First Amendment & Media Law

Benesch’s media law attorneys advise publishers, broadcasters, authors, advertisers and media companies on a wide range of issues including regarding the First Amendment, intellectual property, public access and privacy.

Before publication, broadcast or internet posting, we have helped our media clients

  • obtain access to public records and public hearings under federal and state laws designed to keep government open;
  • vet material to assess and limit litigation risk;
  • overcome prior restraints;
  • navigate the “safe harbor” provisions with advice concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Communications Decency Act and other laws regulating online material;
  • prepare terms of use, user agreements and disclosures tailored for clients’ websites, including those featuring user generated material.

After publication or broadcast, we have

  • defended clients in litigation, including suits involving defamation, invasion of privacy, rights of publicity, the Lanham Act and copyright protection;
  • protected sources, and unpublished information and outtakes from compelled disclosure by subpoena or court order;
  • enforced copyright protections and other IP rights.

Our litigation experience includes issues of first impression involving protections for sources, outtakes and the identity of anonymous internet commenters. We also have secured substantial attorney-fee recoveries in defamation and access lawsuits under state anti-SLAPP and public records laws.