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top :: newsletter_November_2007

Fri, 30 Nov 2007

IMLA NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2007

 
1.       Africa
2.       Argentina
3.       Azerbaijan
4.       Balkans
5.       Bermuda
6.       China
7.       Czech Republic
8.       Dubai
9.       Egypt
10.   EU/Brussels
11.   France
12.   Germany
13.   Iraq
14.   Korea
15.   Macedonia
16.   Myanmar
17.   Netherlands
18.   New Zealand
19.   Pakistan
20.   Peru
21.   Russia
22.   Singapore
23.   Somalia
24.   Spain
25.   UK
26.   US
27.   Venezuela
28.   Various/Useful Link
 
 
1. Africa

Continent's journalists parley on media restrictions – African journalists yesterday met in Abuja to discuss strategies on the fight against governmental control and assaults on media professionals in the continent. The opening ceremony was declared open by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua with them "Building a Strong and United Voice for African Journalists" .

Source – All Africa 13.11.07
http://allafrica. com/stories/ 200711130077. html

Continent's Journalists Parley on Media Restrictions - African journalists yesterday met in Abuja to discuss strategies on the fight against governmental control and assaults on media professionals in the continent. The opening ceremony was declared open by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua with them "Building a Strong and United Voice for African Journalists" .

Source – All Africa 13.11.07
http://allafrica. com/stories/ 200711130077. html

2. Argentina

Manipulative government advertising undermines coverage in Argentina says CPJ - It came as no surprise that Cristina Fernández, wife of outgoing President Néstor Kirchner, was elected Argentina's president over the weekend. "News for Sale", the latest report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), looks at one of the secrets behind her success: how her husband
rewarded "friendly" news outlets with lucrative government advertising contracts.

Source – IFEX 30.10.07
http://www.cpj. org/Briefings/ 2007/argentina_ 07/index. html

3. Azerbaijan

Editor slammed with severe sentence: 27 IFEX members support memorial for slain journalist – The editor of Azerbaijan's two largest independent papers was sent to jail for eight and a half years on terrorism and other charges, reflecting the government's increasing hostility towards free expression, say the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS), the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 6.11.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87464

Severe prison sentence for journalist violates Azerbaijan's commitment to free press, says OSCE media watchdog - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, criticized today the eight-and-a- half year combined prison sentence handed down to an Azerbaijani journalist and newspaper publisher.

Source – OSCE 1.11.07
http://www.osce. org/item/ 27685.html

4. Balkans
 
Across the Balkans, media freedom still under constraint - If freedom of the media is a mirror of democratic processes, the region's reflection in that mirror is not so good. Most monitoring organisations confirm this. Particular examples dramatize just how unsatisfactory the situation still remains.
Source – South East European Times
http://www.setimes. com/cocoon/ setimes/xhtml/ en_GB/features/ setimes/articles /2007/10/ 29/reportage- 01
 
5. Bermuda

Court rejects media gag order in Bermuda - Bermuda's media should not be banned from reporting further extracts from a leaked police dossier about corruption at the British territory's public housing corporation, London's Privy Council ruled on Monday.

Source – Reuters 30.10.07
http://uk.reuters. com/article/ domesticNews/ idUKNAT411078200 71030?feedType= RSS&feedName= domesticNews

6. China
Yahoo! settles lawsuit brought by China journalists for abetting torture - Yahoo! Inc. agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed in US federal court alleging that the Internet giant aided and abetted human rights violations committed by the Chinese government by providing Chinese officials with information, including e-mail records and user ID numbers, that helped them to identify pro-democracy activists in violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute

Source – Jurist 13.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/yahoo- settles-lawsuit- brought-by- china.php

Yahoo! settles lawsuit brought by China journalists for abetting torture - Yahoo! Inc. agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed in US federal court alleging that the Internet giant aided and abetted human rights violations committed by the Chinese government by providing Chinese officials with information, including e-mail records and user ID numbers, that helped them to identify pro-democracy activists in violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute.

Source – Jurist 13.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/yahoo- settles-lawsuit- brought-by- china.php

Yahoo! to testify before Congress: a chance for transparency and accountability on business practices in China, says RSF - Reporters Without Borders has asked Yahoo! to take advantage of the 6 November 2007 Congress hearing to set the record straight on the company's collaboration with the Chinese authorities. Congress is investigating sworn statements Yahoo! made during a February 2006 Congress hearing regarding its role in cyberdissident Shi Tao's arrest and conviction on a charge of "illegally divulging state secrets abroad," for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Source – IFEX 2.11.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87427/

7. Czech Republic

Proposed amendment of Copyright Act - Draft amendments to the Copyright Act have recently been submitted to Parliament to remedy two instances where the Czech law is not compliant with EU legislation

Source – Law Now
http://www.law- now.com/DirectMa il/{52643420-2737- 42B8-9892- 4397F45A43EF} _LNCRproposedame ndmentofCopyrigh tActNov07. htm

8. Dubai
Call for new press law to include decriminalization of all press offences - Reporters Without Borders welcomes a Dubai appeal court’s decision on 8 November to overturn the convictions of the former editor of the English-language Khaleej Times, Shimba Kassiril Ganjadahran, and one of his reporters, Mohsen Rashed, on charges of libel.

Source – Reporters Without Borders 12.11.07
http://www.rsf. org/article. php3?id_article= 24342

9. Egypt
Egypt court convicts opposition leader, journalists of libel - Two Egyptian journalists and an opposition leader have been sentenced to a month in prison after being convicted in absentia of libel, court officials said Sunday. The journalists, Anwar el-Hawari and Younes Darwish, of opposition party Al-Wafd's daily newspaper and Al-Wafd leader Mahmoud Abaza, have appealed the verdict and remain free on bail.

