Briefs & Comments

  • August 11, 2017

    The Reporters Committee and 25 media organizations filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit in support of a group of plaintiffs challenging North Carolina's "ag gag" statute. N.C. Gen. Stat. 99A-2 creates a civil cause of action by an employer against (1) an employee who enters a nonpublic area of the employer's premises for a reason other than a bona fide intent of seeking or holding employment or doing business and captures or removes information or records images or sounds; (2) any person who places an unattended camera or surveillance device on the employer's premises; or (3) any person who intentionally directs, assists, or induces an individual to violate the act. The Middle District of North Carolina dismissed plaintiffs' case for lack of standing, and plaintiffs appealed.

  • May 27, 2016

    The Reporters Committee wrote a letter to Sen. John Thune raising concerns about his committee's request from Facebook for information regarding its Trending Topics feature.

  • February 11, 2016

    Education associations brought an action in federal court in D.C. for injunctive relief against Public.Resource.Org ("Public Resource") for copyright infringement after Public Resource posted a copy of the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (“1999 Standards”) on its website. The Reporters Committee filed an amicus brief in Public Resource\'s favor on February 11, 2016. In the brief, the Reporters Committee argued that copyright law should not be used to restrict access to "the law." Doing so hinders journalists' ability to inform the public about important laws that affect many aspects of American life. Additionally, the Reporters Committee argued that the public and news media have a First Amendment right to communicate the contents of the 1999 Standards -- a right that copyright law cannot be used to overcome because the standards constitute an "idea," a category of information copyright law does not protect.

  • January 11, 2016

    ASTM and other standard development organizations sued for copyright infringement after the web site posted standards that had been incorporated into state and federal laws, but were copyrighted and developed by the plaintiffs. In an amicus brief in support of dismissal of the claim before the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the Reporters Committee argued that the practice of charging citizens to view standards incorporated by reference raised First Amendment concerns, and that the First Amendment’s structural role in promoting informed debate and the news media’s ability to check governmental power is limited when access to such information is restricted.

  • January 20, 2012

    The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (9th Cir.) struck down the 2006 Stolen Valor Act, which criminalizes lying about the receipt of military honors, on First Amendment grounds. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case--which involves a California man who, despite never serving in the military, stated at a municipal water board meeting that he had served in the armed forces for almost three decades and received a Medal of Honor--and decide whether the statute is constitutional.

  • November 11, 2011

    Urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the lower court ruling that the FCC's indecency policy is unconstitutionally vague and its subjective enforcement restricts broadcasters' news reporting.