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  • South Carolina Senate Bill 255 | mediacoalition
    legislation asks publishers to erase or alter history by scrubbing their published stories Important historical events would be rewritten if a law such as this was in place There are also many reasons this violates the First Amendment It likely fails the strict scrutiny test The Supreme Court has held that all speech is presumptively protected by the First Amendment against content based regulation subject only to specific historical exceptions Arrest information does not fit one of these historic exceptions to the First Amendment Any content based regulation that does not fit into a historic exception to the First Amendment must satisfy strict constitutional scrutiny The legislation fails the first part of the strict scrutiny test because privacy is not a sufficiently compelling interest to overcome First Amendment protection It fails the second part of the test because the legislation does not serve the stated interest in protecting the privacy of the person to which the arrest information refers because it only limits publication online Punishing a single media is likely unconstitutional The differential treatment of online publishers is likely unconstitutional The Supreme Court has allowed media to be treated differently in some contexts but not where the different treatment is based on the content of the speech History The bill was introduced 2 on January 13 2015 It was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary On February 16 2015 Media Coalition submitted a legal memo 1 explaining the constitutional issues with the bill On February 17 2015 the Senate Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on the bill On March 25 2015 the bill was amended 3 to include an exception for media organizations The Senate Committee on Judiciary recommended the amended bill be passed The Senate passed the amended bill on April 16 2015 and sent it

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/south-carolina-sb255/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Texas House Bills 101 and 603 | mediacoalition
    for speech that someone may find offensive or upsetting They likely fail strict scrutiny analysis Because the legislation is a content based restriction that does not fall into one of the exceptions it must satisfy the strict scrutiny test which requires the government to Articulate a legitimate and compelling state interest Prove that the restriction actually serves that interest and is necessary to do so Show that the restriction is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest It is unlikely that the legislation meets any part of this test History H B 101 The bill was pre filed 2 on November 10 2014 It was referred to the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence On March 10 2015 Media Coalition submitted a legal memo 1 explaining the constitutional issues with the bill The House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence held a hearing on the bill on March 12 2015 The Committee held the bill from consideration History H B 603 The bill was introduced 3 on January 6 2015 It was referred to the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence On March 10 2015 Media Coalition submitted a legal memo 1 explaining the constitutional issues with the bill The House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence held a hearing on the bill on March 12 2015 The Committee held the bill from consideration On April 16 2015 the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence reconsidered the bill It recommended the bill be passed The House amended 4 the bill to include a requirement that the dissemination be done with an intent to harass abuse or torment the person depicted The House passed the bill on May 14 2015 and sent it to the Senate for consideration It was referred to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice On May 24 2015 the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice amended

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/texas-hb101-hb603/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Texas Senate Bill 1135 | mediacoalition
    harm makes the bill unconstitutionally vague It is an essential element of the crime but the use of the word harm without any qualifying adjectives means a publisher has no guidance on whether the law applies to any negative emotional response or more serious emotional or physical injury It also lacks a knowledge standard A person can be prosecuted without having any knowledge that he or she has violated any elements of the crime let alone all of them A person is liable if he or she publishes a nude image without knowing he or she lacked consent or even believing there was consent because the image was previously published without any knowledge that the picture was created under circumstances that the person depicted has a reasonable expectation of privacy or that the publication caused harm and without knowing who the person in the picture is The problem of the absence of a knowledge standard is compounded because the law allows a publisher to be prosecuted for the actions taken by another person Under this bill a person can innocently repost a picture without any idea who the person is in the image or the circumstances of the creation of the image If a third party identifies the person in the image the re poster becomes liable for prosecution Alternatively a news site can be prosecuted for publishing a newsworthy image of a prominent figure engaged in sexual conduct with someone who is not his or her spouse if a third party outs the other person in the image The news site would violate the law even if it had obscured the identity of the second person in the image to protect his or her identity History The bill was introduced 2 on March 10 2015 and referred to the

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/texas-sb1135/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Texas Senate Bill 1512 | mediacoalition
    defined as A play book article musical composition audiovisual work radio or television program work of art or work of political educational or newsworthy value Work of news information current events or other matters of public interest or concern or An advertisement or commercial announcement of the work described above Status The bill was amended to exempt expressive works Gov Rick Perry signed the amended bill into law It goes into effect September 1 2013 Analysis The bill s definition of news media would exclude book authors or publishers documentary filmmakers cable news shows online publishers who publish frequently but not at regular intervals and trade journals or other publications that do not appeal to the general interest It treats various media differently by allowing access to the image to some segments of the media but not others This in essence is a punishment for book authors or filmmakers The Supreme Court has condemned the selective imposition of a penalty imposed on one medium but not others or specific portions of media but not others The bill offers no rationale for providing access to the pictures to reporters or broadcasters but denying it to other members of the media If the legislation is motivated by an intent to protect the privacy of the survivors of those depicted in the crime photo it does not serve that rationale when the photos are otherwise available to newspapers and broadcasters History On March 8 2013 the bill was introduced 2 and referred to the Senate Committee on Open Government The committee held a hearing on the bill on April 15 2013 Media Coalition submitted a memo in opposition 1 to the members of the committee on April 19 2013 The memo explained the constitutional issues with the bill On April 23 2013 the