Source- Jurist 29.10.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/10/egypt- court-convicts- opposition- leader.php

10. EU/Brussels

EU set to relax TV advertising rules - Parliament's culture committee has approved new rules that would allow more commercial breaks and US-style product placement in television and other audiovisual broadcasts in the EU, paving the way for their adoption by the end of the year.

Source – Euractiv.com 14.11.07
http://www.euractiv .com/en/infosoci ety/eu-set- relax-tv- advertising- rules/article- 168347

MediaLaywer summary of recent ECtHR decision - Punishing a newspaper for having printed "value judgments" which it could not prove were true was a breach of the publication' s right to freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights has declared.

The court was upholding a complaint under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights brought by the Moldovan newspaper Flux and Mrs Aurelia Samson, who had featured in a story it published.

The newspaper ran a story in December 2001 detailing allegations made by Mrs Z Samson about the problems her daughter Aurelia was encountering with property developments by GC, a former Construction Minister in the Moldovan government.

The ex-minister sued for defamation, although he did not specify which parts of the article were defamatory. A district court found in his favour, fining the newspaper and ordering it to pay costs.

The newspaper was involved in two appeals, both of which were rejected.

Upholding the application by the newspaper and Mrs Samson, the European Court of Human Rights noted that the newspaper was fined for being unable to prove the truth of several statements it had made.

"The applicant newspaper argued before the domestic courts that most of the statements represented value-judgments which could in principle not be proved. On appeal, it referred to several additional facts supporting, in its view, the value judgments made," it said.

"The Court notes that none of the domestic courts responded to these arguments by verifying whether any of the statements could be considered value judgments or by verifying the truth of the additional facts referred to by the applicant newspaper.

"The Court reiterates that the existence of facts can be demonstrated, whereas the truth of value judgments is not susceptible of proof. The requirement to prove the truth of a value judgment is impossible to fulfil and infringes freedom of opinion itself, which is a fundamental part of the right secured by Article 10, although opinions insufficiently based on facts can also be excessive."

A number of the published statements were value judgments - they expressed the newspaper's opinion about GC's building activities and their effects on his neighbours.

"These opinions were, moreover, based on facts which have not been shown to be untrue, some mentioned in the article itself and some referred to during the proceedings. In such circumstances, the Court considers that the newspaper could not be expected to prove the truth of its value judgments and that, moreover, its opinions were not without a factual foundation."

In addition, the Moldovan courts had not reacted to the confirmation by Mrs Samson's mother of her own statements to the newspaper.

"The Court considers that, in requiring the applicant newspaper to prove the truth of its statements, while at the same ignoring the evidence adduced to support its statements and thereby show their truthfulness, the finding of the Moldovan courts that the statement was defamatory could not be justified as necessary in a democratic society."

The European Court said it also took into account "the balanced tone of the article" - and that it was "satisfied of the newspaper's good faith and that it had acted in consonance with principles of responsible journalism", even if "resorting to 'a degree of exaggeration or even provocation' , which had to be protected".

The article also raised issues of genuine public interest - the alleged abuses of a former State official and the inability of the justice system properly to respond to such alleged abuse. It also conveyed the views of third parties while making that clear to the reader.

The judgment added: "The Court reiterates that 'punishment of a journalist for assisting in the dissemination of statements made by another person ... would seriously hamper the contribution of the press to discussion of matters of public interest and should not be envisaged unless there are particularly strong reasons for doing so'

"The Court does not see such strong reasons for interfering with the newspaper's freedom of expression in the present case, given the balanced tone of the article."

11. France
Wikipedia cleared in French defamation case - A French judge has dismissed a defamation and privacy case against Wikipedia after ruling the free online encyclopedia was not responsible for information introduced onto its Web site. The U.S.-based Wikipedia Foundation, which is behind the popular compendium, was sued by three French nationals over a Wikipedia article that said they were gay activists.

Source – Reuters 2.11.07
http://today. reuters.com/ news/articlenews .aspx?type= internetNews& storyID=2007- 11-02T163950Z_ 01_L02804862_ RTRUKOC_0_ US-FRANCE- WIKIPEDIA- COURT.xmlGeorgia
OSCE media freedom representative in Georgia to discuss TV station closure - Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, is in the Georgian capital Tbilisi today to discuss the media situation, in particular the recent closure of television station Imedi. It is a joint visit with Peter Semneby, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus.

Source – OSCE 22.11.07
http://www.osce. org/fom/item_ 1_28222.html

12. Germany
The public broadcasting license fee and public value - On September 11, 2007, the German Constitutional Court added a new one to their long list of decisions related to television broadcasting. In a 33-page statement, the court ruled that the freedom of public service broadcasters is infringed upon as soon as politicians and governments interfere with the process of determining the price level of the mandatory license fee to be paid for Germany’s extensive public broadcasting system. This was a slap in the face of the state (Länder) governments, which the last time when the broadcasters applied for a raise, just did not follow through and cut a percentage of the demanded increase.

Source – European Journalism Centre 25.10.07
http://www.ejc. net/magazine/ article/the_ public_broadcast ing_license_ fee_and_public_ value/

13. Iraq
Iraqi stakeholders meet to discuss draft law on media and telecommunications - Iraqi broadcasters, parliamentarians and representatives of the judiciary, along with international media experts, concluded a high-level technical meeting where they discussed a draft law currently before the parliament on media and telecommunications in Iraq.

Source – UNESCO 13.11.07
http://portal. unesco.org/ ci/en/ev. php-URL_ID= 25629&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC& URL_SECTION= 201.html
 
14. Korea

NEC silences netizens' voices – Police are investigating over 600 people who posted election-related material online as the National Election Commission (NEC) enforces the Public Official Election Law before the Dec. 19 presidential election. According to The Korea Times, the law prohibits online posts that support or oppose presidential candidates. The ban even extends to text messages.

