SWLAW Blog | Entertainment & Media Law

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June 15, 2020

JIMEL 8:2 Hits the Presses!

Southwestern’s Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute is thrilled to announce the release of Volume 8, Issue 2 of the Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law (JIMEL).  JIMEL is the scholarly journal of the Biederman Institute, published in association with the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law and the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.

JIMEL 8:2 is the second of three issues devoted entirely to articles from Southwestern’s symposium conference, entitled Fake News and “Weaponized Defamation”: Global Perspectives, a global participation event sponsored by JIMEL in partnership with the Southwestern Law Review and the Southwestern International Law Journal.   

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According to Professor Michael Epstein, JIMEL's top editor, the current issue “digs deep into causes and impacts of disinformation spread by state and non-state actors; and the increasing use of asymmetric defamation litigation by the rich to curtail an independent free press.”  The scholarly contributions in this issue “resound with new urgency in 2020,” Professor Epstein said, “as countries, including the United States, face a gap between science and rumor in their efforts to contain a worldwide coronavirus pandemic.”

The first article, “Credibility-Enhancing Regulatory Models to Counter Fake News: Risks of a Non-Harmonized Intermediary Liability Paradigm Shift,” by Professor Theresa Rodriguez de las Heras Ballell, posits a need for uniformity in the reassessment of online liability policies to enlist digital intermediaries and platform operators in the battle to enhance credibility and counter misinformation.  Rodriguez de las Heras Ballell is Professor of Commercial Law, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the 2017-2018 Chair of Excellence at Oxford University’s Harris Manchester College, and a member of the Expert group to the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy.

“Criminal Defamation: Still ‘An Instrument of Destruction’ in the Age of Fake News,” by Professor Jane E. Kirtley and Casey Carmody, describes how criminal defamation statutes are a cudgel against a free press that hobbles efforts to curb fake news in the U.S. and abroad.   Kirtley is the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, and Director, Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Co-author Carmody is a Ph.D. candidate at the Hubbard School.

In “Stemming the Tide of Fake News: A Global Case Study of Decisions to Regulate,” Professor Amy Kristin Sanders and co-authors Rachael L. Jones and Xiran Liu categorize three approaches to addressing fake news in social media: private-sector scrutiny, government-run scrutiny, and, the authors’ main focus, legislation that would punish fake news purveyors with fines and jail time.  Sanders is an Associate Professor at the Moody College of Journalism at the University of Texas.  Jones is a Research Fellow at the University of Florida’s  Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, and Liu is a graduate student at the London School of Economics.

And, finally, Tommaso Tani offers “Legal Responsibility for False News,” a thorough inquiry into the nature of fake news and the legal infirmity of efforts to regulate it beyond existing criminal and tort remedies.  Tani is Privacy and Media Consultant and Researcher, at the Center for Law and Digital Technologies, Leiden, The Netherlands

Later this summer, JIMEL will publish its last set of fake news and weaponized defamation articles revised from papers delivered at its 2018 conference.  

“I want to acknowledge the hard work and can-do spirit of the Journal’s student editors, who persevered to complete this volume from the socially distant confines of their homes.”

- Professor Michael Epstein, Supervising Editor of the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law

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Find the latest issue of Southwestern's Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law posted on our website on the JIMEL page

The Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law is published by the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute of Southwestern Law School, in association with the American Bar Association Forums on Communications Law and the Entertainment and Sports Industries.