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Comic books

Supreme Court
Ashcroft v. ACLU, 535 U.S. 564 (2002)
Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002)
Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)
R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992)
Sable Communications of California v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989)
Pope v. Illinois, 481 U.S. 497 (1987)
Brockett v. Spokane Arcades, Inc., 472 U.S. 491 (1985)
Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U.S. 60 (1983)
Perry Educ. Ass'n v. Perry Local Educators' Ass'n, 460 U.S. 37 (1983)
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978)
Hamling v. United States, 418 U.S. 87 (1974)
Jenkins v. Georgia, 418 U.S. 153 (1974)
Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973)
Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557 (1969)
Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968)
Interstate Circuit, Inc. v. Dallas, 390 U.S. 676 (1968)
Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58 (1963)
Smith v. California, 361 U.S. 147 (1959)
Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380 (1957)
Winters v. New York, 333 U.S. 507 (1948)

Castillo v. Texas, 79 S.W.3d 817 (Tex. Ct. App. 2002), cert. denied, 2003 U.S. LEXIS 2224 (March 24, 2003)
Winter v. DC Comics, 69 P.3d 473 (Cal. 2003)
Eclipse Enters. v. Gulotta, 134 F.3d 63 (2nd Cir. 1997)
Video Software Dealers Ass'n v. Webster, 773 F. Supp. 1275 (W.D. Mo. 1991), aff'd 968 F.2d 684 (8th Cir. 1992) (statute including violent material in definition of "obscenity" ruled unconstitutional)
Illinois v. Correa, 548 N.E.2d 351 (Ill. App. Ct. 1989)
United Features Syndicate v. Sunrise Mold. Co., 569 F.Supp 1475 (S.D. Fla. 1983) (case involved protecting likenesses of Peanuts characters)
Walt Disney Producers v. Air Pirates, 581 F.2d 751 (9th Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1132 (1979)
Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Inc. v. McWherter, 866 S.W.2d 520 (1993) (case involved Tennessee law forbidding display or sale of books with "excess violence" in stores where minors lawfully permitted. Law found unconstitutionally vague, but other regulations upheld because stores given several choices of how to shield younger minors from indecency)
New York v. Kirkpatrick, 316 N.Y.S.2d 37 (N.Y. Crim. Ct. 1970) (citing United States v. 31 Photographs, 156 F. Supp. 350, 357-358 (S. D. N. Y. 1957), aff'd, 295 N.E.2d 753 (N.Y. Ct. App. 1973), appeal dismissed, 414 U.S. 948 (1973)
California v. Golden, 97 Cal. Rptr. 476 (Cal. Ct. App. 1971)
Police Comm'r of Baltimore City v. Siegel Enterprises, Inc., 162 A.2d 727 (Md. Ct. App. 1960), cert. denied, 364 U.S. 909 (1960)
Katzev v. Los Angeles, 341 P.2d 310 (Cal. 1959)
Adams v. Hinkle, 322 P.2d 844 (Wash. 1958)
Detective Comics, Inc. v. Bruns Publications, 111 F.2d. 432 (2d Cir. 1940) (a case protecting the character Superman from infringement by the similar character Wonderman)

Conn. Gen. Stat. Sect. 53a-197 (2003)
Conn. Gen. Stat. Sect. 53a-198 (2003)
Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 16603 (2003)

Adelman, Bob, et al., Tijuana Bibles: Art and Wit in America's Forbidden Funnies, 1930s-1950s, Simon & Schuster (1997)
Blanchard, Margaret A., "The American Urge to Censor: Freedom of Expression Versus the Desire to Sanitize Society — From Anthony Comstock to 2 Live Crew," 33 Wm. and Mary L. Rev. 741 (1992)
Chabon, Michael, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Random House (2000)
Eisner, Will, Comics & Sequential Art, Poorhouse Press (expanded ed. 1991)
Groth, Gary G., "Grown-Up Comics: Breakout from the Underground," Print, November/December 1988
Humphrey, M. Clark, "Dan, Drugs and Doonesbury," The Comics Journal (December 1991)
Lamb, Marguerite, "Who Was Wonder Woman 1?" Bostonia: The Alumni Quarterly of Boston University, fall 2001
Lee, Stan, and Mair, George, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, Simon & Schuster (2002)
McCloud, Scott, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, (1993)
McCloud, Scott, Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology are Revolutionizing an Art Form, Perennial (2000)
Outcault, Richard Felton, R.F. Outcault, The Yellow Kid: A Centennial Celebration of the Kid Who Started the Comics, Northampton, Mass.: Kitchen Sink Press, 1995
Prettyman, E. Barrett Jr., and Hook, Lisa A., "The Control Of Media-Related Imitative Violence," 38 Fed. Comm. L.J. 317 (1987)
Saunders, Kevin W., "Media Self-Regulation of Depictions of Violence: A Last Opportunity," 47 Okla. L. Rev. 445 (1994)
Singleton, Solveig, "Reviving a First Amendment Absolutism for the Internet," 3 Tex. Rev. Law & Pol. 279 (1999)
Spiegelman, Art, Maus: A Survivor's Tale, (2 vols.), Pantheon Books (1986, 1991)
Spiegelman, Art, "Commix: An Idiosyncratic Historical and Aesthetic Overview," Print, November/December 1988
Swainger, Jonathan, "Crime and Popular Culture: American Crime Comics as Villians: An Incident from Northern Canada," 22 Legal Stud. Forum 215 (1998)
Wertham, Fredric, The World of Fanzines: A Special Form of Communication, Southern Illinois University Press (1973)
Wertham, Fredric, Seduction of the Innocent, New York: Rinehart (1954)

