The Deeplinks Blog contains several articles covering different legal issues such as fair use, First Amendment rights, software copyright protection, automatic image generators, trademark disputes, and the impact of tech companies on communities.
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The US Surgeon General has called for increased restrictions on youth social media usage, citing evidence of the harm that excessive use of social media is having on the mental health of children and adolescents, but critics argue that the report's recommendations are heavy-handed and work against freedom of speech.
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The article discusses the recent Twitter versus Taamneh and Gonzalez versus Google rulings, including the importance of Section 230 and how the Supreme Court's non-decision preserves the status quo for now, but future cases could potentially lead to changes that may negatively impact the future of the internet.
The Louisiana Court of Appeal has ruled that free speech does not violate the First Amendment in a case involving a parent who allegedly placed electronic devices on her child to intercept communications within school premises and made defamatory comments against the school board and its employees.
A student's First Amendment challenge against disciplinary actions after posting a racially insensitive image on Instagram with minor caption was allowed to go forward by a court in the US, as the posting did not involve features that would place it outside the First Amendment's ordinary protection.
The North Carolina Court of Appeal has upheld the dismissal of a US professor who used racial slurs in an email to a co-worker, ruling that the comments did not constitute free speech because they were not relating to an issue of public concern, and that they constituted a personal grievance and a lack of satisfaction with university's financial support for his chosen conference.
The Livingston Police Department in Montana issued an order for all protests, in response to a "drag story hour" event, to only occur in the parking lot of City Hall due to credible reports of armed protestors, but this general order is unconstitutional.
The case of Young v. Town of Conway involves a bakery owner who is facing a legal battle over a mural painted by high school students which was deemed to be a sign violating zoning laws, and despite an initial decision to let Conway townspeople vote on the issue, the matter has since turned into a federal lawsuit.
The article discusses different court cases that involve Section 230, including a case involving a roommate matching service that allegedly accepted unverified listings, a yearbook case with a rough denial of the motion to dismiss, and a case alleging that politicians banned constituents on social media, which strayed into Section 230.
The North Carolina Bar Association faced backlash for canceling a planned drag trivia night hosted by the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity committee due to anti-gay demagoguery from the state legislature, with members accusing the association's president, Clayton Morgan, of being patronizing, embarrassing, and disappointing in his response to the decision, in which he cited concerns over the potential impact on the committee's other legislative priorities.
The article includes several legal news items, including a judge scolding an attorney, Penguin Random House suing school districts for banning books, Montana banning TikTok, and Deutsche Bank paying $75 million to settle claims related to Epstein's sex trafficking.
Elon Musk's argument that the screener required by a consent decree he voluntarily entered is effectively a "prior restraint" on his speech has been rejected by the US 2nd Circuit.
A proposed bill in Texas, S.B. 896, will weaken the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act, which protects the free speech rights of individuals and companies by making it easier for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) to be filed against them, according to civil rights groups, journalists, and media outlets who are opposing the bill.
Disney is set to argue in court that a recent Florida law makes the lawsuit against them filed by Ron DeSantis and other Florida Republicans illegal and moot, due to the fact that it forbids the board from complying with their previously executed contracts, which renders any declaration about the contracts' enforceability a moot point.
The PEN American Center, several book authors, publishers, and parents of children attending public school in Escambia County (Florida) have filed a lawsuit stating that the Escambia County School District and School Board removed and restricted books from public school libraries "based on their disagreement with the ideas expressed in those books," with the banned books and restrictions disproportionately targeting books by or about people of color and/or LGBTQ people, constituting viewpoint discrimination under the First Amendment in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) has sent a demand letter to a Texas school district requesting that they lift a two-year ban on a father who criticized the school district's police hiring practices after his children's elementary school shooting or face a lawsuit for violating his First Amendment rights.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis admitted that he led an effort to retaliate against Disney for speaking out against the controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill by attempting to repeal the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which contains Disney's Florida theme parks, but in a new interview, DeSantis framed the issue as a unique example of corporate welfare, and he argues that Disney's lawsuit alleging political retribution misrepresents the situation, even though Disney alleges that DeSantis deliberately revoking Disney's self-governing status is still an unconstitutional violation of the company's right to free speech and due process.
