"Free Speech Rules," My YouTube Video Series—Episode 6 (Corporations and the First Amendment) Now Out


Thanks to a generous grant from the Stanton Foundation, and to the video production work of Meredith Bragg and Austin Bragg at Reason.tv, I'm putting together a series of 10 short, graphical YouTube videos explaining free speech law. Our first five videos were

  1. "7 Things You Should Know About Free Speech in Schools,"
  2. "The Three Rules of Hate Speech and the First Amendment,"
  3. "Fake News and the First Amendment,"
  4. "Who Owns Your Life Story?," and
  5. "Is Money Speech?"

Our sixth, which we just released, is "Corporations and the First Amendment":

As usual for our episodes, the full script is also posted right below the video on YouTube.

We'd love it if you

  1. Watched this.
  2. Shared this widely.
  3. Suggested people or organizations whom we might be willing to help spread it far and wide (obviously, the more detail on the potential contacts, the better).
  4. Gave us feedback on the style of the presentation, since we're always willing to change the style as we learn more.

Please post your suggestions in the comments, or e-mail me at volokh at law.ucla.edu.

Future videos in the series will likely include most of the following, plus maybe some others:

  • Free speech at college.
  • Speech and privacy.
  • Speech on or with government property.
  • Alexander Hamilton: free press pioneer.

NEXT: My Upcoming Speaking Engagements

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  1. This is a useful intro., though the pacing may be a bit fast for some while another will complain about how the media guild should enjoy special 1A privileges.

    1. Others will notice that shareholders and union members are treated far differently in this context when right-wingers call the shots.

  2. Enjoyable and informative, as always.

  3. This was, I thought, the best one so far. It’s a really complicated area of law (duh!), but you gave basic-but-clear examples that made each section easily understandable.
    Doubt many young kids would get most of this. But that’s–I assume–not at all your target audience. High school students for sure, and probably many in Jr. High as well.

  4. Like most here, I liked this, too. But I have one quibble and would have liked a little more time spent elaborating one point.

    The quibble: The “minority shareholder can’t veto a corporation’s speech” is unclear to me. I think you mean that a minority shareholder can’t take their corporation to court and force the corporation to stop its speech. But it comes across as saying that a minority shareholder can’t voice an opinion to his/her corporation. I.e., I can imagine a corporation changing its speech to meet the objections of a minority shareholder. That’s not a “veto,” per se–and again, I think I know what you’re trying to say–but it seems a bit unclear.

    I would have liked a little more time spent discussing the statutes that give institutional media greater rights. I realize your task here is to explain the first amendment, and not statutes, but to non-lawyers like me, laws that give institutional media special rights (if “rights” is the correct word here) seem in practice to be unfair to people not in the institutional media. Or even if it is fair, the perception of unfairness is there, and it would help to at least explain what these laws are and if there is any serious objection someone more knowledgeable than I have offered.

    I consider these mild criticisms, and I enjoyed this video and your series as a whole.

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