Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Vetoes SB79

Little Rock, Arkansas – Governor Asa Hutchinson has vetoed Senate Bill 79, a bill with the intent to “protect the names, voices, signatures, photographs, and likenesses of the citizens of the state from exploitation and unauthorized commercial use without the citizen’s consent.” However, the bill as drafted would extend protection beyond the stated intent of the bill, unnecessarily restrict free expression and may result in unnecessary litigation in Arkansas.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement upon his veto:dir>“In its current form, the bill unnecessarily restricts free expression and thus could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In addition, SB79 exempts certain types of noncommercial speech while failing to exempt other forms of noncommercial speech. The absence of these exemptions could result in unnecessary litigation and suppress Arkansans who engage in artistic expression.”
Contact the Governor's office for the Veto Letter.

Editorial comment: I appreciate the Governor veto of this bill in its current form. U.S.  Copyright and patent laws already protect within reason  the issues in this bill.  In addition, the term media is unclear.  The New media, bloggers and social media users often rely on the Fair Use Doctrine.

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