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Currently Viewing Posts Tagged FOX

Skipping the Ads

     “I’m watching my ipad” is a funny line from a Dish Network commercial. It’s an old curmudgeon on the porch who does not want to be interrupted.

     That ad is like a precursor to a recent ruling in favor of Dish Network, about its “Hopper” product. The Hopper allows Dish Network subscribers to record several shows at one time. It also allows subscribers to entirely skip the commercials during programming. The technology “marks the beginning and end of each commercial” to create the AutoHop feature. 

     Fox sued Dish over their ad-skipping DVR and the Court has rejected a request for an injunction against the service. (USA Today) . So, like the curmudgeon, there will still be no interruptions (commercials) if someone so chooses. The court ruled that consumers have the fundamental right of choice and control.

     If Fox chooses to appeal the Ninth Circuit opinion, it would probably end up being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Fox said in a statement that, “This is not about consumer choice or advances in technology. It is about a company devising an unlicensed unauthorized service that clearly infringes our copyrights and violates our contract”.   

     DID YOU KNOW that the word “maverick” became part of everyday language after Texan rancher Samuel Maverick refused to brand his cattle. Eventually any unbranded calf became known as a Maverick.

     And for pic o’ day (I did get office permission to post this despite possible questionable language!!!!)



Unpaid Intern Lawsuit

It really is a balance of experience versus an employer just simply taking advantage of free labor. (Legal Intelligencer sub. required) From Manhattan, U.S. District Judge William Pauley III has ruled that unpaid interns working for various subsidiaries of  the Fox News family, are now entitled to back wages.

Judge Pauley first granted class action status to about 150 unpaid interns over the claim that unpaid interns are employees if “interns are providing work of immediate benefit to employers where they are not receiving training other than what they’re learning on the job”.

I had previously blogged on a prior opinion in the same District, where a different judge (Judge Baer) had determined that interns did not meet the burden of being recognized as a class, and therefore would have to bring their claims individually. That’s why this Pauley opinion is groundbreaking.

Both of these cases are now ripe for review before the Court of Appeals and potentially the US Supreme Court. It does shine the light on the entire internship process. In the Pauley case, the Court noted that Fox had statistically hired more interns to perform work while reducing their paid workforce in a cost-cutting measure. It is one of those fact-patterns that I could argue from both sides. On one hand, it’s good to “get in the game”.

in the game

On the other hand, is it fair to be free labor because you have no bargaining power?  I am curious to see how this turns out because of my previous internship experience. Anyone that has worked as an intern probably has the same attitude of “Hmm”. You need the pay but you also need the experience. The best of all worlds is getting both.

I remember being hired as a Congressional aide. It started out as an internship that paid very little per week. Then, I was able to continue working during the next year of college, and became a full-fledged Federal employee for the Congressman.

After my first year of law school, I was hired as an intern at the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney. I soon learned that my salary would be $200 per week. Because of the expense of law school, I had to decline the internship. Soon, I was selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles instead. That truly became an experience!

For pic o’ day, I went with the two sides to everything:



Cursing and Nudity on TV

The title of the blog is more of an attention grabber than usual and it didn’t take creativity. Cursing and Nudity comes straight from a Supreme Court opinion that was published on Thursday.

In Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television, (NY Times article)  the Supreme Court excused two broadcasters from potential FCC fines relating to past broadcasting violations  against cursing and nudity. It was an 8-0 vote.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor recused herself from the case.

The Court set aside fines against Fox relating to “fleeting expletives” that were uttered by Cher and Nicole Ritchie during a 2002 Billboard Music Awards show.

ABC and it’s affiliates had also been fined for an episode of NYPD Blue. In a 2003 show, an actresses’ bare buttocks were displayed during a shower scene.

The Court never got to the question of First Amendment rights and the possible limitation of free speech, over the airwaves. In fact, the opinion did not provide any guidance relating to when the government has the authority to regulate anything on broadcast television.

The Court did an “end-around” on the real issue. Instead, it chose to base the opinion on notice. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the opinion that the FCC had changed the rules in the middle of the game. “The commission failed to give Fox or ABC fair notice, prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionable indecent”.

For those that believe that less government is better government, this opinion will be soup to the soul. However, there are some that don’t want government, unless they want something regulated; like what should be deemed immoral on television.  That’s what makes law full of twists and turns.

I blog… you decide!

For a TV blog, here’s pic o’ day:


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