Source – Asia Media 2.11.07
http://www.asiamedi a.ucla.edu/ article.asp? parentid= 82390

15. Macedonia
Macedonia TV accuses authorities - Skopje _ Alsat-M TV, a national broadcaster of programmes in Albanian and Macedonian, has accused the Macedonian authorities of subjecting it to various forms of pressure. In Wednesday’s statement for MakFax news agency, the television station said that the ongoing campaign was aimed at blocking its professional work as an independent broadcaster.

Source – BIRN 21.11.07
http://www.birn. eu.com/en/ 113/15/6222/

16. Myanmar
Myanmar Internet access severely limited - Internet connections in Myanmar have been severely limited, with online users restricted from accessing international websites for more than 24 hours, a government telecoms official said Friday. The apparent cut came shortly before the arrival of UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

Source – Inquirer 2.11.07
http://technology. inquirer. net/infotech/ infotech/ view_article. php?article_ id=98381

17. Netherlands

Dutch pedophile web site cannot show royal photos - A Dutch court has banned a Web site sympathetic to pedophiles from showing photographs of child members of the royal family, including the three-year-old heiress to the throne Princess Amalia.

Source – Reuters 1.11.07
http://www.reuters. com/article/ internetNews/ idUSL01818305200 71101

18. New Zealand

Landmark media case for Simpson Grierson permits televised ConfessionChinese ISP introduces cartoon cops – The NZ Law Newswire -Simpson Grierson Partners Willy Akel and Tracey Walker represented Television New Zealand Ltd in the landmark Supreme Court decision to allow the broadcast of a confession by Noel Clements Rogers.

Source – LawFuel 22.11.07
http://www.lawfuel. com/show- release.asp? ID=16225

Police widen media investigation - Police will now include The Dominion Post and The Press in its investigation into the leaking of suppressed documents on police raids to TV3. Deputy Commissioner Operations Rob Pope said this morning the scope of the investigation, announced on Monday, will be expanded to include The Dominion Post material.
Source – Stuff.co.nz 14.11.07
http://www.stuff. co.nz/4272905a11 .html

Police widen media investigation - Police will now include The Dominion Post and The Press in its investigation into the leaking of suppressed documents on police raids to TV3. Deputy Commissioner Operations Rob Pope said this morning the scope of the investigation, announced on Monday, will be expanded to include The Dominion Post material, and any other publication which could be considered to breach court suppression orders or potentially compromise criminal proceedings.

Source – Stuff.co.nz 14.11.07
http://www.stuff. co.nz/4272905a11 .html

19. Pakistan
A reiteration of the message circulated by IMLA member Aftab Alam from Pakistan - It has passed three days and more than 16 hours since the proclamation of emergency and complete information blackout in Pakistan . Until the evening of November 03, 2007 , there were more than 35 private Pakistani television channels and more than 90 private FM radio stations educating, informing and entertaining the people in Pakistan . All of a sudden, with the proclamation of emergency in the country, all of these channels went off-air. Since then, whole country is facing an extreme kind of information blackout and people have no independent source of information except government-run television and radio. Quite sadly, this government-run media has proved to be mere a propaganda machine of the government. Moreover, government is taking worst measures to curb independent sources of information in the shape of print and electronic media. Following links provide a brief
overview of the actions of the government against the media.

http://intermedia. org.pk/mediamirr or/im_mediamirro r.php
http://internews. org.pk/mediareso urce/inter_ mediamonitor. php
http://internews. org.pk/mediareso urce/monitor0511 07.php

The purpose of sharing this information is to see how this forum can contribute towards current efforts for freedom of expression and freedom of information in Pakistan .

Best, Aftab

Pakistan police arrest more lawyers in emergency crackdown - Pakistani police Tuesday arrested more lawyers involved in protesting President Pervez Musharraf's Saturday declaration of emergency, suspension of the constitution, and effective dismissal of Pakistan's Supreme Court. AFP reports that some 50 lawyers were arrested at the Lahore High Court a day after a larger protest there escalated into violence.

Source – Jurist 6.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/pakistan -police-arrest- more-lawyers- in.php

Dismissed Pakistan CJ summons lawyers to 'stand up for constitution' - Dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Tuesday urged lawyers in Pakistan to resist President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule and "stand up for the constitution. " Speaking by telephone to a gathering of lawyers in the capital Islamabad, Chaudhry, currently under effective house arrest, said according to an AFP report, "I want lawyers to spread my message, the time for sacrifice has come".

Source – Jurist 6.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/dismisse d-pakistan- cj-summons- lawyers.php

Musharraf muzzles media during state of emergency - President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule and slammed down severe restrictions on Pakistan's news media as they try to cover the country's political crisis, report Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Human Rights Watch, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).

Source – IFEX 6.11.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87469/
See also - http://www.ejc. net/media_ news/pakistan_ emergency_ rule_sets_ tough_curbs_ on_media/

20. Peru
Journalist accuses mayor of organizing ambush - On 11 November 2007, journalist José Ramírez, a contributor to the newspaper La Primera, reported having been ambushed in the main road of the Wari district by a group of officials of that district among who – according to Ramírez – was the mayor, Edward Vizcarrra Zorrilla. The event took place when he was returning from a commission.

The journalist stated that the vehicle in which he was riding was intercepted by two vans belonging to the Wari Council, a district of the Áncash region, northwestern Parú. Ramírez was with the driver and two friends. The aggressors followed his car while shooting into the air, until they had him cornered in an area of the highway which is surrounded by rocks.

