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Web site operator liable for encouraging third-party publication of illicit content to its site

(07/09/09 12:20am)

Federal law has been interpreted as protecting the operators of Web sites from liability for content posted by unrelated third parties – like commenters on Web site bulletin boards – but even that broad grant of immunity has its outer limits. Last week, a federal appeals court ruled that a company offering access to people’s private telephone records could not hide behind the liability shield of the Communications Decency Act (a/k/a Section 230) by claiming to be no more than a conduit for information gathered by third parties.



Important questions need to be answered about Sotomayor's position on student speech rights

(07/10/09 5:24pm)

When Judge Sonia Sotomayor takes her seat for her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, she will have the opportunity to set right a terrible mistake that threatens to undermine the safety of student journalists. Last year, Judge Sotomayor signed her name to an ill-considered ruling that significantly expanded high schools’ authority to punish students’ speech – even off-campus speech on personal time.


Campus Progress national conference discusses the changing world of journalism

(07/10/09 7:16pm)

This week I attended the Campus Progress National Conference, where panelists and guest speakers weighed in on some issues surrounding media and student press. Campus Progress, part of the Center for American Progress, works to help young people, including journalists, speak out on the issues they care about.




Welcome to the SPLC Blog -- and a reminder of what Independence Day is all about

(07/04/09 11:42am)

"Press" is in our name, but the Student Press Law Center has always been about freedom of expression in all vehicles, and you are viewing the latest: the SPLC Blog, a collection of news, notes and observations about issues impacting the media and student rights. The holiday we observe at this weekend's weenie roasts and half-off sales is all about freedom from an overbearing and unresponsive government.


Death By Cheeseburger book available again

(07/21/09 2:52pm)

SPLC friend and student press advocate extraordinaire Brian Schraum, who is working at the First Amendment Center in Nashville this summer, has created an electronic copy of the Freedom Forum's very readable 1994 book, Death By Cheeseburger: High School Journalism in the 1990s and Beyond, and made it available on the FAC's Web site as a free PDF download. The book, one of the most comprehensive looks at high school journalism ever published, has been out of print and generally unavailable for many years. While Brian accurately notes that much of the information is out of date, it still retains relevancy today both as a research guide and a historical marker of high school journalism in the 1990's.