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/texas-sb1512/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Vermont House Bill 105 | mediacoalition
    a reasonable person to suffer harm There is an exception for disclosures of materials that constitute a matter of public concern Status Gov Peter Shumlin signed the amended bill into law It goes into effect July 1 2015 Analysis The bill would apply to artistic historical and newsworthy images both in print and online It makes no distinction between a hacker who releases private photos and a publisher who prints images of torture at Abu Ghraib prison It sweeps in not just malicious invaders of privacy but also countless Internet users who innocently report online images The Supreme Court has held that speech cannot be criminalized because we believe it is low value and offensive embarrassing or hurtful In recent cases the Court repeatedly declined to create new categories of unprotected speech even for speech that many find offensive or upsetting History The bill was introduced 2 on February 3 2015 and referred to the House Committee on Judiciary The Committee recommended the bill be passed The House passed 3 the bill on March 18 2015 and sent to the Senate for consideration It was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary On April 2 2015 Media Coalition sent a legal memo 1 to the members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary explaining the constitutional issues with the bill The Senate Committee on Judiciary amended 4 the bill to include the intent requirement among other narrowing provisions The Committee recommended the bill be passed On April 23 2015 the Senate passed the amended bill The House concurred with the Senate s amendments and proposed minor changes to the bill The House sent the bill back to the Senate with their minor changes The Senate concurred with the House s changes The bill was enrolled 5 on May 7 2015 The

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/vermont-hb105/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Wisconsin Assembly Bill 462 and Senate Bill 367 | mediacoalition
    intended to offend annoy or embarrass Though sexual speech that is deemed obscene is outside of First Amendment protection that classification is limited to speech that meets the Miller test This legislation applies to a much broader range of material than the Miller test The legislation is also likely a violation of the Commerce Clause because it gives Wisconsin jurisdiction over any image posted on the Internet There is no way for a publisher to prevent an image from being accessed in Wisconsin These bills are not saved by creating an exception for images that are newsworthy or of interest to the public That exception is predicated on some images having greater value than others and the Supreme Court has dismissed the notion that speech may be subjected to a test balancing the value of the speech against societal costs History A B 462 On October 22 2013 the bill was introduced 3 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice The committee held a hearing on the bill on October 24 2013 and recommended the bill be passed On November 12 2013 the bill was amended to add an exception for newsworthy images or images of public importance The House passed the bill as amended and sent it to the Senate for consideration The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor On December 2 2013 Media Coalition submitted a memo 1 to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor explaining the constitutional issues with the bill The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor recommended that the Senate version of the bill S B 367 be passed in place of A B 462 History S B 367 On October 24 2013 the bill was introduced 4 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/wisconsin-ab462-sb367/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Wisconsin Senate Bill 184 | mediacoalition
    repetitive or even unwanted There is no requirement that the recipient or subject of the speech actually feel offended annoyed or scared Nor does the legislation make clear that the communication must be intended to offend or annoy to reader the subject or even any specific person There is not even a requirement that any person has to actually view hear or read the communication There is no exception to the First Amendment for speech intended to offend annoy or scare someone A Danish newspaper posted pictures of Muhammad that were intended to be offensive to make a point about religious tolerance If a Muslim in Wisconsin considers the images profane and is offended the paper could be prosecuted Some Wisconsin residents may consider Rush Limbaugh s comments about a Georgetown law student lewd He could be prosecuted if he intended his comments to be offensive Similarly much general content available in the media uses racy or profane language and is intended to offend annoy or even terrify from Bill Maher s stand up and Jon Stewart s news comedy program to Ann Coulter s books criticizing liberals or Christopher Hitchens expressions of disdain for religion Even common taunting about sports between rival fans done online is frequently 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 amount to a crime This bill does not define many of its terms adequately to distinguish between protected speech and the traditional narrow crime of harassment A substantial amount of speech in the media could be subject to this legislation but speakers have little guidance to determine what speech is protected and what is subject to prosecution and must either

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/wisconsin-sb184/ (2016-04-24)
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  • New York Assembly Bill 11717 | mediacoalition
    the law and seek a fine if the retailer is in contempt The bill would also establish an Advisory Council on Interactive Media and Youth Violence to review content and ratings and report to the governor and legislature Analysis The labeling provision of the bill is unconstitutional compelled speech Voluntary ratings are provided by the video game industry as a tool for parents and retailers The government cannot endorse or compel the use of the rating systems by mandating that retailers post signage explaining the system The bill raises several other concerns It is unconstitutional for the bill to prohibit minors from accessing content in console games but not games accessed through other devices such as the Internet computer or handheld devices Also the provision requiring personal identification or password technology to block all or part of video games with certain content is vague on what parts of video games or what content must be subjected to the restriction Furthermore the manufacturer does not know what rating systems would be used under the law Finally it is unclear that the technology exists to allow password protections for only portions of video games Actions on the bill The bill 3 is

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/new-york-ab11717/ (2016-04-24)
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