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Political advertising and social media

The Texas Ethics Commission recently revised rules regulating disclosures in online political advertising. Among other changes, the new rule exempts political advertising shared or re-posted on social media by persons other than a candidate or political committee from general requirements to disclose the message as political advertising and to identify the candidate or person responsible for the ad.

By Paul C. Watler

Appeals Court Finds Texas’ Retraction and Anti-SLAPP Statutes Work in Harmony to Protect and Promote Free Speech Rights

A Houston court of appeals recently sided with media defendants regarding the relationship between Texas’ retraction statute (known as the Defamation Mitigation Act “DMA”) and the Anti-SLAPP statute (known as the Texas Citizens Participation Act “TCPA”). 

By Wesley D. Lewis, Associate, Haynes and Boone, LLP 

‘The Litigation Exception:’ A strange creature of darkness in government

Section 552.103 of the Texas Public Information Act—the “litigation exception”—is a uniquely strange exception to “prompt” disclosure of public information. Generally, it permits a governmental body to withhold information “relating to litigation of a civil or criminal nature” in which the government is, or may become, a party, viewed as of the date a requestor asks for the information.

Know the state's rules before launching drones in Texas

Alicia Calzada, ALICIA CALZADA, Hayes and Boone, LLP

ASK AN ATTORNEY:

Q: “How do the new FAA rules on the use of drones affect Texas newspapers? I thought we had a state law that pretty much prohibits use of drones for media photography.”

A: The journalism world celebrated this summer when the Federal Aviation Administration enacted its long-awaited drone rules, clearing the way for the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) for newsgathering.

Texas Supreme Court Opinions Firm Up Anti-SLAPP Rights For Online Journalists | Jackson Walker - JDSupra

For freedom of speech and the press to thrive in an online world, the First Amendment must continue as the unabated pillar of the right to robust debate on issues of public concern. More comprehensive progress toward First Amendment protection of the news media remains overdue from the Lone Star State's highest court, but the pair of recent opinions gave online journalism conferees a reason to raise a stein of Shiner Bock.

Can someone legally sell plaques of your pages?

Q: A national company has been selling plaques with miniaturized versions of actual newspaper pages. The plaques are marketed to individuals and businesses that have appeared in the newspaper. Is it a violation of copyright law for the company to sell these plaques?