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Entertainment Law

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 7-29-14 featuring Mark Schultz
Mark F. Schultz July 29, 2014

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo. This case involves the question of whether, under sections 101 and 106 of the Copyright Act, a company “publicly performs” a copyrighted television program--a privilege normally reserved to the copyright holder--when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Breyer, the Court held by a vote of 6-3 that Aereo is not simply an “equipment supplier” and that it performs petitioners’ works publicly within the meaning of the Transmit Clause. Chief Justice Roberts as well as Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Scalia authored a dissenting opinion which Justices Thomas and Alito joined. The decision of the Second Circuit was reversed.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Schultz, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Southern Illinois University School of Law.

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 5-8-14 featuring Babette Boliek
Babette Boliek May 08, 2014

Babette BoliekOn April 22, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.. This case involves the question of whether, under sections 101 and 106 of the Copyright Act, a company “publicly performs” a copyrighted television program--a privilege normally reserved to the copyright holder--when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.

To discuss the case, we have Babette Boliek, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Pepperdine University School of Law.

FCC v. Fox - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 07-03-12 featuring Erik Jaffe and Patrick Brennan
Erik S. Jaffe, Patrick McKinley Brennan July 03, 2012

SCOTUScastOn June 21, 2012 the Supreme Court announced its decision in FCC v. Fox.  The question in this case was whether the standards for indecency that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) applied to broadcasts by Fox and ABC were unconstitutionally vague.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled by a vote of 8-0 that, because the FCC failed to give Fox and ABC prior notice that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity were unacceptable, the FCC’s standards for indecency were too vague.  Justice Ginsburg filed a concurring opinion.  Justice Sotomayor took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

We have Erik Jaffe, a Washington, D.C. attorney who specializes in appellate litigation, and Patrick Brennan, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor at the Villanova University School of Law, to discuss the case in two separate podcasts.

FCC v. Fox - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 02-01-12 featuring Erik Jaffe and Patrick Brennan
Erik S. Jaffe, Patrick McKinley Brennan January 27, 2012

SCOTUScastOn January 10, 2012 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in FCC v. Fox.  The question in this case is whether the Federal Communications Commission’s standards for indecency are too vague to be constitutional.

To discuss the case we have Erik Jaffe, a Washington, D.C. attorney who specializes in appellate litigation, and Patrick Brennan, who is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor at the Villanova University School of Law.

SCOTUScast 1-30-09 featuring Chris Landau

FCC v. Fox Television Stations
Chris Landau February 02, 2009

On Tuesday, November 4, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in FCC v. Fox Television Stations. The Supreme Court here considers the FCC's policy on the broadcast of vulgar words. The case arises from controversy over an omnibus order issued by the FCC in 2006 to punish broadcasters for even single uses of vulgar words—so-called fleeting expletives. This new order was prompted by several high-profile incidents of fleeting expletives at awards shows and represented a break from the FCC's long-standing policy, crafted in the wake of the 1975 case FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, to take action against broadcasters only for the repeated or sustained use of vulgar language. Although the new order was a notice of only "apparent liability" with no corresponding punishment, Fox and other broadcasters petitioned for review by the Second Circuit, which struck the order down as an arbitrary and capricious deviation not allowed under federal communications law, but invited the agency to provide a "reasonable explanation" for changing its mind. Instead, the FCC appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which now considers whether the Second Circuit erred in striking down the FCC's new policy against fleeting expletives. Kirkland & Ellis Partner Chris Landau discusses the case.