Aug 30 2011

International and Comparative Media Law (3 units)

Global considerations increasingly affect and govern the news and entertainment media, especially in connection with Internet communication.

This course will survey legal issues that lawyers are likely to confront in any broad-based media law practice, including: cross-border approaches to content regulation, especially the European Convention on Human Rights, the American Convention Human Rights, and other international instruments; regulatory systems applicable to the international media business, such as the Television Without Frontiers and Database Protection Directives of the European Community; the emerging conflict surrounding assertions of jurisdiction over international media interests; protection of journalistic sources and other confidential information; considerations that may apply in attempting to enforce foreign judgments against the media; and the effect of different approaches to copyright protection.

COURSE OBJECTIVES - click to expand

  • At the completion of the International & Comparative Media Law course, the student will be able to:
  • represent a client before international bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights or the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
  • advise media companies on speech restrictions applicable to content in different jurisdictions;
  • file a complaint on an advertising or film ratings issue in Britain or other major media jurisdictions;
  • confer and advise a journalist client on overseas law relating to speech censorship law, report’s privilege, or an intellectual property issue;
  • draft a memorandum of law on an international media regulatory issue, and
  • review internationally distributed content for compliance with EU directives, U.S. law, Canadian law, U.K. law, and international treaty.

GRADING POLICY - click to expand

  • The grade in this course is based upon three 10 point multiple choice quizzes given at regular intervals throughout the course (each quiz counting for 10% -- for a total of 30% of your course grade), non-graded “hands-on problems” in preparation of each live class, and an open-book final exam (for a total of 70% of your course grade).
  • The multiple choice quiz questions require the student to show knowledge of the applicable statutory and case law and to apply that law to a specific fact situation.
  • In preparation for each live class, students are required to submit a memo to the professor containing the analysis of each assigned problem in advance. Although these problems are not graded, they are required. Failure to provide a timely memo, prepared in good faith, will result in a deduction of one grade increment from the student’s final grade for the course.
  • The final examination is open-book. “Open-book” means that students may use any of the assigned course materials as well as their own notes and outlines that they have created themselves from course materials. The final examination is comprise of one or more essays which are weighted as follows: 10% for identification of the factual and legal issues; 30% for the accurate description of law, treaty, regulation and/or policy; 40% on correct application of the law, treaty, regulation and/or policy; and 20% on clarity of the written argument.