A Minnesota court has granted a Harassment Restraining Order against a man who put up signs that faced his neighbor's home, in response to the neighbor's son pleading guilty to a criminal-sexual-conduct charge involving the man's daughter.
Donald Trump's lawsuit against Twitter for violating his first amendment rights by removing him from the platform following his incitement of a coup has been dismissed by a US district judge; however, Team Trump has now submitted new evidence related to Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter and a complaint filed by the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana in order to receive an advisory opinion from the trial court based on a supposed "massive government influence on Twitter."
A court has rejected the claim made by a man that Facebook and Twitter violated his First Amendment rights, due to both platforms restricting his account access over various posts regarding COVID and other issues, with new evidence failing to revive his case.
Multiple state laws and proposed bills would impose strict restrictions on a minor's online activities, requiring parental consent to access social media platforms to protect them from potential harm, privacy and abuse, but the laws would deprive teenagers of their First Amendment rights and pose challenges to families with non-traditional structures, lack of access to required devices, and potential sharing of private data while leaving space for abusive adults to control minors' online activities.
The Supreme Court's oral arguments in the 2022-2023 term saw a significant increase in the amount of speech from the justices, with newly appointed Justice Jackson setting a new standard for speech, and the liberal justices speaking nearly as much as the conservative justices.
The US Department of Justice has filed a "statement of interest" in a lawsuit filed by Micah's Way against the city of Santa Ana, arguing that the city's crackdown on the Christian charity's snack service violates federal laws protecting religious activity from discriminatory local land use regulations.
The American Confidence in Elections Act aims to protect free speech by prohibiting new speech-chilling rules for nonprofits and codifying Trump-era reforms protecting nonprofit donors against unnecessary disclosures and warehousing of their personal information, after the IRS targeted right-of-center organizations and proposed severe limits on issue speech by certain nonprofits, and politicians and activists have pushed the IRS to regulate more, not less, but the IRS's history of policing speech puts the constitutional and partisan dangers of letting it regulate speech too high.
The Deeplinks Blog covers various technology-related topics including debates over companies' responsibilities, copyright protection for software, concerns raised over automated image generators and labor, disputes over trademarks and free speech rights online, the impact of tech companies on cities, and the celebration of works that have become free to use due to copyright expiration.
Former President Donald Trump has been found liable for sexual assault and defamation of E. Jean Carroll by a New York jury, which imposed a $5 million penalty on him for his conduct in a dressing room assault and his lies about his victim, with Trump supporters trying to spin the fact that the rape charge was not proven as a win; Trump's lawyer Alina Habba, who represented him in the case, has criticised New York's Adult Survivor law, which extends the statute of limitations for victims to sue their abusers, calling it "un-American" and "bad actually," with the constitutionality of the law challenged in the case and subsequently lost.
Democrats are considering a potential refusal to compromise with Republicans, and instead attempt to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional, as the possibility of default looms due to the U.S.'s $31.4 trillion debt as of April, however, the move could have profound and disastrous effects on the economy, leading to higher interest rates, financial margin calls, mass selling of stocks, a decrease in pensions, and ultimately, inflation.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's letter to Amazon expressing "concerns" about a book called "The Truth About COVID-19" did not violate the First Amendment rights of the book authors, according to a ruling by the Ninth Circuit, which adopted the Second Circuit's approach to decide if the letter constituted "jawboning" or coercion; the court found that Warren didn't have the regulatory authority to enforce her demands and there were no explicit or implied threats, and her letter is treated as political posturing rather than government censorship.
A New York trial court judge dismissed a lawsuit against a Jewish school in which plaintiffs had alleged religious discrimination and negligent infliction of emotional distress, ruling that the case raised issues that would necessarily involve impermissible inquiries into religious doctrine or practice.
