Brown University newspaper advertisement
psalaman at POP.UKY.EDU
Tue Mar 20 11:38:18 PST 2001
This issue actually arose here at the University of Kentucky a couple of
years ago, and was battled out in the criminal courts -- more or less. Two
or three students destroyed an entire run of the Kentucky Kernel, the
student newspaper, because the editor had pulled a story that he or she
considered libelous (I believe).
The students defended themselves on the ground that the papers were free,
and that they therefore had the right to take all they wanted and destroy
them. The matter was settled in a plea bargain; the students accepted
community service and their records do not reflect the charges. But I do
know that the Kentucky Kernel is now free for the first copy, and quite
pricey for each copy thereafter.
I assume the government's theory was that there was an implied limitation
on taking copies that the students had exceeded. I understand that the
rule of lenity militates against this theory. As I said, the case was plea
At 10:39 AM 3/20/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>I have a collateral question about events reported over the weekend.
>According to the report, Brown University's student newspaper published
>an advertisement for a book by David Horowitz, the advertisement
>enumerating reasons against reparations for African Americans. The
>student newspaper is (apparently -- but assume that it is) available at
>no charge. A number of students who objected to the advertisement,
>apparently followed the newspaper's delivery routes and picked up all
>copies of the newspaper as they were dropped off. Now, the collateral
>question: Did the students do anything that violated (general) legal
>standards? (I put aside the possibility that there might be some
>specific criminal regulation directed at this behavior.) Or, more
>generally, is it an offense to take an unreasonable number or amount of
>material that is made available without charge?
>Attachment Converted: "c:\eudora\attach\tushnet13.vcf"
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