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What follows is an introduction to the copyright issues facing student broadcasters in a technologically diverse and evolving environment. Along with a brief history of recording copyright, this article examines both the House and Senate versions of the Performance Rights Act and provides some basic advice on how to best advocate as student broadcasters. Finally, it concludes by putting the debate surrounding radio copyright fees in the broader context of an industry transitioning toward a digital future.
Blanket restrictions on talk between the media and school employees may be legally unenforceable – and such restrictions on students almost certainly are void.
Anti-SLAAP statutes in many states can help student journalists who are faced with libel lawsuits filed with the intention of silencing otherwise protected speech.
Registering the copyright to your yearbook takes only a few hours of your time and protects the book for 95 years. Plus, it could even help your staff make some money.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood ruling drew a road map for obtaining heightened First Amendment recognition in student media, hundreds of student publications have attempted to follow it, invoking the incantation “public forum.” Recent legal developments, however, have cast grave doubt on the value and durability of designating a publication — or any piece of government property — as a “forum.”
In general, legal principles created with print publications in mind are also applicable to social media publishing — with some notable exceptions.
Some courts uphold student speech rights online and some courts allow school districts to punish students for such speech, even when it is done off campus.
Some school boards have taken to disallowing public comment in response to bothersome meeting attendees. This practice brushes up against First Amendment rights and heightened protections for political speech.