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Legal

Bad News for ‘Revenge Porn’ Targets; Judge Sides with Sender

Each case is different and, most often, complicated. Still, women everywhere will likely shudder at the news that a man who shared naked pictures of a girlfriend on Twitter has been exonerated in court.

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Per a report by Oren Yaniv, who covers the Brooklyn courts for the New York Daily News, the defendant was excused even though he also directly sent the pictures to the girlfriend’s employer and sister. Like a penultimate scene in so many Hollywood courtroom dramas, the accused got off on, essentially, a technicality:

“The Court concludes that defendant’s conduct, while reprehensible, does not violate any of the criminal statutes under which he is charged,” Criminal Court Judge Steven Statsinger wrote in a decision published Wednesday.

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Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker

ShutterstockQuentinTarantinoQuentin Tarantino — the man responsible for bringing us great films like Reservoir Dogs and awful films like Death Proof — is suing Gawker Media.

According to Deadline, Tarantino filed a legal complaint against Gawker for posting a link to the leaked script to The Hateful Eight, a western Tarantino was planning to release. Tarantino announced that he was canceling the film because someone made the script public, so naturally he’s mad at Gawker too.

Tarantino’s complaint charges Gawker with copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement. Here’s a snippet from the filing, in which Gawker is labeled as “predatory journalism:”

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Stephen Glass Set for Pivotal California Supreme Court Hearing

ShatteredGlassPosterSan Jose Mercury News legal affairs writer Howard Mintz has a really good piece about the next chapter in Stephen Glass‘ long, bumpy road to full professional redemption. It’s happening Wednesday at California Supreme Court in San Francisco.

Glass, for lack of a better analogy, is the Michael Vick of long-form journalism. Since Vick is back in the NFL, perhaps it’s time to allow Glass to finally gain access to the California Bar. In this case, he’s not even to return to the same profession:

The Bar opposes granting a license, arguing that Glass does not meet the “moral character” standards required of lawyers. But two State Bar court decisions have sided with his right to a license, and supporters – from two Washington, D.C., judges to one of the New Republic editors he most defrauded – have vouched for his reformation.

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Former Anchor Rob Morrison Faces ‘Very Serious Blow to His Career’: Legal Expert

With the local media swirling like vultures for the latest morsel in the case against resigned WCBS anchor Rob Morrison, FishbowlNY turns to attorney Paul Callan, who represented former WABC weather anchor Heidi Jones during her scandal last year.

She eventually was fired for falsifying a sexual assault. We spoke to Callan yesterday, hours before Morrison announced his resignation.

Morrison was arrested Sunday on a felonious charge of choking his wife, Ashley Morrison during a fight at their home early Sunday morning. A judge ordered Morrison to stay 100 yards away from his wife.

“There have been indications that his wife wants to drop the charges, so ultimately this will be a decision by the Connecticut prosecutor as to whether to try to informally resolve the case with a dismissal,” Callan tells FishbowlNY.

That doesn’t automatically mean Morrison will be cleared.

“Prosecutors can serve a subpoena on her. They can force her to testify under oath,” Callan says. “Sometimes the wife is placed in a difficult position as she tries to deny the charge.”

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FCC Rejects Challenge to Inner City-YMF Deal

The FCC stands firm, rejecting the challenges put forth regarding the bankruptcy sale of Inner City Broadcasting to creditor-owner YMF Media. Inner City has WLIB-AM and WBLS as part of its stable of 16 stations.

Brooklyn Councilman and talk show host Charles Barron and three others filed one claim with the FCC, while a separate petition was also rejected.

Barron’s petition alleged that the sale would “result in an unlawful reduction of programming geared toward Black and local audiences,” according to All Access.

Furthermore, Barron had contended that Fortess Investment Group had control of the new licensee and had violated alien ownership restrictions. Barron also charges that Fortress engaged in predatory and racially discriminating lending practices that led to the demise of Black-owned stations for its part as manager of the D.B. Zwirn hedge funds.

In its ruling, the Commission stated that Fortress does not have an attributable interest in YMF, and the FCC does not take programming decisions into consideration in approving sales.

In April, WBLS, founded in 1974, began to see the pendulum swing in its favor after KISS FM lost the 98.7 signal to ESPN. In the latest Arbitron ratings, WBLS climbed to second place.

Spanish Station WSKQ Slapped with $16,000 Fine for Prank Call in 2007

WSKQ, the radio station known as Mega 97.9 among its Spanish faithful, got nailed with a $16,000 fine by the FCC. At issue, the station called a woman on the air with a made up story about her husband being killed.

This incident took place nearly five years to the day of the ruling, August 23, 2007. Parent company Spanish Broadcasting System is also named in the FCC’s order.

As stated in the FCC forfeiture order, “WSKQ broadcast over the radio a prank call made by one of its employees to a member of the public.”

But that is only part of the problem. The station employee called a woman pretending to be someone from of a local hospital, telling the woman that her husband had been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. The phony hospital worker said the husband died.

“Further, according to the complaint, the call recipient could be heard over the radio distraught when she received this information, at which point the station employee informed her that the call was a ‘joke,’” the FCC ruled.

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WPIX Beats Age-Discrimination Suit Against Former News Director

We’ve reported about the recent ratings win for WPIX. But the Tribune flagship also has a victory in the legal world.

A jury Wednesday, in its second day of deliberations, ruled against former Channel 11 news director Karen Scott. She had claimed that her 2009 firing was age-related. Scott, who turned 60 before being let go, worked 16 years at WPIX.

The station argued that Scott was dismissed due to weak ratings and declining ad revenues.

Scott sought $4.5 million in her lawsuit. Scott’s lawyer, Kenneth Rubenstein, says no decision has been made on whether his client will appeal, Newsday reports.

WPIX weekend anchor Kaity Tong, who turned 65 last month, and veteran reporter Marvin Scott, 74, were among the witnesses who testified in Manhattan Federal Court.

WPIX is not out of the woods yet. Channel 11 and former station general manager (and current WLNY GM) Betty Ellen Berlamino face similar age-discrimination lawsuits from former sports anchor Sal Marchiano and one-time features reporter Larry Hoff, the New York Post writes.

WPIX Anchor Kaity Tong Takes Stand in Former Boss’ Age Discrimination Suit

The testimony was akin to legal fireworks, as WPIX weekend anchor Kaity Tong appeared as a witness in the age discrimination trial of her former news director.

Tong, who turned 65 this week, was in Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday to defend Karen Scott, and promptly told lawyers that she was also singled out because of ageism.

Tong recounted a meeting with then-station GM Betty Ellen Berlamino (now GM at WLNY), who was Scott’s superior, according to the Daily News.

She said Berlamino criticized her performance and cut her salary “rather dramatically.” Tong, the former PIX co-anchor (with Jim Watkins) added, “I was devastated, surprised, hurt, and I thought it was baseless.  I was blindsided.”

Tong, a New York mainstay in the mid 1980s at WABC, believed she was given a bad review and the pay cut because “they were setting the groundwork to eventually get rid of me because of my age.”

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