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Hearings on S. 190 Before the Subcomm. to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 83d Cong., 2d Sess. 82 (1954)
Archie Comics Entertainment, For Parents
Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Early version of Comics Code reproduced in Free Speeches, Oni Press, Portland, Ore., August 1998
"Censorship of Comic Books: A Statement in Opposition on Civil Liberties Grounds," American Civil Liberties Union (1955)


'Son of Sam'

'Son of Sam' statutes: federal and state summary


Libel in fiction
Bryson v. News America Publications, Inc., 174 Ill.2d 77, 672 N.E.2d 1207, 220 Ill. Dec. 195 (1996)
Carter-Clark v. Random House, Inc., 196 Misc.2d 1011, 768 N.Y.S.2d 290 (2003)
Fetler v. Houghton Mifflin Company, 364 F.2d 650 (2nd Cir. 1966)
Muzikowski v. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 322 F.3d 918 (7th Cir. 2003)
New Times, Inc. v. Isaacks, 146 S.W.3d 144 (Tex. 2004)
Polydoros v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 67 Cal.App.4th 318, 79 Cal.Rptr.2d 207 (1997)
Pring v. Penthouse Int'l, Ltd., 695 F.2d 438 (10th Cir. 1982)
Welch v. Penguin Books USA, Inc. (unpublished), 1991 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 225 (Index No. 21756/90) (4/3/91)
Wheeler v. Dell Publishing Co., 300 F.2d 372 (7th Cir. 1962)

Kaufman, Alan J. "Defining Libel in Fiction," Publishers Marketing Association (October 2001).

Hilden, Julie. "The Texas Supreme Court's Libel-By-Fiction Case," Findlaw.com, 12/09/03

Kreutzer, Jan Kipp. "Defamation: Problems with Applying Traditional Standards to Non-Traditional Cases — Satire, Fiction and Fictionalization." 11 N. KY. L. Rev. 131 (1984)

Sack, Robert D. (3rd ed.) Sack on Defamation: Libel, Slander and Related Problems (Practising Law Institute, 2004)

Schauer, Frederick. Defamation in Fiction: Liars, Novelists, and the Law of Defamation. 51 Brooklyn L. Rev. 233 (1985)


Violence & media

Supreme Court
Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205 (1975)
Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971)
Tinker v. Des Moines School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969)
Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)
Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495 (1952)
Winters v. New York, 333 U.S. 507 (1948)
Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)
Schenck v. U.S., 249 U.S. 47 (1919)

Online symposium: TV violence & the FCC, 2007
Federal Trade Commission report “Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children,” April 2007
Violence and the Media, a report by the First Amendment Center
VSDA v. Schwarzenegger, (N.D. Cal. 2007)
Entertainment Merchants Association v. Henry, (W.D. Okla., 2007) granting permanent injunction
EMA v. Henry, (W.D. Okla., 2006) granting preliminary injunction
ESA v. Foti, 451 F.Supp.2d 823 (M.D. La., 2006)
Entertainment Software Association v. Hatch, (D. Minn. 2006)
ESA v. Granholm, (E.D. Mich. 2006)
Entertainment Software Assoc. v. Blagojevich, (7th Cir. 2006)
VSDA v. Schwarzenegger, 401 F. Supp 2d 1034 (N.D. Calif., 2005)
ESA v. Blagojevich (I), 404 F. Supp. 2d 1051 (E.D. Ill. 2005)
Video Software Dealers Assoc. v. Maleng, (W.D. Wash. 2004)
Interactive Digital Software Association v. St Louis Co., (8th Cir. 2003)
James v. Meow Media Inc., (02-740); James v. Meow Media Inc., 300 F.3d 683, 696 (6th Cir. 2002)
Sanders v. Acclaim Entertainment Inc., 188 F.Supp. 2d 1264 (D. Colo. 2002)
Wilson v. Midway Games Inc., 198 F.Supp. 2d 167 (D. Conn. 2002)
American Amusement Machine Association v. Kendrick, (7th Cir. 2001)
Waller v. Osbourne, 763 F. Supp. 1144 (M.D. Ga. 1991)
DeFilippo v. NBC, 446 A. 2d 1036 (R.I. 1982)
Walt Disney Prod. v. Shannon, 247 Ga. 402 (1981)
Zamora v. Columbia Broadcasting System, 480 F. Supp. 199 (S.D. Fla. 1979)
Olivia N. v. NBC, 74 Cal. App. 3d 383 (1977)
Writers Guild of America W., Inc. v. FCC, 423 F. Supp. 1064, 1161 (C.D. Cal. 1976)