According to Ramírez, the mayor of Wari, his councilmen Hubert Solís and Miguel Navas, three members of the council’s security force and the mayor’s bodyguards: Guillermo Santiago Figueroa and Miguel Hidalgo Aguilar (both had guns) got out of the vans. The officials approached the journalist’s vehicle and forced him and his companions out of it. Ramírez fled ant took cover in a nearby piece of land. He assured IPYS that he heard the mayor ordering his bodyguards to look for him in order to kill him and throw his body in the river. He waited until the aggressors left before walking back to the city.

The journalist is critical of the mayor’s administration and has accused him more than once of alleged acts of corruption. According to the mayor, the reporter and his companions were intercepted because they were painting messages against the region’s authorities.

Ramírez reported the event during a press conference. The local police verified the injuries suffered by his companions and is already investigating the case. IPYS facilitated the procedures so that the accusation can be seen to by the Ombudsman.

Source – IPYS 13.11.07
www.ipys.org

Radio harassed after requesting public information from council - The owner, administrator and journalists of radio station La Karibeña, in the district of La Joya, Arequipa region, reported to IPYS that they are being harassed by persons close to that district’s mayor, David Inofuentes Mamani, as a consequence of the several requests for public information made by the radio station in order to find out about the council’s expenditures.

Luque Ylaquita and the journalists Miguel Carazas and Walter Payé requested information about expenditures in municipal works, budget, personnel in sensitive positions, advisers, acquisition of services, among other things, from the council of La Joya. A written reply sent by Mayor Inofuentes indicated that in order to obtain the information they should pay S/. 20,600 (US$ 6800). This answer is an infringement of the Transparency and Access to Public Information Law.

After the incidents, Luque Ylaquita, Miguel Carazas and Walter Payé requested protection from the local government.

Recommended Action:
Request the mayor of La Joya to comply with the Transparency and Access to Public Information Law (Law 27806) and hand over the information requested by the journalists.

Recommend the governor to provide protection for journalists.

Appeals to:
David Inofuentes Mamani
Alcalde distrital de La Joya
Telefax: 51 54-492021
e-mail: municipalidaddelajo ya@hotmail. com
Address: Calle Sucre 103, La Joya.

Pedro Bolaños Montes
Gobernador de La Joya
Telephone:
51 54-214849

Source – IPYS 13.11.07
www.ipys.org

Trial against alleged material author of journalist’s murder begins - On 25 October 2007, the first hearing of the trial against Moisés Julca Orrillo, alleged murderer of journalist Antonio De La Torre Echandía, who was stabbed five times in February 2004, took place in Yungay, Áncash region, northwestern Perú.

The First Criminal Bench of the Superior Court of Justice in Áncash accepted the prosecutor’s request of subpoenaing twelve witnesses and the former mayor of Yungay, Amaro León León, who has been imprisoned for two years after having been accused of being the mastermind behind the crime and receiving a jail sentence of 17 years from the Superior Court of Áncash. The former mayor was acquitted by the First Transitory Bench of the Supreme Court in 2006. During his trial he denied knowing Julca. However, when Julca was questioned, he admitted to having a friendly relationship with the former mayor and his family.

According to investigations made by five judicial departments, León hired Julca to murder the journalist.

IPYS managed to get prosecutor Zadi Anaya to accept including the testimonies of several witnesses in the trial against Julca, including that of the former mayor, as evidence of the crime. The next hearing has been set for 7 November.

Julca Orrillo was arrested last September. He had been in hiding since the night of the murder, so his trial was confidential.

In September 2006, IPYS and Dina Ramírez, the journalist’s widow, filed an action against the Peruvian State before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), after the Supreme Court acquitted the accused, among them Amaro León, ignoring evidence that had lead to sentences of 17 years in prison in previous instances, creating a situation of impunity for the crime.

Source – IPYS 26.10.07
www.ipys.org

21. Russia
Russia casts a selective net in piracy crackdown – The newspaper Novaya Gazeta, one of the last outposts of critical journalism in Russia, suspended publication of its regional edition in the southern city of Samara on Monday after prosecutors opened a criminal case against its editor, alleging that his publication used unlicensed software.

Source – Washington Post 14.11.07
http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 11/13/AR20071113 02070.html

Prosecutors open probe into 2003 death of Moscow reporter – The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes a decision by an arm of the Russian prosecutor general to open a criminal probe into the mysterious July 2003 death of Yuri Shchekochikhin, deputy editor of the Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Source – IFEX 30.10.07
http://www.ifex. org/en/content/ view/full/ 87366/

Kremlin seeks to extend its reach in cyberspace - After ignoring the Internet for years to focus on controlling traditional media such as television and newspapers, the Kremlin and its allies are turning their attention to cyberspace, which remains a haven for critical reporting and vibrant discussion in Russia's dwindling public sphere.

Source – Washington Post – 28.2.07
http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 10/27/AR20071027 01384.html

22. Singapore
Singapore police forcibly move activists away –
The lady is Chee Soon Juan's sister. She was walking to Shangri-La Hotel where the ASEAN Summit was being held.

21.11.07Source – (contributed by George Hwang)
http://diodati. omniscientx. com/2007/ 11/21/singapore- police-forcibly- move-activists- away-from- shangri-la/
 
23. Somalia

Media legislation undercuts freedom of the press - The Somaliland Ministry of Information drafted and proposed a new media law, which undermines internationally accepted standards of freedom of expression. The new draft law increases the powers of the Ministry of Information to control the media.

