Under the provisions, a whistle blower is any employee or exterior auditor.
Under the law, the whistle blower must first report the information to a superior officer. Here, the information was initially reported to the head of department, but was ignored. The law then enables whistle blowers to release unclassified information to the press to draw attention to the issue. This step was followed.
When proper protocol is followed, the DoD is precluded from acting in reprisal for the reporting. An act of reprisal is any negative action taken against the employee. Here, the employee was dismissed from their position, thus there was an act of reprisal taken.
Case Scenario Five
Commercial speech is defined as speech done on behalf of a company or person for the intent of making a profit. Speech that is considered commercial speech is granted less Constitutional protection and can be limited when the dissemination of such speech would promote false or publicly dangerous products or activities
. Additionally, the FCC has stated that stations can be held liable for violence resulting from advertisements.
Here, the person seeking airtime is a well-known leader of a violent group that has a history of inciting violence against clinics and doctors. While the messages in the commercials are not inherently violent, the implication is of a violent nature.
Additionally, the owner of the station can argue that he was utilizing his right to proper risk management in avoiding risky advertising and preventing the dissemination of false information.
Under local law, "any meeting of an agency of the local government where two or more elected or appointed officials are to be present, and where the majority of these officials are appointed by the president with the "advice and consent" of the Senate, must be held open to the public." (mod 6). The members of the zoning commission are elected officials chosen by the public and placed into their positions. Under the law, any of the meetings of the zoning commission must therefor be open to the public and press. Here, the zoning commission met behind closed doors and without even the applicant present. Additionally, the mayor and city counsel then further met without the presence of the media therefor making a second violation.
Case Scenario Seven
Under modern law, the press is one the primary players in protecting the truth and revealing social wrongs. With this in mind, however, the law requires that journalists carefully evaluate their sources and ensure that stores are entirely accurate and well-researched. Upon the approval for a controversial story, it is customary for the company to back up the employee.
Here, the writer uncovered a clear and vital fact in a criminal case that will prevent an innocent man from going to jail. The story was reviewed by the editor and approved for publication. Thus, the writer did everything in accordance with the rules and responsibilities and followed company policy. Terminating the writer would most likely result in a wrongful termination lawsuit and cost the company more money then simply maintaining the story and following through on the threat.
Case Scenario Eight
Copyright infringement is defined as an unauthorized use of copyrighted material. The creator of a work owns the intellectual property, or copyright, of that work immediately upon its being written down. Copyright can be transferred to another owner through the use of sale of the copyrighted material. When copyright is transferred, it becomes the exclusive property of the new owner. Additionally, only work that is purchased is considered transferred to the new copyright owner.
Here, the company paid the photographer shooting fees as well as $3,000 for each photograph selected for use within the publication. Under modern copyright law, only the photographs that were paid for transfer ownership. The remaining 90 photos remain the property of the photographer, including the two additional images that the company published.
New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S. Ct. 710, 11 L. Ed. 2d 686 (1964)