Adam Vavrick, a Satanist minister and ordained member of The Satanic Temple, has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the Chicago City Council after being refused the opportunity to give an invocation before the council while members of other religious groups have been allowed to deliver their own invocations.
A high school student has filed a first amendment lawsuit against her school district, challenging her school’s policy requiring her to pass out pro-dairy flyers, as this violated her freedom of speech, as well as the USDA’s regulations on barring anti-dairy speech on school grounds.
Former US President Donald Trump's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, his niece Mary Trump, and three journalists has been dismissed by a New York trial court judge because the First Amendment protects reporters' legal and newsgathering activities.
Justice Thomas was not required to disclose tuition payments made by Harlan Crow to Justice Thomas's grand-nephew's private school tuition due to the narrow law definition of dependent child, which excludes great-nephews, but experts argue whether the payments were gifts to Thomas personally or to Martin at the end of the day, more disclosure is always better.
Former President Donald Trump's lawsuit against The New York Times has been dismissed by a judge who ordered Trump to pay The New York Times's legal fees, after alleging the paper and three of its reporters had conspired with his niece, Mary Trump, to gain access to his tax records through illegal means.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney Co., seeking to invalidate two long-term contracts giving Disney considerable control over the district it is in, following the entertainment giant's opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Act banning teaching children under the age of 9 about sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Satanic Temple is suing a Pennsylvania school district for banning its After School Satan Club meetings after it received backlash from parents, arguing that it violated the First Amendment by restricting freedom of speech based on the group's viewpoint.
The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, a group appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis, has voted to sue Disney in response to Disney's own suit against the group alleging five constitutional causes of action.
Reddit has been ordered not to give up personal identity details of eight users involved in a piracy dispute, as a US judge said the Redditors' right to anonymous speech outweighed the interests of the rightsholders.
The Minnesota Legislature is considering a bill similar to the California Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC), which requires businesses providing online services to produce and maintain data protection impact assessments before launching new products or features, among other obligations, drawing First Amendment and Fourth Amendment concerns, with the District Court scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case on July 27.
EFF and ACLU have filed a brief supporting Twitter's efforts to ask an appeals court to reconsider a ruling upholding an FBI gagging order over the publication of a transparency report.
The article discusses why some libertarians and right-of-center journalists are expressing a newfound respect for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Democratic presidential nomination campaign, despite his history of advocating for government punishment against those who disagree with his views and fervent support of Hugo Chavez's government.
The Ninth Circuit has upheld a California traffic law, which limits the use of vehicle horns except when it is reasonably necessary for the interested parties in those cases to ensure safe operation, against a challenge brought by a driver who wanted to honk her horn to show support for a political process; the law was found to be a content-neutral restriction on expression, and narrowly tailored to ensure traffic safety.
The US Supreme Court will hear two cases concerning local officials blocking social media users who are critical of them, one of which pertains to the distinction between official and personal social media accounts, while the other involves a board of school members in Southern California who blocked critical parents on Facebook and Twitter.
Michigan's new law prevents divorce complaints from being made available to the public until proof of service has been filed with the court, which has been challenged as a violation of the First Amendment right of access to court records by Attorney Michael Bristow, though the court concluded that he was unlikely to succeed on the merits, as the historical restriction of divorce proceedings has been used to protect the privacy of individuals involved.
The article examines the issue of state laws that regulate internet communications and their potential violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause, arguing that while such laws may sometimes impose burdens on interstate commerce, they are generally justified in maintaining state discretion and preserving the traditional state power to protect residents from harm.
The city of Lebanon amended its abortion ordinance, removing language that threatened people with prosecution for aiding and abetting abortions, after a federal lawsuit was filed challenging the ordinance's First Amendment and due process violations.
Was ist First Amendment?
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech, including press, assembly and the right to petition. It is one of the most important foundations for democracy, and guarantees that citizens will be able to express their values and opinions without fear of repression or punishment. The amendment also guarantees freedom of religion, and prevents the government from prohibiting free exercise of religion. It also protects the right to assemble peaceably and to petition the government.
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