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  • Maine Legislative Document 679 | mediacoalition
    be low value and offensive embarrassing or hurtful The Supreme Court has not indicated any willingness to create a new category of speech outside of First Amendment protection for speech that many find offensive or upsetting In addition the bill is substantially overbroad It applies to artistic historical and newsworthy images both in print and online As a result it criminalizes speech that lies at the very core of the First Amendment s protections 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 those acting with an intent to torment or harass a former intimate partner but also countless Internet users who innocently repost online images The bill s overbreadth is compounded by making it a crime to disseminate the image if the person should have known that he or she lacked consent from the person depicted This is a negligence standard and the First Amendment prohibits the use of negligence based standards in regulating speech History The bill was introduced 2 on March 3 2015 and referred to the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety On May 28 2015

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/maine-ld679/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Maryland House Bill 744 | mediacoalition
    any speakers in this manner The bill likely fails the strict scrutiny test The first part of the strict scrutiny test is that the government must articulate a legitimate and compelling state interest Though privacy is an important right the Supreme Court has held that it is not a sufficiently compelling interest to overcome the First Amendment right to free speech The bill also does not serve the stated interest in protecting the privacy of the person in the photo The photo can still be published in other media other than the Internet and the details of the arrest can still be published online Punishing a single media is likely unconstitutional In addition to failing the strict scrutiny test the legislation treats photos published on the Internet differently from ones published in other media 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 It violates the Commerce Clause Furthermore the Supreme Court has struck down laws that apply content restrictions on the Internet because it violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution History The bill was introduced 2 on February 13 2015 It was referred to the House Committee on Economic Matters On February 24 2015 Media Coalition submitted a legal memo 1 explaining the constitutional issues with the bill The House Committee on Economic Matters held a hearing on the bill on March 4 2015 The Committee took no action on the bill On March 19 2015 the bill was amended 3 to limit its application to websites that charge a fee to remove arrest photographs The House Committee on Economic Matters recommended the amended bill be passed The Maryland House passed the amended bill on March 20 2015 The bill

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/maryland-hb744/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Massachusetts House Bill 1399 | mediacoalition
    After all claims are paid the state is entitled to keep 50 percent of the balance of the bond for the victim compensation fund The other half is to be returned to the contracting party A defendant is defined as anyone charged with or convicted of a crime or has voluntarily admitted to having committed the crime Failure to do so is subject to a civil penalty equal to the value of the contract If the failure is willful it is subject to a civil fine of up to three times the value of the contract Status The bill is in the Joint Committee on Judiciary Analysis This bill is very similar to Massachusetts Senate Bill 1939 introduced in 1991 after the U S Supreme Court struck down New York s Son of Sam law In 2001 the Senate asked the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to give an advisory opinion on whether S B 1939 violated the First Amendment In a 2002 the court said yes finding that it is an impermissible content based restriction on speech because it fails the strict scrutiny analysis The court found that the bill is overbroad and not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest It was significantly overinclusive because it was not limited to only those who have been convicted of a crime The court also found there was a substantial chilling effect on certain speech because the legislation creates a financial disincentive to speaking on both the author and the publisher The key provisions of H B 1399 are substantively the same as S B 1939 There are no elements of H B 1399 that would alter the analysis of the court History On January 20 2015 the bill was introduced 3 and referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/massachusetts-hb1399/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Massachusetts House Bill 1513 | mediacoalition
    may be taken up again next year Analysis The bill is a content based restriction so it must satisfy the strict scrutiny test It is likely that it fails that test Images disclosed without the consent of the person depicted do not fit any of the categorical exceptions to the First Amendment so the legislation must satisfy strict constitutional scrutiny It is unlikely that this bill meets the strict scrutiny test It is unlikely that there is a compelling state interest to satisfy the broad reach of this bill Privacy is an important right but the Supreme Court has held that by itself it is not a sufficiently compelling interest for a content based restriction to overcome the First Amendment Offensiveness or embarrassment whether to a group or an individual is also not sufficient to overcome the First Amendment even if the speech is a photograph The Supreme Court has often held that the First Amendment protects speech even if it is intended to offend Even if the legislation is found to address a compelling state interest it is not narrowly drawn to meet that interest The bill is not limited to the malicious invasion of privacy so it would apply to artistic historical and newsworthy images both in print and online Exception for images in some instances compounds First Amendment deficiency The insertion of an exception for dissemination of images for a bona fide and lawful public purpose does not cure the legislation s constitutional infirmities This suggests that some speech is less valuable than others and thus gets less protection from the First Amendment but the Supreme Court has held the opposite History The bill was introduced 2 on January 20 2015 and referred to the Committee on Judiciary On December 1 2015 the committee held a hearing

