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FREE SPEECH AND DEMOCRACY IN THE VIDEO AGE

Justin Marceau and Alan K. Chen
Columbia Law Review
Vol. 116, No. 4 (May 2016), pp. 991-1062
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43783608
Page Count: 72
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FREE SPEECH AND DEMOCRACY IN THE VIDEO AGE
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Abstract

This Article examines constitutional theory and doctrine as applied to emerging government regulation of video image capture across a spectrum of regulatory regimes. It proposes a framework that promotes free speech to the fullest extent without presenting unnecessary intrusions into legitimate property or privacy interests. The Article first argues that video recording is a form of expression or at the very least, is conduct that serves as a necessary precursor of expression such that it counts as speech under the First Amendment. It continues with the novel argument that none of the features that make video recording a form of expression apply differently when the recording takes place on private property. Next, the Article examines under what circumstances video recording is constitutionally protected. It claims that video recording in public places or on private property with the consent of those recorded is presumptively protected speech under the First Amendment. But it also argues that the right to record attaches even when the recording is nonconsensual and occurs on private property, as long as the material recorded is a matter of public concern and is done by someone who is lawfully present on that private property. That is not to say that all regulation of such recordings violates the First Amendment, and the Article therefore addresses when countervailing governmental interests, including tangible property interests and reasonable privacy expectations, might justify limitations on the right to record.

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