Source –Garowe Online 15.11.07 http://www.garoweon line.com/ artman2/publish/ Press_Releases_ 32/Somalia_ Media_Legislatio n_Undercuts_ Freedom_of_ the_Press. shtml
 
24. Spain

Spanish court rules out jail sentences for Holocaust denial - Spain's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that Holocaust denial will not be punishable by imprisonment, saying it falls within freedom of speech. Spanish law had mandated a sentence of up to two years in prison for Holocaust denial.

Source – Haaretz 10.11.07
http://www.haaretz. com/hasen/ spages/922334. html

25. UK
Film ads banned for glorifying guns - An ad campaign promoting the Clive Owen film Shoot 'Em Up has been banned after complaints that it glamorised guns and violence. The Advertising Standards Authority received 55 complaints about three posters promoting the film.

Source – The Guardian 21.11.07
http://www.guardian .co.uk/media/ 2007/nov/ 21/asa.advertisi ng?gusrc= rss&feed= media
NB for the adjudication go to
http://www.asa. org.uk/asa/ adjudications/ Public/TF_ ADJ_43573. htm

Hidden crime of ‘wi-fi tapping’: only 11 arrests but most of us are guilty - More than half of computer users have illegally logged on to someone else’s wi-fi connection yet only 11 people have been arrested for the crime, an investigation by The Times has found. “Wi-fi tapping” or “piggybacking” has boomed in the past few years as hackers take advantage of unsecured computers to access the internet without paying for it.

Source – The Times 15.11.07
http://technology. timesonline. co.uk/tol/ news/tech_ and_web/the_ web/article28727 26.ece

New rules ban Civil Service memoirs - Gordon Brown risks angering Whitehall mandarins by trying to prevent them publishing their memoirs after they leave the Civil Service. Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, told the Commons public administration committee that, under new rules, copyright for any civil servant's memoirs would automatically be given to the Government.

Source – Daily Telegraph 17.11.07
http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/news/ main.jhtml? xml=/news/ 2007/11/17/ nmemoirs117. xml

PCC criticizes newspaper for identifying confidential source – The PCC has today upheld a rare complaint under Clause 14 (Confidential sources) of the Code. The complainant was a mortuary worker, who spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph about the proposed closure of Burnley's mortuary. He did so on the condition that he was not identified.

Source – Society of Editors 13.11.07
http://www.societyo feditors. co.uk/page- view.php? page_id=1& parent_page_ id=0&news_ id=317&numbertop rintfrom= 1

PCC on Scottish Mail on Sunday - The Press Complaints Commission has upheld an accuracy complaint against the Scottish Mail on Sunday. Mr Alan Bain, President of the American-Scottish Foundation ®, a charity, complained that an article had inaccurately claimed that he and the organisation were at the centre of a criminal investigation following a complaint about him to the Office of New York's Attorney General (ONYAG).

Source – Society of Editors 12.11.07
http://www.societyo feditors. co.uk/page- view.php? page_id=1& parent_page_ id=0&news_ id=312&numbertop rintfrom= 1

Channel 4 cleared over N-word row - Channel 4 has been cleared of breaching broadcasting regulations over its decision to transmit an incident in which a Big Brother contestant used a racially offensive word to describe another housemate.
Source – Guardian 5.11.07
http://www.guardian .co.uk/media/ 2007/nov/ 05/bigbrother. raceandreligion? gusrc=rss& feed=11

The day the music died - Internet law professor Michael Geist examines a legal row which could have grave implications for anyone and everyone serving an online audience.

Source – BBC 2.11.07
http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 1/hi/technology/ 7074786.stm

'High Court footage' on YouTube - Mobile phone footage apparently showing the inside of a Scottish courtroom during a case has been posted on the video-sharing website YouTube. It is said to show three youths appearing at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year, where they later admitted beating a young man to death.

Source – BBC 30.10.07
http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/uk_news/ scotland/ glasgow_and_ west/7068962. stm

Web weakens secrecy order over royal 'blackmail' - THE alleged royal blackmail case has exposed the difficulties the law faces in controlling the dissemination of information in a world where the media operates round the globe 24-7. A gagging order has been issued banning identification of the royal allegedly targeted by two men threatening to expose him in a sex and drugs scandal.

Source – The Scotsman 30.10.07
http://news. scotsman. com/uk.cfm? id=1728222007

CPS Decision on Baltic Exhibition Photograph - Northumbria Crown Prosecution Service has advised Northumbria Police that a photograph seized from an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, is not an indecent image. Ms Kerrie Bell, head of CPS Northumbria’s South Unit, said: "A decision was made by the CPS in 2001 in relation to this particular photograph.

Source – Crown Prosecution Service 26.10.07
http://www.cps. gov.uk/news/ pressreleases/ 167_07.html

UK PCC Decisions

The PCC has criticised Chat magazine for publishing a staged photograph of a murder victim in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief and shock). The picture, which showed a female body wrapped in bin liners to illustrate how the victim was found, was included in a story about a woman's relationship with the murderer. There was no caption making clear that the photo had been staged, and the victim's step-father complained that it had caused considerable distress to the family. One family member thought that the picture was genuine. The magazine accepted that the photograph should have been captioned, and sincerely regretted the distress caused to the complainant' s family.
The Commission found two breaches of the Code. First, the magazine's failure to make clear to readers that the photograph had been staged was a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code. Second, and of greater concern to the Commission, was the fact that the use of this misleading picture, near the anniversary of the death, showed "a total disregard for the family of the dead woman". The magazine's "cavalier approach" in this instance constituted a clear breach of both the letter and spirit of Clause 5 of the Code.

