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  • Nebraska Legislative Bill 948 | mediacoalition
    not need to be one on one repetitive or unwanted There is no requirement that the recipient or the subject of the speech actually feel offended annoyed or afraid It is unclear if the communication must be intended to offend or annoy a specific person or if a general intent to do so is sufficient The bill also applies to a wide range of communication online from chatrooms and social networking websites to listservs and blogs There are numerous recent examples of speech that was intended to be provocative and would be criminal under this bill When a Danish newspaper posted pictures of Muhammad they were intended to be offensive to Muslims to make a point about religion Such an act would be criminal if a Muslim in Nebraska saw the photos online and considered them profane Some residents may consider Rush Limbaugh s recent comments about a Georgetown law student lewd Similarly much general content available in the media uses racy or profane language and is intended to offend annoy or even terrify Bill Maher s stand up routines and Jon Stewart s nightly program Ann Coulter s books discussing liberals and Christopher Hitchens writing expressing his distaste for religion Stephen King s novels or the Halloween films all could be subject to this legislation Even common banter online about sports between rival fans frequently is meant to offend or annoy and is often done using profane language In certain narrow well defined instances speech may rise to the level of coercion threats intimidation or persistent harassment and may amount to a crime But this bill does not define many of its terms adequately to distinguish between protected speech and the traditional narrow crime of harassment The vagueness in the legislation will have a significant chilling effect on protected

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/nebraska-lb948/ (2016-04-24)
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  • New Hampshire House Bill 110 | mediacoalition
    greatly inhibit the ability to conduct investigative reporting or filmmaking Book authors and documentary filmmakers often needs months or years to properly report a story They will not be able to cultivate sources if they cannot provide assurance that the source and the information they provided will not be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours This problem is exacerbated by the fact that New Hampshire has no law granting journalists a right to shield their sources The bill further undermines the work of authors writers and filmmakers by making them agents of law enforcement It drafts journalists into service as the eyes and ears of the police required to report an act of animal cruelty or risk criminal prosecution It is anathema to investigative journalists authors and documentary filmmakers to be considered an agent of law enforcement and it makes it impossible for them to do important in depth storytelling History On January 3 2013 the bill was introduced 3 and referred to the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture The committee held a hearing on the bill on January 15 2013 but took no action on the bill On November 1 2013 Media Coalition submitted a memo 2

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/new-hampshire-hb110/ (2016-04-24)
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  • New Hampshire House Bill 1144 | mediacoalition
    The study shall include a review of the information included in arrest records and information currently available online relative to the disposition of cases Status Gov Maggie Hassan signed the amended bill into law It goes into effect immediately Analysis This legislation would allow O J Simpson to request any website to take down any personal information or images published of him since he was acquitted in the death of his wife Similarly Lee Harvey Oswald s estate could ask that such information about him be removed from websites since law enforcement did not pursue his prosecution after he was killed in police custody Personal information and images of Simpson or Oswald could be published in a book or be included in a documentary movie but would have to be removed from a website about that book or movie Privacy is an important right but the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not a sufficiently compelling interest to overcome the right of free speech In addition this law would not serve the stated interest in the privacy of the person not convicted of a crime because it only limits publication on the Internet A person s name personal information or images can still be published in other media History The bill was introduced 2 on January 8 2014 and referred to House Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs The committee held a hearing on the bill on January 14 2014 On January 28 2014 Media Coalition sent a legal memo 1 to the members of the committee explaining the constitutional issues with the bill On January 30 2014 the House Committee on Commerce and Consumer Affairs amended 3 the bill to instead create a study committee The committee recommended the bill be passed The House passed the bill as

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/new-hampshire-hb1144/ (2016-04-24)
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  • North Carolina Senate Bill 744 | mediacoalition
    to an arrest or other involvement in the criminal justice system Personal identifying information including a person s name address date of birth photograph or certain other data The bill was amended to remove this section entirely Status Gov Pat McCrory signed the amended bill into law The law does not include any language about removal of arrest information Analysis The legislation gives control of the editorial decisions of newspapers book publishers websites and other media to people who have been arrested but not convicted It would allow O J Simpson or his agent to request any website to take down descriptions of the long police chase of him in his white Bronco that led to his arrest since he was acquitted in the death of his wife Similarly Lee Harvey Oswald s estate could ask that information about him be removed from websites since law enforcement did not pursue his prosecution after he was killed in police custody The bill limits the publication of a wide variety of information about the arrest Determining which of this information should be published are core reporting and editing activities reserved to the publisher The state cannot instruct a publisher to remove or retract this information History The bill was introduced 2 on May 14 2014 and referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations The committee recommended the bill be passed with amendments which includes the provision about arrest information The Senate passed the bill on May 31 2014 The bill was sent to the House and referred to the House Committee on Appropriations The bill was re referred to the House Committee on Finance On June 9 2014 Media Coalition submitted a memo in opposition 1 to the members of the committee explaining our constitutional concerns with the bill The committee recommended

