Texas Shield Law and Online Harrasment Bills on the Move
The Texas Shield Law Bill made it out of committee this week. HB 670 is being sent to the House without any amendments. I discussed the bill and provided the bill in its entirety here and here in earlier posts. Although some protection for journalists is better than none, it appears it will not apply to a majority of bloggers because the definition of journalist requires “substantial financial gain” or for reporting to be a “substantial” part of your livelihood. The Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence committee approved of the bill 7 for, 1 against and 3 abstentions. Although it still has a way to go before it becomes law, this year’s version made it farther than the 2007 version that died in committee.
The Online Harassment Bill (HB 2003) is scheduled for a public hearing on March 25, 2009, with the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. I previously posted about the Online Harassment Bill here. I still question the lack of definitions in the bill for the terms “electronic mail program” and “electronic message board” that may make this bill too broad covering perfectly innocuous and common behavior.