There is no risk to free speech,” he said.

12/5 Argentina tries to enforce anti-media monopoly law (via TimesUnion.com)

Journalists in Buenos Aires say the collateral damage [of the recent media law] is painfully evident: The quality of news coverage has declined, media credibility is abysmal and democracy itself is therefore endangered, with any efforts to hold officials accountable dismissed as low blows across the partisan divide.

Between the government and Argentina’s leading papers, they’re destroying journalism,” said Roberto Guareschi, a former Clarin editor and professor at University of California at Berkeley who now edits Project Syndicate, which publishes opinion pieces internationally.

… [the president has] spent millions of dollars assuring the loyalty of pro-government newspapers and broadcast stations by showering them with lucrative government announcements — the same official advertising Clarin once benefited from when it was aligned with previous governments. With both sides “playing the victim,” the goal of media reform has been forgotten, Becerra said.

12/5 Argentina: Cablevision partner wants Clarin sale (via Huffington Post)

Argentina’s government has found an ally in its campaign to force its leading media opponent, Grupo Clarin, to comply with the nation’s law against media monopolies.Broadcast media regulator Martin Sabbattella said Wednesday that Clarin’s minority partner in its Cablevision TV network wants the media company to sell off its controlling stake and thus comply with the law.Sabbatella said a proposal from Fintech Advisory Inc., a New York-based investment fund that owns 40 percent of Cablevision, arrived at his offices Wednesday, ahead of a Friday deadline for media companies whose properties exceed the law’s limits to present their divestment plans.

12/5 Showdown over Argetina’s new media law looms (via Christian Science Monitor)

“There’s no freedom of expression without an independent press,” said Héctor Magnetto, Clarín’s CEO. “If one is weakened, both could be at risk.”

No one media group can control more than 35 percent of the market, while not-for-profit organizations will see their share increased to around a third.“We also have the right to be heard,” says Armando Kispe, a presenter at Radio Pachakuti, a station founded last year for the indigenous communities of Jujuy in northern Argentina. “It would have been very difficult to have established the radio without the law,” Mr. Kispe says, noting it does not rely on public advertising.

12/7 Media Firm Wins Reprieve(via New York Times)

Clarín, publisher of one of the most widely circulated newspapers in the Spanish-speaking world, is exempt from the regulations set to take effect on Friday until a federal court has issued a decision in the company’s lawsuit that argues the law is unconstitutional, the court said.

12/7 Gov’t: “Argentina has just went through a week of judiciary disgrace” (via Buenos Aires Herald)

“Once more [Clarin wants] to prevent Argentines from building a plural country, but as we are getting used to these reactions which seek to keep privileges for a few, we will keep on working for the laws to be upheld,” [Cabinet Chief Abal Medina] added.

He went on to say “the people, their representatives, labour unions, social organizations and media groups have shown support and have observed the media law. Only Magnetto and some members of the judiciary associated with Clarín and some conservative sectors of the society are opposing it.”

Citing recent privacy cases, Leveson response to critiques is reserved.

Thursday of last week saw the arrival of the long awaited Leveson Inquiry into media and press practices. His report, which spans some 2,000 pages, received criticism for only briefly mentioning the impact and reach of the new and social media. A week after the report was released, Leveson addressed an audience in Sydney, Australia citing recent violations of privacy online and off – from a prank call “by Australian radio presenters who got a condition report from the Duchess of Cambridge’s nurse by pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles” to “recent holiday in France of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when topless photographs of the duchess were published.”

12/7 Leveson highlights internet in Sydney speech (via ABC Australia)

Just a week after handing down his report into British press standards. Lord Justice Leveson is in Australia talking about privacy and the internet. Today he addressed a $950-a-head symposium in Sydney, that the media were not allowed to record… he focused on the potential pitfalls of social media and the need for new laws to protect people’s privacy in the age of the internet.

12/6 Leveson watches UK developments ‘with interest’ from Australia (via the Guardian.co.uk)

Leveson said [the inquiry] highlighted the difference between the established media and the internet. “The established media broadly conforms to the law and, when they do not, they are potentially liable under the law. In so far as the internet is concerned, there has been, and for many, there remains a perception that actions do not have legal consequences,” he said.

“Bloggers rejoice in placing their servers outside the jurisdiction where different laws apply.”

12/7 Lord Leveson wants laws to tackle ‘trial by Twitter’  (via Digital Spy)

Newspaper editors met on Thursday (December 6) to implement his “broad proposals” for self-regulation, although without new laws as the judge had recommended. They have promised to report back to the government “very shortly” on how to implement the Leveson plan.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who opposes the introduction of new laws for the press, has urged the editors to take swift and decisive action to show why legislation is not required.

12/7 Lord Justice Leveson calls for new laws to curb ‘mob rule’ on the internet (via The Telegraph.co.uk)

“I treat the report as a judgment and judges simply do not enter into discussion about judgments they have given. They do not respond to comment, however misconceived, neither do they seek to correct error.

12/7 Judge’s broadside at Twitter and Google as he calls for end of web ‘mob rule’ (via DailyMail.co.uk)

These laws are necessary on the internet to safeguard privacy against ‘an element of mob rule’ online, he said.

“Twitter and Google are American companies and will never agree to regulate their content, and would likely use the U.S. first amendment of its constitution – which blocks any laws that curb freedom of speech.”

…he also cited the case of Lord McAlpine, who was wrongly branded a pedophile after a botched Newsnight report, and said the web had become a ‘global megaphone for gossip’ without ‘any general standards of behavior’.

 

 

 

Featured Photo Credit: Natacha Pisarenko / AP

 

 

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