Fowles, Jib, The Case for Television Violence, Sage Publications, 2000
Freedman, Jonathan, "Television Violence and Aggression: A Rejoinder," Psychological Bulletin, 100 (1986): 372-78
Krattenmaker, Thomas; and Powe, Scott, "Televised Violence: First Amendment Principles and Social Science Theory," 64 Virginia L. Rev. 1155 (1978)
Pally, Marcia, Sex and Sensibility, Perseus Publishing, 1994, p. 93
Strassburger, Victor, "Television and Adolescents: Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll," Adolescent Medicine, 1 (1990): 161-94
Wilson, James Q., The Moral Sense, Free Press, 1995
Television and Growing Up: The Impact of Televised Violence, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972
Surgeon General's Report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior: Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Communications of the Senate Comm. on Commerce, 92d Cong., 2d Sess. 25, 26 (1972)
Broadcast of Violent, Indecent, and Obscene Material, 51 F.C.C. 2d 418, 419 (1975

Commentary: "Why Nine Court Defeats Haven't Stopped States From Trying to Restrict 'Violent' Video Games," by Marjorie Heins, Free Expression Policy Project


Free Speech & Music

Resources for this topic are within the downloadable document in this section.


Public funding of controversial art

Supreme Court
NEA v. Finley, 524 U.S. 569 (1998)

Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences v. City of New York, 64 F.Supp.2d 184 (E.D.N.Y. 1999)


Rating & labeling entertainment

Supreme Court
Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968)
Interstate Circuit v. Dallas, 390 U.S. 676 (1968)
Burstyn v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495 (1952)
Winters v. New York, 333 U.S. 507 (1948)
Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 236 U.S. 230 (1915)

Online symposium: TV violence & the FCC
Federal Trade Commission report “Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children,” April 2007
Entertainment Merchants Association v. Henry, (W.D. Okla., 2007) granting permanent injunction
EMA v. Henry, (W.D. Okla., 2006) granting preliminary injunction
Entertainment Software Association v. Foti, 451 F.Supp.2d 823 (M.D. La., 2006)
VSDA v. Schwarzenegger, 401 F. Supp 2d 1034 (N.D. Calif., 2005)
ESA v. Blagojevich (I), 404 F. Supp. 2d 1051 (E.D. Ill. 2005)
American Amusement Machine Association
Entertainment Software Rating Board
Motion Picture Association of America
Parental Media Guide
Recording Industry Association of America
TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board

Farber, Stephen, The Movie Rating Game, Public Affairs Press, 1972
Marsh, Dave, 50 Ways to Fight Censorship, Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991

Corn-Revere, Robert, "Congress Considers Legislation To Limit Televised Violence," in The First Amendment and the Media 2002 (Washington, D.C.: The Media Institute, 2002)
Hudson, David L. Jr., "Congress Continues To Target Violence in Entertainment Industry," in The First Amendment and the Media 2002 (Washington, D.C.: The Media Institute, 2002)
Peck, Robert S., "FTC Issues Violence Marketing Study While Congress, States Target Violent Media," in The First Amendment and the Media 2001 (Washington, D.C.: The Media Institute, 2001)
Portner, Jessica, “Congress Grills Hollywood Over Marketing Practices,” from Education Week on the Web, Sept. 20, 2000
Rotunda, Ronald D.,
“Rated V for Violence: Legislation Stamping Warning Labels on Electronic Media May Cause Constitutional Sticker Shock,” from Cato: Today’s Commentary, Aug. 28, 2000


Nudity in art, theater & dance

Supreme Court
Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781 (1989)
Southeastern Promotions v. Conrad, 420 U.S. 546 (1975)
Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973)

Close v. Lederle, 424 F.2d 988 (1st Cir.) (1970)

Linder, Doug, "Exploring Constitutional Conflicts"
Mason, Jeffrey D., "Miller v. California (1973): the Court confronts obscenity," The Millennium Fool online, Nov. 27, 2000
"Censorship [or] Curatorial Discretion?"
NCAC Letter to the Tennessee Arts Commission Concerning Their "No Nudes" Policy


Parody & satire

Supreme Court
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994)
Hustler Magazine, Inc. et al. v. Jerry Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988)

Mattel v. MCA, 296 F.3d 894 (9th Cir. 2002)
Sun Trust v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 268 F.3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2001)
Leibovitz v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 137 F.3d 109 (2d. Cir. 1998)
Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. Penguin Books USA, 109 F.3d 1394 (9th Cir. 1997)

Is 'Wind Done Gone' a parody or a steal?
Parody: Fair use or copyright infringement?

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Last system update: Friday, April 23, 2010 | 16:06:45
arts & first amendment issues >
Violence & media
Free Speech & Music
Public funding of controversial art
Rating & labeling entertainment
Nudity in art, theater & dance
Parody & satire
Comic books
'Son of Sam' laws
Libel in fiction