Most Americans today get their information and entertainment from the mass media – radio, television, newspapers, movies, and the Internet. The companies that own these mass media outlets thus have a powerful influence over our culture, our political system, and the ideas that inform public discourse. In the past half-century, media companies have grown into […]
Blanche DuBois, the fragile, self-deluding southern belle in Tennessee Williams’s 1947 play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” is one of the great tragic characters in American literature. But who owns Blanche, and can the holder of the copyright in “Streetcar” stop a creative artist from impersonating her, as the author and performer Mark Sam Rosenthal does […]
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A recent incident in California has dramatized the insidious persistence of loyalty oaths for public employment in America. These oaths of allegiance originated in the days of King Henry VIII of England, when treasonous plots and religious wars threatened royal hegemony. They survive today as coerced rituals of political orthodoxy, and as threats to free […]
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and of U.S. government efforts to combat terrorism by often secretive or constitutionally dubious means, questions have arisen about the scope of First Amendment protection for political protest and dissent. This Fact Sheet, originally prepared for a November 2006 conference on “Civil Liberties in […]