Kroc Center Hosts Dayton’s Spring Edition of the Bench/Bar Media Law Forum

Copyright: <a href=''> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Yesterday, FIC partner Jeff Cox and U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman moderated the spring edition of Dayton’s Bench/Bar Media Law Forum. For the past several years, Dayton’s legal community, media outlets, and law enforcement have gathered twice a year to engage in a collaborative dialogue regarding current media and communications law issues, including open government, privacy, and freedom of information. Yesterday’s forum was no different.

Held at the Dayton Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, the forum hosted over 80 men and women from Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Participants included print, broadcast and digital journalists; leading media lawyers and civil and criminal defense attorneys; senior law enforcement officers from Dayton, Montgomery, and Clark Counties; federal and state trial and appellate judges, and court personnel; and many state and local government officials. Jeff Cox led the discussion, which addressed recent Ohio Supreme Court decisions on Ohio’s Public Records Act, the continuing risk/benefit considerations of the use of drones by law enforcement, media, commercial and private persons, law enforcement’s use of body cameras, and the legal implications of live streaming social media apps such as Periscope and Meerkat.

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Posted by Erin Rhinehart
Advertising and Media
April 24, 2015

Optimism and Concern for the Future of Journo-Drones

Copyright: <a href=''> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Over the past few years, journalists increasingly have become interested in operating unmanned aerial systems – better known as drones – to report the news. Some media organizations have predicted that drones “will be used to help journalists obtain footage despite obstructions, safety concerns, police restrictions, or hazardous environments, improving their ability to report on fires, accidents, weather conditions, natural disasters, and construction sites.” Brief of News Media Amici in Support of Respondent Raphael Pirker, Huerta v. Pirker, NTSB No. CP-217, pp. 12-13 (citing Mickey H. Osterreicher, Charting the Course for the Use of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems in Newsgathering (2014)).

Together with this optimism, journalists should be mindful of the legal implications of operating such technology. Importantly, up to this point, so-called “journo-drones” have been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, which has extended its general policy prohibiting commercially-operated drones to journalists. Last year, the FAA even dissuaded a newspaper here in Dayton, Ohio from posting drone footage of a downtown fire on its website that was provided by a non-commercial hobbyist. Tristan Navera, Why you won’t see drone footage from downtown fire on our site, Dayton Business Journal (Apr. 4, 2014).

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Posted by Christopher Hollon
Advertising and Media
April 21, 2015

What Do Meerkats and Periscopes Have in Common? Live Streaming Technology, the Right to Privacy and the Continuing Evolution of Social Interaction for Starters

live streamingA recent development in web applications has, seemingly, jarred open the lid to Pandora’s Box yet again: live video streaming from your trusty technology/partner at the end of your arm. The recent release of Meerkat ( and Periscope ( apps now afford anyone with a handheld device the ability to live stream video, in real-time, anytime, anywhere. With the streams linked to Twitter, Meerkat and Periscope users can broadcast live content of their choosing in real-time, and also retain those streams locally on their mobile phones. Viewers, in turn, also can re-stream in real-time to their respective followers.

Like so many other social media tools, these new apps are governed by simple (as in 6-8 bullet points) “rules” or “community guidelines” each accompanied by a relatively straightforward set of “terms or service.” While it is certainly likely that these rules, guidelines and terms of service will get the same glancing treatment by Meerkat and Periscope app users as users give to other social media tools (i.e., little to none), the nature and capacity of these live streaming apps is such that users should, indeed, spend the 5-10 minutes it would take to read and understand the rules, guidelines and terms of service.

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Posted by Jeff Cox
Advertising and Media
April 9, 2015

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