In Minnesota, a telecommunications carrier is “a person, firm, association, or corporation authorized to furnish” an interchange telephone service and/or a local telephone service. Minn. Stat. § 327.01 subd. 6. Such carrier “does not include entities that derive more than 50 percent of their revenues from operator services provided to transient locations such as hotels,
Communications and Media Law
Communications and Media Law encompass a wide variety of legal issues including technological, licensing, and administrative matters faced by broadcasters, newspapers, journalists, bloggers, advertisers, and others disseminating news and information.
Common questions include
- “What can I photograph?”
- “What information am I allowed to broadcast?”
- “When can I be sued for libel, slander, or defamation?”
- “Do I have to reveal the identity of an anonymous information source?”
- “Do any special rules or privileges apply to me as a broadcaster or journalist?”
Sometimes the answers to these questions might be surprising. You may have more rights than you think!
Our legal team will be happy to assist you with anything concerning media law or broadcasting regulations – whether it be filing paperwork, fighting an FCC fine or suspension, or protecting your powerful position as a journalist or media outlet.
Put experience and knowledge on your side. Contact us with any concerns you might have. We would love to help you.
Public Disclosure of Private Facts
Minnesota law recognizes four different privacy torts including appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, and false light. Liability under public disclosure of private facts occurs when a person gives publicity to a matter that concerns the private life of another, a matter that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and that is
Trade Secrets: Why They Matter to Your Business
In the world of electronic sharing and emails providing data at lightning speed, the issue of trade secrets has become an increasing concern for all businesses. Minnesota recognized this and adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1980. A trade secret is information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that
Radio Station & Broadcast Law: 47 CFR 73 – 74 & More
Written by Attorney Joe Irby Broadcast Law In his 10+ years as a broadcaster, Joe Irby identified a number of issues that came up repeatedly at the various radio stations where he worked. Sometimes, these issues have baffled station owners and managers. Joe Irby prepared this guide to help station owners and managers understand how to
Broadcasting Law: Boosters, Translators and LPFMs
Written by Attorney Joe Irby These two types of broadcast signals are rapidly catching on in popularity. Full-power radio stations are quickly buying up FM translators and moving them around to strategic locations to supplement their primary signal. On the other hand, non-profit groups and community organizations are quickly trying to take control of many LPFM
Broadcasting Hours of Operation Laws
Written by Attorney Joe Irby How many hours must I operate my broadcast station? In many areas and in many circumstances, running a broadcast station 24 hours a day, seven days a week just doesn't make sense. For example, a broadcast station might be located in a sparsely populated area and statistically, the audience drops off
Laws Concerning Broadcast Station’s Chief Operator
Written by Attorney Joe Irby What does the “Chief Operator” do, and why do I need one? A Chief Operator is a very important position. He acts as your station's “go to guy” for many of the technical issues that arise on a seemingly daily basis. This is no job to be taken lightly. The FCC
Broadcaster Legal ID Laws
Written by Attorney Joe Irby What is a legal ID and when must I run one? Are the requirements the same for radio and television? How do I run a legal ID on my booster/translator? Legal ID The Legal ID lets the audience know which broadcast station they're tuned into. Although your station's jingles play into
Broadcast Station License Period Laws
Written by Attorney Joe Irby How long does my license last? Once a broadcast station goes through the arduous process of obtaining a license, it is allowed to broadcast in accordance with the FCC's regulations. Although the process is cumbersome, it is something that must be done and repeated. Remember, the FCC's underlying goal is to
Public Service Announcement Requirements
Written by Attorney Joe Irby At one point in time, broadcast stations were “...required by the Federal Communications Commission to allocate a certain amount of time to public service.” This meant that they had to “give away” a certain amount of air time to non-profit groups or make other announcements that are deemed to “serve the
Broadcaster Public File Laws
Written by Attorney Joe Irby The public file is arguably one of the most regulated aspects of a broadcast station. Many times, a station may be in full compliance regarding everything they do except for one, small thing – they haven't put the right (or enough) information in the public file, or the file is out-of-date.
Unlicensed Broadcasting Laws
Written by Attorney Joe Irby An engineer once said “The FCC spends too much time going after pirates. As long as the station doesn't interfere with anything, [the pirate] isn't hurting anyone.” Wise words, however, the FCC will still shut down (and even prosecute) unlicensed broadcasters or manufacturers of devices that emit unregulated radio waves. Not
Maximizing Your Money: Leveraging and Raising Capital for a Broadcast Station
Written by Attorney Joe Irby Broadcast stations are a business. Plain and simple. Whether the broadcast signal is the primary revenue stream of a business or it is just used to supplement another aspect of the business or entity, broadcasting is still a business and there is no getting around that. This is true even if
Advertising: “No Urban / No Spanish Dictates”
Written by Attorney Joe Irby For most broadcast stations, your license will expire in 2013 or 2014 and it's time to start thinking about the renewal process. The FCC just passed a new requirement requiring proof of compliance with the "No Urban/No Spanish Dictates" rule. This requirement was integrated into the license renewal process in an
FTC Slams Comcast Corp. CEO with $500,000 Fine for Pre-Merger Reporting Act Violations
Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast Corporation, has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty to settle claims asserted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that he violated the reporting requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR-Act) by failing to report his acquisition of Comcast stock as part of the company's merger with AT&T Corporation back