The magazine is set to publish the adjudication in a forthcoming edition. To read the full text, click here
http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDgyNw==

The PCC has today upheld a rare complaint under Clause 14 (Confidential sources) of the Code.
The complainant was a mortuary worker, who spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph about the proposed closure of Burnley's mortuary. He did so on the condition that he was not identified. While the newspaper did not name him, it referred to him as "a worker at Burnley's mortuary". Unfortunately, there were only two workers at the mortuary – the other being the complainant' s boss – and the complainant was, therefore, effectively identified as the source of the information. He was dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct for speaking to the newspaper.
The Commission recognised that the newspaper had sought to protect the complainant by not naming him. However, the onus was on the newspaper to ensure that the form of words used to describe the complainant did not effectively identify him. Its failure to do so resulted in a breach of Clause 14 of the Code.

The critical adjudication was published in full by the newspaper. To read the text, click here
http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDgyNQ==

26. US
Orlando private school sues blogging parent for defamation - A private school in Orlando, Fla., claims the mother of a former student crossed the line in a critical Internet blog she wrote about her daughter's experiences there. So the New School of Orlando Inc. sued Sonjia McSween to stop her from publishing and talking about the school and force her to pay damages.
Source – Law.com 19.11.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=119546664 9352

Blogger defeats identity disclosure – A former Lawrence school board member's request for disclosure of the names of anonymous Internet critics has been rebuffed by a state judge, who ruled that the comments were protected speech.
Source – Law.com 13.11.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=119494824 0578

Federal Judge in Pa. orders abortion foe to remove alleged threats from web sitecops – A federal judge ordered an anti-abortion activist to remove Web site postings that authorities said exhorted readers to kill an abortion provider by shooting her in the head.

Source – Law.com 9.11.07
http://www.law. com/jsp/article. jsp?id=119460263 5980

TV reporter's lawyers challenge judge's contempt ruling, decorum order - A television reporter found in contempt for disregarding a court order in the criminal trial of a polygamous-sect leader wants the ruling thrown out, contending the decision violates her First Amendment rights.
Katie Baker's attorneys said the U.S.

Source – Salt Lake Tribune 5.11.07
http://www.sltrib. com/ci_7377007

Yahoo! defends China user data handover at US House hearing - Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahan Tuesday defended Yahoo's behavior in providing information to the Chinese government at a hearing before the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, saying that the company could not ask local employees in China to refuse to comply with lawful government demands even if Yahoo! disagreed with the Chinese action.

Source- Jurist 6.11.07
http://jurist. law.pitt. edu/paperchase/ 2007/11/yahoo- defends-china- user-data- handover. php

FCC Appeals Indecency Case to High Court - Comparing its dilemma to a Greek myth, lawyers for the Federal Communications Commission have formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's rejection of the agency's policy on broadcast profanity.

Source – My Way 2.11.07
http://apnews. myway.com/ article/20071102 /D8SLNA6O1. html

F.T.C. member vows tighter controls of online ads – A MEMBER of the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that the agency would be exerting a tighter grip over online advertising, partly because of increased tracking by marketing companies of people’s activity on the Internet.

Source – New York Times 2.11.07
http://www.nytimes. com/2007/ 11/02/technology /001cnd-ftc. html?_r=1& oref=slogin

27. Venezuela
Police beat up and take reporter’s cameras in march against constitutional reform - On 9 November 2007, Elvis Rivas, reporter and camera operator for TV station RCTV Internacional, and Jesús Torres, photographer for the newspaper Cambio de Siglo, were beaten up and stripped of their working equipment by the police who were repelling a march organized by students of Universidad de Los Andes (ULA), against the constitutional reform proposed by the Venezuelan government. The events took place in Mérida, southern Venezuela.

Rivas was taping a civilian and four policemen who had been wounded when an unidentified person approached him and demanded that he stop doing it. Then, three policemen beat him with their shields, took his camera and threw it onto a nearby lot of land. The reporter was able to recover it.

The reporters were both aided by firemen. They were slightly injured.

Source – IPYS 12.11.07
www.ipys.org

National assembly approves constitutional reform text that eliminates the right to information in emergency situations - On 2 November 2007, the National Assembly sanctioned the text of a proposal for a constitutional reform in which guarantees for the right to information would be eliminated if the government decreed a state of emergency. The constitutional reform will be presented to referendum on 2 December and has created a stir in the country because of its proposal for indefinite presidential re-election among other issues.

Moreover, the recent proposal contains a resolution that revokes the 2001 Organic Law on States of Emergency, which also establishes that a number of rights may not be restricted during these, among them the rights to life, to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to information.

The conditions that decide if a state of emergency may be decreed are currently stipulated in article 337 of the Political Constitution; where it is pointed out that in such a case some guarantees established in the Constitution may be restricted temporarily, but not the right to life or to information, among others.

IPYS considers that the elimination of this right in the constitutional reform text is cause for concern, as it represents a backward movement in the country’s legal frame work regarding press freedom during states of emergency.

Source – IPYS
www.ipys.org

28. Various/Useful Links

a) HREA is calling for applications for our annual e-learning courses on Human Rights Advocacy, Human Rights Litigation, Human Rights Monitoring (in French), Introduction to Human Rights Education (in German), Monitoring Children's Rights, Rights-Based Programming and The United Nations Human Rights System , which all will be offered in the first semester of 2008.
Please note that the registration deadline for these courses is 1 December 2007. Further information about each course can be found below.

Distance Learning Programme, HREA
http://www.hrea. org/courses/

b) From EDI-GRAM Newsletter - ENDitorial: CoE - Content Regulation: Break On Through; IPR: It's Tricky - The 8th meeting of the Council of Europe (CoE) group of specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (MC-S-IS) was held in Strasbourg on 29-30 October 2007. It was mainly dedicated to discussing draft documents on technical measures and their impact on human rights and particularly freedom of expression. Two areas were more specifically addressed: content regulation and intellectual property.
In its position of independent NGO observer to the CoE MC-S-IS, EDRI
voices its concerns when needed, including loudly by running campaigns, like the recent one against a new Recommendation failing to uphold online freedom of expression (Rec(2007)11) . In this campaign, EDRI statement was endorsed by 34 national and international NGOs, including major freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and human rights groups. However, EDRI is also fully playing its role when promoting CoE outcomes likely to become important tools for online freedom of expression defenders.

