Month: May 2014

In EU, anti-terrorism act runs afoul of privacy

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005, which required all telecommunications providers to retain telephone and Internet metadata, violated the privacy rights of individuals. The court, the European Union’s highest judicial body, sought to balance the act’s legitimate law enforcement and anti-terrorism purposes against the fundamental privacy rights of individuals; the judges said the act violated the principle of proportionality and was insufficiently circumscribed to ensure interference was limited to the strictly necessary. Digital Rights brought the issue to the High Court in 2006, challenging governmental efforts to require the retention of data in electronic communication, particularly as provided in the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005. That act requires providers of telephone communications services to retain traffic and location data for specified periods to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute crime and to safeguard state security. According to Arstechnica, Privacy International, a London-based nonprofit, argued, “this ruling demolishes communications data surveillance laws not just across Europe, but sets the precedent for the world.” In the United States, according to Bloomberg BNA, a coalition of privacy groups sent a letter to the White House urging the Obama administration to recognize the ECJ’s opinion, asserting it “bears directly on the White House’s review of the NSA Telephone Records Collection Program and also the White House study of Big Data and the Future of...

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‘Tango & Cash’ skirt miffed Texas teen’s suit

What’s in a name and a little cross-dressing? Well, neither may not be a successful source for litigation in Texas. A federal court in Austin has dismissed Gabriel Seale’s complaint against Warner Bros Entertainment, asserting that the studio’s Tango & Cash movie, specifically the character Gabriel Cash, defamed, libeled and slandered Seale because they share the same first name. (Thanks to opinion here.) Seale watched the cop-bro flick in 1990 with a group of friends, in Modesto, Calif., at age  16 and claimed his reputation was harmed. He says he was teased by friends because he shares the same first name as the protagonist Cash (Kurt Russell) who in the film dresses as a “woman with lipstick, a woman’s miniskirt, and woman’s high heel shoes.” Let’s see how the court decided to tell this plaintiff to take a powder: To prevail with a defamation claim, Seale had to prove that Warner Brothers “(1) Published a statement; (2) that was defamatory concerning the plaintiff; (3) while acting with negligence regarding the truth.”  Additionally, “[a]n action for libel requires a publication to a third party of written defamatory words about the Plaintiff, while slander requires defamatory words about the plaintiff to be spoke, without legal excuse to a third party.” The court, which allowed him to proceed in indigent status, ruled that Seal failed to prove that WB published a defamatory...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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