FIGHTING TO PROTECT FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
Our Media, Publishing, and First Amendment Law Practice Group defends your freedom of speech in this rapidly changing world of new technologies. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of both traditional media and emerging digital platforms, allowing them to deliver cutting-edge counsel on expansive matters, including defamation, free speech, and newsgathering. Our clients include print and online magazines, newspapers, and book publishers; television and radio broadcasters, advertising agencies, and public relations firms; as well as reporters, authors, producers, filmmakers, and artists.
OUR NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED GROUP REPRESENTS CLIENTS ON A RANGE OF BUSINESS AND LITIGATION MATTERS, INCLUDING:
- Libel, privacy, right of publicity, newsgathering, copyright, and trademark litigation
- Licensing, promotion, and vendor agreements
- Prepublication and pre-broadcast review of editorial and advertising content
- Strategies for repurposing content and use of third-party work
- Freelance agreements, releases, and permissions
- Native advertising, endorsement rules, and FTC compliance
- Use of mobile applications and social media platforms
- Strategy and policies for collection and use of consumer information
- Social media strategy and guidelines
- Sweepstakes, contests, and charitable promotions
- Access to public records, courtrooms, and government meetings
- Subpoenas, including confidential source issues
- Risk avoidance, training, and insurance advice
- Chain of title review
The work of our practice group extends beyond our services for media companies. We also represent public entities facing First Amendment claims or issues; individuals and businesses seeking to manage and protect their online reputations; and citizens targeted by so-called “SLAPP” lawsuits intended to chill public petitioning activities.
OUR MEDIA LITIGATION AND FIRST AMENDMENT PRACTICE INCLUDES:
- Defense of libel, invasion of privacy, newsgathering, and related claims
- Prepublication and pre-broadcast review
- Responding to subpoenas, including confidential source issues
- Public records and courtroom access and appeals
- Advertising, circulation/audience, newsrack, and postal advice
- Training in libel prevention and other risk avoidance
OUR MEDIA LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE INCLUDES:
- Counseling on hiring, wage and hour regulations, employee classification, discipline, termination, and restructurings;
- Negotiating and drafting freelance agreements, commission and bonus plans, non-compete agreements, handbooks, and severance agreements;
- Advising newspapers and others on union awareness and avoidance, campaigns, and collective bargaining;
- Defense of labor and employment-related claims; and
- Training and compliance audits.
OUR MEDIA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PRACTICE INCLUDES:
- Registering, protecting, and licensing copyrights, trademarks, patents, and Internet domain names;
- Handling infringement claims and third-party subpoenas;
- Proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”);
- Intellectual property and website audits; and
OUR MEDIA BUSINESS PRACTICE INCLUDES:
- Sweepstakes compliance;
- Organization and financing of business entities and joint ventures; tax issues;
- Negotiating and drafting contracts with printers, distributors, advertisers, and others;
- Agency, publishing, and production contracts;
- Insurance review and coverage disputes;
- Advising family-owned businesses regarding estate planning and succession issues;
- Ensuring compliance with Do Not Call and CAN-SPAM.
OUR PUBLISHING PRACTICE PROTECTS YOUR CONTENT, PRESERVES YOUR RIGHTS
Our Publishing team is at the forefront of changing technologies and regulations. From representing media entities on First Amendment issues to providing counseling and litigation services on copyrights, trademarks, and domain names, our knowledge of the publishing industry is far-reaching. We have particular expertise in counseling and defending our clients on the labor and employment issues unique to the publishing industry, and our attorneys also provide business and insurance law services. Clients include national, regional, and local media entities of all kinds, including newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasters, book publishers, cable television operators, advertising agencies, public relations firms, Internet sites, content providers, writers, reporters, editors, producers, authors, and artists.
WINNING PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES
Prince Lobel’s Advertising and Promotions team helps you execute your creative vision, while ensuring regulatory compliance at all angles. We stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and constantly changing local and federal law, to guide you through all phases of your promotion, from development, structure, compliance, production, advertising, to package execution. With a high level of expertise and a commitment to seeing your ideas through, we help clients flourish, including publications, advertisers, and telemarketers.
OUR DEEP EXPERIENCE IN ALL PHASES OF A PROMOTION INCLUDES:
FTC Rules and Regulations
- Advising clients about the application and scope of the FTC’s rules and regulations, including the FTC’s negative option plans and endorsements regulations, the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, the FTC’s “do not call” provisions, the use of the word “free,” and rules and regulations governing competitive claims and substantiation requirements.
- Comprehensive review and compliance services for sweepstakes and contest packages.
- Review sweepstakes and contests for compliance with federal and state laws and industry regulations, including the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act of 1999 and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
- Assist clients with implementing promotions through the use of new technology, such as mobile marketing, email, user-generated content promotions, behavioral marketing campaigns, data aggregation, Web-based promotions, and telecommunications.
- Counsel clients in connection with CAN-SPAM compliance, federal and state data collection and retention statutes, and the UK Data Protection Act of 1998.
Advertising and Marketing Regulations
- We counsel clients on the complex regulatory landscape, such as state and federal laws and industry guidelines on direct mail, telemarketing, and email marketing, which comprise a fast-changing and aggressively enforced area of advertising and marketing.
- We review scripts and promotional copy and review packages in light of federal and state laws as well as State Attorneys General regulations and enforcement actions.
Some of our areas of expertise include compliance and review services for:
- Cause-related marketing
- Direct mail marketing and promotions
- Games, sweepstakes, and contests
- Joint promotions and product tie-ins
- User-generated content promotions
- Online promotions and marketing
- Premium offers and incentive programs
- Product introductions and rollouts
- Product placements
- Product sampling and demonstrations
- Strategic partnerships
- Website matters
- Promotion Marketing Association (PMA)
- Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
- Boston Ad Club
Promotions Representative Matters
- Representation of national magazine publisher in sweepstakes development, compliance, and winner notification
- Representation of national company regarding user-generated content contest promotion
- Review of regional media company’s direct mail promotion containing negative option provisions
We practice media and publishing law because of our personal commitment to First Amendment values. Our lawyers staff a 24-hour hotline for the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA), providing legal guidance to more than 450 newspapers throughout New England. We also provide pro bono counsel to the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.
Our group members frequently speak, write, and teach on media and First Amendment law topics, including presentations to such groups as the Practicing Law Institute, the American Society of Magazine Editors, the City and Regional Magazine Association, NENPA, and the Massachusetts and Boston bar associations. Our group members have taught at colleges and universities throughout the region, including Boston College and Boston College Law School, Boston University, Emerson College, Northeastern University, Suffolk University Law School, and Tufts University. We author nationally disseminated surveys of First Circuit media libel law, Massachusetts employment defamation law, and Massachusetts public records and open meetings law.
We have received a Tier 1 ranking, both nationally and for metropolitan Boston, in the “Best Law Firms” survey published in U.S. News and Best Lawyers. The lawyers in our group have been recognized as “Best Lawyers in America” and Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” in the area of First Amendment, Media, and Communications law; named as “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers magazine; and highlighted among the Commonwealth’s premier “up and coming” lawyers by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Our media clients include:
- Astrea Media;
- Bloomberg L.P.;
- Boston Business Journal;
- The Boston Globe;
- Courthouse News Service;
- The Harvard Crimson;
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly;
- Metro Corp., including Boston and Philadelphia magazines; and
- New England Newspaper & Press Association