This is likely to happen very soon, provided that the draft Recommendation on measures to promote the respect for freedom of expression and information as regards technical filtering measures' and its accompanying draft "Report on the use and impact of technical filtering measures for various types of content in the online environment, with particular regard to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights" are adopted without important modifications by the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) during its next meeting, and then by the CoE Committee of ministers.

Both draft documents have been adopted during this MC-S-IS meeting. Members and observers of the MC-S-IS group discussed the documents prepared by Austria (MC-S-IS group vice-chair) and Armenia representatives, with the help of the MC-S-IS Secretariat as well as of EDRI as observer. EDRI had the opportunity to suggest many changes to both documents before their submission to the whole group, and almost all these changes were included.

As many members of the group acknowledged, this Recommendation would be the first important document breaking off the usual national, European and international rhetoric of "technical filtering panacea" to fight illegal or harmful content, in that it reintroduces the need to respect human rights standards, first and foremost freedom of expression, but also the right to privacy and other provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights, including the rule of law
principle. One member, namely Norway, insisted though on the "impression the documents gave that governments wont be allowed to any content filtering of blocking" anymore, but it was rather isolated in such position.

The final draft document recommends that CoE member States "take measures to promote the respect for freedom of expression and information as regards technical filtering measures in line with provided guidelines", as well as "to bring these guidelines to the attention of all relevant private and public sector stakeholders, in particular those who design, activate, use and monitor technical filtering measures, and civil society, so that they can contribute to their implementation. "

The draft Recommendation sets out detailed guidelines on: (I) "Using and controlling filters in order to fully exercise and enjoy the right to freedom of expression and information" , (II) "Appropriate filtering for children and young people", and (III) "Use and application of filtering systems by State actors and the private sector".

Another set of draft documents discussed at the same meeting was far from receiving the same welcome, and it is not even likely to be adopted soon, if at all. These documents are a draft "Recommendation on freedom of expression and information and intellectual property
rights in the new information and communications environment" and its accompanying draft report on emerging issues and trends in this context. The former was prepared by Switzerland representative (MC-S-IS group chair) with the help of the Secretariat, and the latter by the Secretariat and an informal working group made up of representatives from France, Malta, Norway and INSAFE/European SchoolNet observer representative.

While EDRI has not taken part in the preparation of these documents, it found the drafts submitted for discussion a very positive achievement, and expressed this position to the MC-S-IS group.

However, the documents generated an incredibly heated discussion, to the extent that some member States showed a truly blocking attitude, even trying to claim that these issues were out of the MC-S-IS group mandate, and, as if this was not enough, to question the ability of its members and observers to discuss issues dealing with intellectual property.

The strongest opponent to the documents was undoubtedly Norway, followed, though less aggressively, by Finland, France and Portugal. ENPA (European Newspaper Publishers' Association) joined this opponent group as observer.

In addition to Switzerland, Austria and Armenia advocated in favour of the draft documents, joined by EDRI, INSAFE/European SchoolNet and EBU (European Broadcasting Union) as observers.

As the MC-S-IS group chair and vice-chair clarified, these documents specifically address the protection of freedom of expression when using intellectual property digital rights management techniques, which is clearly within the group mandate, especially since a former expert group on copyright issues does not exist anymore, its mandate having been transferred to the MC-S-IS group. It was also reminded that it is the responsibility of the MC-S-IS group to address and
explore any issue within its mandate, even controversial ones.

Main contentious points relate to guidelines in view of promoting access to knowledge and education, of assisting IP right holders to self-determine how their protected works can be accessed, and of promoting innovative systems of remuneration for right holders who
want to allow their protected works to be used and/or reused.

The issue should be again on the agenda of next MC-S-IS meetings in 2008. In the mean time, the MC-S-IS group will elaborate a synthesis of main points of disagreement and report to the CDMC. One of the decisions to be made is whether this activity would lead to a CoE
Recommendation or to other, even less normative, kind of document or action (some even suggested yet another conference). In this latter case, EDRI and many other NGOs would likely have to consider this as surrender to main lobbies.

In addition to these two main discussions, the MC-S-IS group had a quick preliminary exchange of views regarding two possible future documents on understanding the freedom of expression and information with regard to the work of Internet service providers on the one hand, and of online game providers on the other hand. A third document, not yet drafted, is also foreseen on the work of social networking sites operators. A short discussion was held on their relevance, even though these documents would be a set of guidelines for concerned actors rather than normative documents intended to State members. The group agreed that, more generally speaking, web 2.0 services should be addressed in relation with the respect for human rights and human dignity. An informal working group will start preparing inputs on this issue, participants being Switzerland and France, with EDRI as observer.

Moreover, the group considered the establishment of a "standard-setting instrument which promotes a coherent pan-European level of protection for children from harmful content when using new communication technologies and services and the Internet, while ensuring freedom of expression and the free flow of information" . The general mood inclined towards the lack of relevance of such activity, especially after Austria, Armenia, and EDRI as observer strongly
warned of the difficulty, if not the impossibility, to agree on a general definition of harmful content, taking into account the diversity of cultures, values and sensibilities at the pan-European level.