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/massachusetts-hb1513/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Michigan Senate Bill 508 | mediacoalition
    so the bill may be taken up again next year Analysis The bill is a content based restriction so it must satisfy the strict scrutiny test It is likely that it fails that test Images disclosed without the consent of the person depicted do not fit any of the categorical exceptions to the First Amendment so the legislation must satisfy strict constitutional scrutiny It is unlikely that this bill meets the strict scrutiny test 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 compelling state interest The bill is not limited to criminalizing malicious invasion of privacy There is no requirement that the person who distributes the image do so with an intent to harass threaten coerce stalk or otherwise torment the person depicted Nor is there any requirement that the person depicted suffer any harm Without both of these elements the legislation goes far beyond its compelling state interest and criminalizes a substantial amount of First Amendment protected speech Exception for images in some instances compounds First Amendment deficiency The insertion of a vague exception to liability for dissemination of images for certain types of speech and certain media does not cure the constitutional defects rather it makes it more likely that the bill is unconstitutional The exception is a second content based evaluation on images that are already subject to a content based evaluation Also the First Amendment precludes the government from making value judgments to criminalize certain images but exempt them in some media or a specific context History The bill was introduced 2 on September 24 2015 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary On November 9 2015 Media Coalition submitted a legal memo 1 to the committee explaining

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/michigan-sb508/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Minnesota House Bill 1940 | mediacoalition
    be located in the state It is companion to S B 1863 Status The bill is dead as a standalone bill Analysis Arrest photo legislation allows O J Simpson or Lee Harvey Oswald s estate to request any website to take down any personal information or images about them States cannot impose control over the editorial content of publishers and this legislation does so by requiring publishers to limit information associated with an arrest photo to the person s first name last initial and the crime charged The bill does not fit into one of the historic exceptions to the First Amendment so it must satisfy strict constitutional scrutiny The first part of the test requires the government to articulate a legitimate and compelling state interest Though privacy is an important right the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not sufficient to overcome the right of free speech The second part of the test requires the government to prove that the speech restriction serves that interest But an arrest photo cannot be removed from a book or documentary film so the legislation is intended to apply to only online publication The bill then fails to accomplish the state interest in preserving privacy because the same information could still be published in other medium or with another picture The legislation does not require that the person requesting that the information be removed live in Minnesota nor does the website subject to the removal request need to be located in the state This violates the Commerce Clause because it gives Minnesota power over publishers in other states History The bill was introduced 2 on February 25 2014 and referred to the House Committee on Civil Law Media Coalition sent a letter 1 to Rep John Lesch Chairman of the House Committee

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/minnesota-hb1940/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Minnesota Senate Bill 1863 | mediacoalition
    the state must also file this information It is companion to H B 1940 Status The bill failed to pass out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by deadline It is dead as a standalone bill Analysis Arrest photo legislation allows O J Simpson or Lee Harvey Oswald s estate to request any website to take down any personal information or images about them States cannot impose control over the editorial content of publishers and this legislation does so by requiring publishers to limit information associated with an arrest photo to the person s first name last initial and the crime charged The bill does not fit into one of the historic exceptions to the First Amendment so it must satisfy strict constitutional scrutiny The first part of the test requires the government to articulate a legitimate and compelling state interest Though privacy is an important right the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not sufficient to overcome the right of free speech The second part of the test requires the government to prove that the speech restriction serves that interest But an arrest photo cannot be removed from a book or documentary film so the legislation is intended to apply to only online publication The bill then fails to accomplish the state interest in preserving privacy because the same information could still be published in other medium or with another picture The legislation does not require that the person requesting that the information be removed live in Minnesota nor does the website subject to the removal request need to be located in the state This violates the Commerce Clause because it gives Minnesota power over publishers in other states History The bill was introduced 2 on February 25 2014 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary On March

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/minnesota-sb1863/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Missouri House Bill 1665 | mediacoalition
    feature production for public informational entertainment or educational purposes Status Gov Jay Nixon signed the amended bill into law The bill is effective August 28 2014 Analysis Arrest photo legislation would allow O J Simpson to force any website to take down his arrest photo since he was acquitted in the death of his wife Images of Simpson could be published in a book or be included in a documentary movie but would have to be removed from a website about the book or movie It would also force online news sites to erase history A website can publish arrest photos from Justin Bieber s recent charge for driving while impaired but would have to erase it as if it did not happen if he enters a diversionary program the charges are dropped or he is acquitted Privacy is an important right but the bill would only apply to one medium and not another The same information can still be published in any media that is not a website This differential treatment of online publisher may also be unconstitutional History On January 29 2014 the bill is introduced 2 in the House and referred to the House Committee on General Laws Media Coalition submitted a memo in opposition 1 to the bill explaining the constitutional issues The House Committee on General Laws recommended the bill be passed The bill was referred to the House Committee on Rules The House Committee on Rules recommended the bill be passed On March 26 2014 the bill was amended 3 to include an exemption for news coverage and entertainment or educational productions The House passed the bill as amended and sent it to the Senate for consideration The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on General Laws The Senate Committee on General Laws

    Original URL path: http://mediacoalition.org/missouri-hb1665/ (2016-04-24)
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