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/north-carolina-sb744/ (2016-04-24)
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  • North Dakota Senate Bill 2357 | mediacoalition
    criminalize the publication or distribution of important newsworthy historic and educational images The photos of Anthony Weiner and other newsworthy images include nudity were distributed without consent and may have resulted in emotional or other harm Even though there is an exception to First Amendment protection for images that are obscene this bill criminalizes material beyond that The legislature may have a compelling interest in protecting individuals from being harassed or tormented but this bill is not narrowly tailored to meet that interest It is not limited to malicious invasion of privacy The person in the image does not have to be identifiable and there is no requirement that the person distributing the photo do so with an intent to harass threaten or torment the person depicted The bill is also likely unconstitutional because it does not define emotional distress or harm History On January 26 2015 the bill was introduced 2 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary The Senate Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on the bill on February 3 2015 and recommended that the bill be passed The North Dakota Senate passed the bill on February 13 2015 and sent it to the House for

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/north-dakota-sb2357/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Ohio House Bill 74 | mediacoalition
    speech protected by the First Amendment This legislation fails to adequately distinguish between constitutionally protected speech whether it is intended to cause emotional distress or it is merely a result and bullying that amounts to harassment or a threat Speech that causes emotional distress is common in discussion of important matters and everyday communication The woman who released the risqué pictures of Anthony Weiner admitted she did it to damage his campaign for mayor of New York City The publication of pictures of Muhammad by a Danish news website was done intentionally to provoke Muslims During the debate over the Affordable Care Act Rush Limbaugh made comments about a Georgetown law student that were very critical of her looks and her personal ethics In Snyder v Phelps the Supreme Court rejected a civil ruling imposing liability for intentional infliction of emotional distress A Maryland trial court had found the defendant liable for damages to the father of a deceased serviceman for outrageous and upsetting speech in the vicinity of the private military funeral This case was a civil tort case and the Court is likely to be more skeptical of a criminal law that would impose a prison sentence for similar speech The Supreme Court is currently considering Elonis v United States which is expected to give further guidance on the distinctions between protected communication and speech that rises to the level of threat or harassment and is unprotected by the First Amendment Actions On February 20 2013 the bill was introduced 2 and referred to the House Committee on Judiciary The committee amended 3 the bill to further broaden the class of people who can suffer mental injury from immediate family members to members of a person s household The committee recommended the bill be passed as amended on

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/ohio-hb74/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Ohio House Bill 414 | mediacoalition
    Government may criminalize speech that rises to the level of harassment or intimidation but this legislation substantially lowers the bar as to what can be deemed an injury and the definition of the injury is more amorphous The injury can be sustained by a person to whom the communication was not directed There is no requirement that the recipient or subject of the speech actually feel offended annoyed or scared Speech protected by the First Amendment often causes emotional distress to the subject or to his or her family Rush Limbaugh s recent comments about a Georgetown law student may have caused her emotional distress Similarly a news story revealing a politician s philandering will very likely cause emotional distress to his or her spouse or children There is no historic exception to First Amendment protection for speech simply because it annoys offends or even causes emotional distress In three recent cases the Supreme Court has emphasized that it is reluctant if not unwilling to expand the categories of unprotected speech to include different kinds of offensive or distasteful communication beyond the historic exceptions To the extent that harassment can be considered an existing category of unprotected speech the bill is still unconstitutionally vague In certain narrow well defined instances speech may rise to the level of coercion threats intimidation or persistent harassment and may amount to a crime But this bill does not define emotional distress adequately to distinguish between protected speech and the traditional narrow crime of harassment This vagueness in the legislation will have a significant chilling effect on protected speech Speakers have little guidance to determine what speech is protected and what is subject to prosecution and must either risk a criminal prosecution or self censor their speech History On January 11 2012 the bill was

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/ohio-hb414/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Rhode Island House Bill 5770 and Senate Bills 625 and 630 | mediacoalition
    be identifiable As a result the legislation makes no distinction between a hacker who releases private photos and a publisher who prints images of torture at Abu Ghraib prison H B 5770 and S B 630 include a provision that re publishers are not liable unless they have actual knowledge that the picture was initially disseminated illegally But since the crime for initial publications includes anyone who receives the image and subsequently disseminates it anyone who republishes the image could still be prosecuted as an original publisher of the image History H B 5770 The bill was introduced 2 on February 26 2015 and referred to the House Committee on Judiciary The House Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on the bill on March 11 2015 The Committee recommended the bill be held for further study The House Committee on Judiciary held a second hearing on the bill on March 17 2015 The Committee recommended the bill be passed Media Coalition submitted a memo in opposition 1 to H B 5770 and its companion bills on March 27 2015 On April 7 2015 the House voted to re refer the bill to the House Committee on Judiciary so it can be considered with its companion bill S B 630 The Rhode Island legislature adjourned its 2015 session It does not carry over bills to 2016 so the bills are dead History S B 625 The bill was introduced 3 on March 5 2015 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary The Senate Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on the bill on March 24 2015 The Committee recommended the bill be held for further study Media Coalition submitted a memo in opposition 1 to S B 625 and its companion bills on March 27 2015 The Rhode Island legislature

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/rhode-island-hb5770-sb625-sb630/ (2016-04-24)
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