Finding a
Problems in Media Law
Paper Topic
University of Michigan Law Library
Seth Quidachay-Swan
Faculty Services & Reference Librarian
September 26, 2012
U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Road Map
1. Basics
2. Where to Get Ideas
3. Sources for Further Information
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Basics
• Your Paper Topic Should Be:
– Something that Interests You
– Narrow Topic
– Research-able
– Current
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Possible Topics
• What should the subject be?
– First Amendment (Obscenity, Hate Speech, etc.)
– Privacy Rights
– FCC Regulation
– Governance of the Internet
– Journalistic Privilege
– Libel & Defamation
– Intellectual Property Rights (Copyright violations)
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Where to Start
• Think while you read and watch television
– TV News
– Radio – NPR, etc.
– Magazines – The Week, Wired, New Yorker
– Newspapers – New York Times, Wall Street Journal
• Technology Section, Opinion, Etc
– Online
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Notable Websites
Americans Civil Liberties Union
• URL: www.aclu.org
• Issues
• Example: Free Speech, Censorship, Consumer Privacy
– What they might have:
• Press releases, legal filings, updates of active issues.
Notable Websites (Continued)
Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic)
• URL: www.epic.org
• Issues
– Examples: Domestic Surveillance, Children’s
Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa), Social
Networking Privacy
• What they might have:
– Latest news and events
Notable Websites (Continued)
First Amendment Center
• URL: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/
• Issues:
– The center serves as a forum for the study and
exploration of free-expression issues, including
freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and
the rights to assemble and to petition the
government.
• What you might find:
– Current Events, News and overviews and leading cases on various
subjects.
Notable Websites (Continued)
Media Law Professors Blog
• URL:
http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law
_prof_blog/
• Issues
– Copyright, Speech on the Net, etc.
• What you might find:
– Discussions from academics about issues related to media
law.
Notable Websites (Continued)
The Media Institute
• URL: http://www.mediainstitute.org/
• Issues:
– The Institute exists to foster three goals: freedom of
speech, a competitive media and communications
industry, and excellence in journalism. The organization
has evolved into one of the country's leading "think tanks"
focusing on the First Amendment and communications
policy.
• What you might find:
– Lists of publications, lists regulatory filings and court briefs, Current
issues watch, etc.
Notable Websites (Continued)
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
• URL: www.rcfp.org/
• Issues
– Provides free legal advice, resources, support and
advocacy to protect the First Amendment and
Freedom of Information rights of journalists working
in areas where U.S. law applies, regardless of the
medium in which their work appears.
• What you might find:
– News of the organization, Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide
Notable Websites (Continued)
Student Press Law Center
• URL: http://www.splc.org/
• Issues:
– The Center provides free legal advice and
information as well as low-cost educational
materials for student journalists on a wide variety
of legal topics
• What you might find:
– Current news, events, legislative information
U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Additional Non-Profits Organizations Devoted to
1st Amendment & Media Law
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Berkman Center for Internet & Society: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/
Center for Democracy and Technology : http://www.cdt.org/
Citizens Media Law Project: http://www.citmedialaw.org/
Electronic Frontier Foundation : http://www.eff.org/
Free Expression Policy Project : http://www.fepproject.org/
Free Speech Movement Digital Archive : http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/FSM/
James Madison Center for Free Speech: http://www.jamesmadisoncenter.org/
Media Law Resource Center: http://www.medialaw.org/
People for the American Way: http://www.pfaw.org/
Society of Professional Journalists: http://www.spj.org/
Thomas Jefferson Center: http://www.tjcenter.org/
Tully Center for Free Speech: http://tully.syr.edu/
To find more associations on media law and first amendment, search Associations
Unlimited (http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/003304973) by keyword or subject
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Lists of Sources
• http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/topic/media+commun
ications+law/ ( ABA List of Popular Media &
Communications Law Blogs)
• http://bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/journalism/mediaLaw/1st_a
mendment_txt.html (List of First Amendment and Freedom
of Expression Resources)
• http://www.virtualchase.com/topics/first_amendment.sht
ml (A list of websites related to 1st Amendment Law)
• http://web.archive.org/web/20110720053938/http://tully.
syr.edu/resources.cfm (Tully Center for Free Speech Free
Speech Resources – a list of centers devoted to issues of
freedom of speech)
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Other Sources of Information
• eBrary – recent monographs and e-books
• Proquest Research Library – full-text law, nonlaw and popular press journals and magazines
• Access World News – full-text of 800+
worldwide English language newspapers
• Lexis & Westlaw news databases
• University Library Resources: full-text e-books
and journals individually listed in Mirlyn or as
databases in Search Tools.
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Now I have a Topic
• Start with Secondary Sources
– Treatises
• Book lists – Major Treatises in Various Subject Areas
– Civil Rights & Liberties (includes Free Speech), Privacy, Computers
& the Internet, Entertainment Law, Libel & Slander
• Use Keyword or Subject Searches in Mlaw Catalog
– Some Possible Subjects:
» Book industries and trade law and legislation; Confidential
communications Press; Journal Legal status, laws, etc;
Obscenity (law); Privacy, Right of; Advertising, Newspaper
Law and legislation; Electronic Publishing Law and Legislation
– Law Reviews and Journals
• Lexis & Westlaw Journals Database
• Index to Legal Periodicals & Index to Legal Periodicals Retro
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Research Sources
• 3 Campus Systems
– Law Library – Mlaw Catalog
– University Library – Mirlyn
– Kresge Business Administration Library
• Many of the Kresge’s Library Resources must be
accessed on-site.
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Where to Find More E-Resources
• Three E-Resource Lists on Campus
– Law Library Electronic Resources
– University Library Search Tools
– Kresge Business Library Electronic Resources
• Many Kresge resources must be used on-site
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U N I V E R S I T Y O F M I C H I G A N L AW L I B R A R Y
Further Assistance
Ask a Law Librarian
– Visit the Reference Desk (Sub-1 of the Law Library)
– Call: 734-9324
– Email: [email protected]
– Chat
– Research Consultations
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Mass Media Paper Topic Fall 2012 - The University of Michigan Law