Protecting One Artist’s Expression of Another Artist’s Work: An Analysis of the Intersection of the First Amendment and Copyright Law in Seltzer v. Green Day, Inc.

scream-iconBy Katherine Rippey; Staff Member (Vol. 15)

Oscar Wilde once said, “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is predicated on this concept of individual expression in regards to speech, religion, and even art. This protection of individual consciousness is further protected through copyright laws, where an individual’s work can be protected from duplication in an effort to preserve the creativity and distinct nature of certain products. However, in considering self-expression, it appears contradictory that for your own artistic self-expression you are unable to utilize the works of others as a basis of inspiration.

Continue reading

Who Decides the Meaning of YOUR Speech?


By John Ferris; Staff Member (Vol. 15)

What is your favorite item of clothing?  Whatever it may be, that item of clothing is likely something that has symbolic value to you and it expresses something specific when you wear it.  What if you wore that favorite item of clothing to work one day and were promptly told to go home and change because it offended one of your co-workers?  Is that reasonable?  Doesn’t your co-worker know that your Texas A&M “Aggies” cap doesn’t have any significant offensive meaning and that no one is even sure what an “Aggie” is anyways?

Continue reading

Welcome Volume 15 Staff Members

Please welcome the new Volume 15 Staff Members! Congratulations on successfully completing the 2016 Joint Journal Competition, and welcome to the First Amendment Law Review!

Tyler Abboud Chelsea Barnes Danny Budasoff
John Cashion Ashton Cooke Jennifer Davis
John Ferris Hanna Fox Elaine Hillgrove
Catherine Hipps Emily Jessup Amber Lee
Saverio Longobardo Martin Maloney Emily Mann
Lauren Margolies Jack Middough Allie Olderman
Elizabeth Paillere Garrett Rider Katherine Rippey
Katherine Spencer Jessica Stone-Erdman Matt Taylor
Lindsie Trego Kirstin Vinal Travis White
Miles Wobbleton

“Chilling” Campaign Finance Law Upheld

money photo high resBy Joseph M. (Max) Swindle; Staff Member (Vol. 14), Notes Editor (Vol. 15)

Political silence, the inability to have one’s voice heard, is an issue that marginalizes many citizens and residents. In an effort to remedy this pervasive issue, some citizens choose to give money to public policy think tanks that help foster discussion about important public policy topics. Continue reading

Firearm “Gag Order” Bound to Miss its Mark

gun photo high res

By Jonathan C. Jakubowski, Staff Member (Vol. 14)

“The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.” 

– Daniel Webster

In June 2015, the Department of State proposed several changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which regulate the manner in which items on the United States Munitions List (USML) may be exported. 80 Fed. Reg. 106 (proposed Jun. 3, 2015). In addition to the physical armaments themselves, the ITAR regulates the export of USML items’ technical specifications. The key component of the ITAR, and the reason it concerns First Amendment scholars, is that it requires authorization from the State Department prior to the export of any items falling within its purview. The prior authorization requirement, combined with a creative definition of “export,” creates a real danger of speech suppression through prior restraint. Continue reading