Communication Law in America / Edition 1

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This book's reader-friendly approach, dynamic writing style and numerous illustrations present the ins and outs of communication law in an engaging and lively way. Discusses First Amendment principles,common laws, constitutional considerations, privacy factors, advertising, protecting news sources, broadcast regulations and the internet. For anyone wanting to know more about communication law or media law.

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Editorial Reviews

[This book] may be the first such book with its own original cartoon illustrations- surely a feature students will enjoy. It's also written in more of a conversational style than most survey law texts....The many illustrated examples from important cases help make this volume stand out from others.
— January-March 2008 Volume 39:1
[This book] may be the first such book with its own original cartoon illustrations- surely a feature students will enjoy. It's also written in more of a conversational style than most survey law texts....The many illustrated examples from important cases help make this volume stand out from others.
— January-March 2008 Volume 39:1
John Vivian
Siegel offers a perspective that makes sense for our field. This edition’s updates couldn’t be more current, and it’s all made easier with Siegel’s hallmark pedagogical aides. The visuals, always a strength in previous editions, are updated and stronger than ever.
Robert Jensen
Siegel’s fourth edition keeps up with the dizzying pace of change in communication technology without sacrificing any of the crucial attention to age-old principles and basic law. And it’s all delivered in Siegel’s trademark writing style, which brings a light touch to subjects that are often heavy. And there’s more. The author’s endless Ebay forays have resulted in a website boasting scores of videos from the court cases. Paired with a reliable LCD projector, the book teaches itself.
Kevin A. Johnson
One could search the Internet for weeks and fail to amass the knowledge about communication law that is contained in this one book. Paul Siegel has managed to condense centuries of communication law in a meaningful way for citizens to easily reference. If this book is read studiously, our democracy will certainly be stronger.
Mel Netzhammer
This book does an excellent job of providing the historical and theoretical contexts for free speech and press, and uses those contexts to illustrate the most contemporary of examples, from Edward Snowden to Tom Cruise’s latest litigation, from Facebook to the aftermath of the “wardrobe malfunction.” The wealth of online resources at extends the text for students and faculty, creating an interactive experience.
Jonathan Zittrain
Siegel delivers a detailed blueprint that reveals the underpinnings of U.S. communication law. He draws an intricate depiction of the mosaic of cases and statutes that shape the flow of information and expression. This volume will serve as a valuable tool for novices and experts alike.
Martin D. Sommerness
This is one of the most if not the most comprehensive treatments of mass communication law available today for undergraduate students. It constitutes in some ways a mini- law school course. Up-to-date, informative, and thought-provoking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205289875
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/3/2001
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Siegel is professor of communication at the University of Hartford. He has been teaching course work in media law for over 30 years—at American University, Catholic University, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, Illinois State University, Keene State College, Tulane University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Missouri, and the University of North Carolina. He has also published dozens of book chapters and law review and communication journal articles on various subjects related to communication law. Siegel was the founding executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri.

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Table of Contents

1. Introducing the American Legal System.

Why Are You Here? [reasons for studying communication law]

Sources of Communication Law.

An Overview of the American Judiciary.

2 . The Development of Freedom of Speech.

Speech as the American Freedom?

Freedom of Speech from the Colonial Period Through the World War I Era.

Freedom of Speech Doctrine Emerges.

Theories of First Amendment Adjudication.

The Value of Freedom of Expression.

Is Freedom of Expression Overrated?

Some Transcendent First Amendment Doctrines.

Regulating the Business of Communication.

3. Defamation: Common Law Elements.

Elements of a Libel Suit.

Some Common Law and Statutory Defenses to Libel.

4. Defamation: First Amendment Limitations.

Introducing New York Times v. Sullivan.

Some Unanswered Questions from Sullivan.

Gertz v. Welch — The Court's Other Landmark Libel Decision.

A Final Word on Avoiding Libel Suits.

5. Invasions of Privacy.

A Tale of Two Law Review Articles.



False Light.

Privacy in Only One of Four Torts?

Public Disclosure.

I May Publish It, but Should I Publish It?

6. Copyright and Trademark.

The Law of Copyright.

Copyright's Scope.

Things that Cannot be Copyrighted.

How Can You Protect Your Copyright?

Who Owns the Copyright?

Bringing a Copyright Infringement Suit.

The Fair Use Doctrine.

The Law of Trademarks.

Kinds of Marks.

What Makes a Mark Protectable?

Trademark Infringement.

Use It or Lose It: The Fear of Going Generic.

7. Access to Information.

News Gathering: the Constitutional Framework.

Access to Public Information: the Statutory Framework.

Private “Censorship” of Information.

8. Reporting on the Judiciary.

A Clash of Rights.

The Contempt Power.

Trial Judges' Burden of Proof.

The Unusual American Balancing Act.

What's a Judge to Do? The Supreme Court and the Fugitive.

Remedies That Do Not Infringe upon Freedom of the Press.

Preventing Prejudicial Publicity: Gag Orders.

Closing Reporters Out.

Access to Judicial Documents.

TV in Court.

9. Protecting News Sources.

Reporters and Confidential Sources.

The First Amendment & Confidential Sources: Branzburg v. Hayes.

State Reporter Shield Laws.

Federal Department of Justice Guidelines.

Newsroom Searches.

Betraying a Pledge of Confidentiality.

10. Regulation of Advertising.

The Supreme Court and Commercial Speech.

Statutory and Regulatory Approaches.

Industry Self-Regulation.

Regulation of Political Campaign Advertising.

11. Sexually Oriented Speech.

Thinking about the Obscene.

Development of Obscenity Law in America.

Child Pornography.

Pornography as a Civil Rights Issue: The Feminist Response.

Other Means of Regulating Sexual Materials.

12. Broadcast, Cable, & Satellite TV Regulation.

The Birth of Broadcast Regulation.

Structure and Powers of the FCC.

Why Treat Broadcast & Print Media Differently?

Broadcast Regulations: Licensure and Ownership.

Broadcast Regulations: Consumers and Technology.

Broadcast Regulations: Content.

Regulation of Cable TV.

Some Other “New Media.”

13. Communication Law and the Internet.

What Makes the Internet Different?

An Infinite Number of Information Sources.

A Lack of Gatekeepers.

Parity Among Senders and Receivers.

Extraordinarily Low Cost.

Jurisdictional Ambiguity.

Developments in Communication Law Online.

Libel Online.

Trademark and Copyright Online.

"Copying" in a Digital World.

MP3 Web Sites and the Music Industry.

SYSOP/ISP Liability.

Trademark, URL Addresses, and Web Site Interactions.

Databases and Authors' Rights.

Privacy Online.

Online Privacy at Work.

Online Privacy and the Government.

Online Privacy and the Private Sector.

Sexual Messages Online.

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