Media Law Final
The PROTECT IP Act is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to pass in 2010. A similar House version of the bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), was introduced on October 26, 2011. In the wake of online protests held on January 18, 2012, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that a vote on the bill would be postponed until issues raised about the bill were resolved.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.
Proponents of the legislation said it would protect the intellectual-property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and was necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign-owned and operated websites. Claiming flaws in present laws that do not cover foreign-owned and operated websites, and citing examples of active promotion of rogue websites by U.S. search engines, proponents asserted that stronger enforcement tools were needed. Opponents claimed that the proposed legislation threatened free speech and innovation, and enabled law enforcement to block access to entire internet domains due to infringing content posted on a single blog or webpage. They expressed concerns that SOPA would bypass the "safe harbor" protections from liability presently afforded to websites by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., 551 U.S. 449 (2007), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that issue ads may not be banned from the months preceding a primary or general election. Background In 2002, the Congress passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act ("McCain-Feingold" or "BCRA"), amending the Federal Election Campaign Act to further regulate money in public election campaigns.
McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), is a case in which the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), often referred to as the McCain–Feingold Act. It was partially overruled by Citizens United v. McConnell v. Federal Election Commission
Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which prohibited corporations from using treasury money to make independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates in elections, did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court upheld the restriction on corporate speech "Corporate wealth can unfairly influence elections," and the Michigan law still allowed the corporation to make such expenditures from a segregated fund. Background The Michigan Campaign Finance Act banned corporations from spending treasury money on "independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates in elections for state offices." Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Corporate personhood Corporate personhood is the legal concept that a corporation may be recognized as an individual in the eyes of the law. This doctrine forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution. For example, corporations may contract with other parties and sue or be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons. The doctrine does not hold that corporations are flesh and blood "people" apart from their shareholders, officers, and directors, nor does it grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens.
The decision overruled Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and partially overruled McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003). The Court, however, upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements (BCRA §201 and §311). The case did not involve the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties, which remain illegal in races for federal office.
Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. 394 (1886) was a matter brought before the United States Supreme Court – but not decided by the court – which dealt with taxation of railroad properties. A report issued by the Court Reporter claimed to state the sense of the Court – without a decision or written opinions published by or of the Court. This was the first time that the Supreme Court was reported to hold that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause granted constitutional protections to corporations as well as to natural persons, although numerous other cases, since Dartmouth College v. Woodward in 1819, have recognized that corporations were entitled to some of the protections of the Constitution.