Finally, the group had to consider possible new work topics, in view of the renewal of MC-S-IS terms of reference and of the suggestion of themes for the 1st European Ministerial Conference on media and new communication services, to be held in Reykjavik in May 2009 as decided
by the CDMC 5th meeting. In addition to the respect for human rights and human dignity in web2.0 that was already decided, search engines as well as the respect for privacy have been suggested by EDRI. Next regular MC-S-IS meeting is scheduled in late March 2008.

CoE MC-S-IS public website
http://www.coe. int/t/e/human_ rights/media/ 1_intergovernmen tal_co-operation /MC-S-IS

EDRI-gram: CoE to address the impact of technical measures on human rights
(12.04.2007)
http://www.edri. org/edrigram/ number5.7/ coe-human- rights

EDRI campaign on new CoE recommendation failing to uphold online
freedom of expression (10.10.2007)
http://www.edri. org/coerec200711 -signatories
CDMC 5th meeting report (12.09.2007)
http://www.coe. int/t/e/human_ rights/media/ 1_intergovernmen tal_co%2Doperati on/CDMC

c) If you are in the Oxford/London area on Monday 26th November at 4:30pm, please join us at PCMLP for a seminar given by Professor Eric Barendt, Professor of Media Law at University College London on ‘Privacy Reform’ at Seminar Room D, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford. For details please see http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/Michaelm as2007.pdf This is the last seminar in the series.

d) Council of Europe - Towards decriminalization of defamationhttp://assembly. coe.int/Main. asp?link= /Documents/ AdoptedText/ ta07/ERES1577. htm

e Viewpoint: Media freedom dented http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 1/hi/world/ europe/7092413. stm

f) CEU Professorial and CEU Visiting Research Fellowships
http://www.ceu. hu/sep/spo/ fellowships. html

g) International Law Book Facility (ILBF) – Mark Stephens has asked us to pass on these details: the ILBF collects law books that are one edition out of date from law firms across the UK. The charity then ships them off to organisations in developing countries where the books can be used by public access libraries such as in law schools, bar libraries, NGO's and the like. ILBF currently has tons of books and is actively seeking recipients - applications can be made online at the link to the charity see - http://www.ilbf. org.uk/ . Will IMLA members please let their organisations, colleagues and/or other likely candidates for recipients know about this and encourage them to apply for a delivery of books. Many thanks.

h) The 2nd Arab Free Press Forumhttp://www.wan- press.org/ tueni_award/ articles. php?id=1097

i) If you are in the Oxford/London area on Monday 19th November at 4:30pm, please join us at PCMLP for a seminar given by Professor Colin Munro, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Edinburgh on ‘Broadcasting Advertising Restrictions’ at Seminar Room D, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford. For details please see http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/ Michaelmas2007. pdf The last presentation in the series will be by Professor Barendt on 26 November.
j) Please help us promote the Price Media Law Moot Court.
For the calendar of the various activities of the Price Media Law Moot, leading up to the finals to take place in Oxford in April 2008 see: http://pricemootcou rt.socleg. ox.ac.uk/ html/timeschedul e.htm

For the registration form see: http://pricemootcou rt.socleg. ox.ac.uk/ html/registratio nform.doc For expressions of interest in participation and late registrations please contact Troels Larsen directly at PCMLP troels.larsen@ csls.ox.ac. uk

For information about the Price Moot Court see: http://pricemootcou rt.socleg. ox.ac.uk/

“Defending the media needs media defenders”

k) Oak Human Rights Fellowship Application 2008 Focus: Human Rights and Journalismhttp://www.colby. edu/academics_ cs/goldfarb/ oak/upload/ 2008_Oak_ Application. doc

l) Report of the Independent Audit into Freedom of Speech in Australia http://www.news. com.au/files/ freespeechinaust ralia.pdf

m) Internet Governance Forum To Return To Critical Internet Resources Issuehttp://www.ip- watch.org/ weblog/index. php?p=805& res=1024& print=0

n) “Introduction to Law for Journalists,” by the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association, November 6, São Paulo.http://www.abraji. org.br/?id= 90&id_noticia= 570 (in Portuguese)

o) PCMLP Seminar Series http://pcmlp. socleg.ox. ac.uk/html/ Michaelmas2007. pdf
If you are in the Oxford/London area on Monday 12 November, please join us for the 4th. session of the Seminar Series, at 4.30 pm, seminar room D, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford:

Professor Marie McGonagle, Head of Department and Director of the LL.M. in Public Law, National University of Ireland, Galway

“Impact of AVMS Directive in Ireland”
 
p) JOB OPPORTUNITY: The Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam currently has a vacancy for an editor/research assistant specialising in European audiovisual law. http://www.ivir. nl/news/IRIS_ Coordinator_ vacancy_notice. pdf

q) The third quarterly report of the Bia Media Monitoring Deskhttp://www.bianet. org/english/ kategori/ english/102579/ third-quarterly- media-monitoring -report-full- text

r) EEC Directive – Television without Frontiers (6th Commission Report)http://eur-lex. europa.eu/ LexUriServ/ site/en/com/ 2007/com2007_ 0452en01. pdf

s) Freedom of expression watchdog Article 19 has published an investigative reporting manual for Arab journalists, available free online.
http://www.ijnet. org/Director. aspx?P=Article& ID=306839& LID=1

t) Ms Leila Mahmoud of Ryde complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article published by the Isle of Wight County Press on 26 January 2007 headlined ‘Man attacked girlfriend's lesbian lover’ was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice.http://www.pcc. org.uk/cases/ adjudicated. html?article= NDc5Mw==? oxid=3ebdb94d95e 426f4adad52a2009 8c4c8

u) International Conference on IP and the Creative Industries (see Theme 4)http://www.wipo. int/meetings/ en/2007/ip_ ind_ge/program. html
 
 
 

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