Michael Botein

Professor of Law
Director, Media Center

Michael Botein

Michael Botein became interested in media law (radio, television, satellites, and telephones) as a law student. Up to that point, he had known about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) only through his ham radio activities.

It was the late 1960s, and media law was not taught in the United States. In fact, Professor Botein developed one of the first such courses when he was teaching at Georgetown University Law Center in the early 1970s, while a senior attorney-advisor in the FCC’s Cable Television Bureau, where he worked on the inaugural cable television regulations.

Professor Botein was born and raised in Manhattan and received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1966. He had initially wanted to do civil rights litigation in Washington, D.C. and then go into teaching. Feeling that the Nixon Justice Department would not be the most hospitable place for a liberal young lawyer, however, he decided to try for a teaching position when he graduated from Cornell Law School in 1969. He later received a doctorate in law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School in 1979. At 24, he became an instructor at Brooklyn Law School, beginning a lifetime career in law teaching that has included appointments at Columbia, George Washington University, Georgetown, and Rutgers. He has also taught overseas at the University of Poitiers in France, the University of Melbourne and Monash University in Australia, Hebrew University and Haifa University in Israel, Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University in Ukraine, and Prague University in the Czech Republic.

In 1977, Professor Botein was approached by New York Law School about joining the faculty. He was intrigued by the offer, but only if he could start a media law center.

“I’ve never looked back,” he says. Of the field, he adds “You have to be responsive to change. You can’t forecast a damn thing.”

Professor Botein has become a well-respected expert in communications law, and a scholarly witness to the unprecedented growth of the cable industry and the Internet, the advent of direct broadcast satellites, and the break-up of AT&T. He has written more than 90 articles and 15 books, of which 90 percent deal with some aspect of media law, among them Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media Law and Policy for Radio, Television, Cable and the New Technologies (3d ed. West Group, 1999) and Regulacion de los Medios Masives de Communicacion (Universidad Sergio Arboleda, 2003, with Legislation and Regulation (Aspen 2015) half done.

Since his college years, when he spent a semester studying in Germany and a summers working at Radio Free Europe, Professor Botein has maintained close ties to Europe. He is the only U.S. member of the Council of Europe’s Audiovisual Observatory.

Professor Botein is regularly invited to speak at law schools around the world.

BOOKS

Regulación de los Medios Masivos de Comunicación. (Universidad Sergio Arboleda, 2004) (Versión Espanola por E. Barrero & M. Rentería of Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media, 1998).

Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media: Law and Policy for Radio, Television, Cable and the New Technologies.

Proceedings: Cooperation and Competition in Telecommunications.

Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media: Law and Policy for Radio, Television, Cable and the New Video Technologies.

Statutory Supplement to Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media: Law and Policy for Radio, Television, Cable and the New Video Technologies.

Law of International Telecommunications in the United States.

Law and Economics of International Telecommunications in the United States.

Living with Cable Television: A Guide for Catholic Diocesan Directors of Communication.

Videotex and Electronic Publishing: Legal, Regulatory and Economic Analysis.

Development and Regulation of New Communications Technologies: Cable Television, Subscription Television, Multipoint Distribution Service and Direct Broadcasting Satellites.

Network Television and the Public Interest: A Preliminary Inquiry.

The Process of Cable Television Franchising: A New York City Case Study.

What to Do When Cable Comes to Town: A Handbook for Local Officials.

Videotape in Legal Education: A Study in its Implications and A Manual for its Use.

Competition vs. Regulation: The Case of the Mass Media.

Legal Restrictions on Ownership of the Mass Media.

Cable Television: Citizen Participation After the Franchise.

Cable Television: The Process of Franchising.

CHAPTERS IN BOOKS

“Los Problemas que Emergen en las Comunicaciones de los Computadores: El Internet,” chapter inReflexiones y Tendencias del Sector de Telecomunicaciones at 17-25 (J.F.B. Qintero, ed., Universidad Sergio Arboleda, 2004).

“Emerging Developments in Electronic Media: Legal, Policy, and Economic Trends,” Chapter III inTelecommunications Law: The Transactional & Regulatory Environment at 10–18 (Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 2001).

“Sistema de Comunicaciones.” Chapter in El Derecho de la Informacion en el Marco de la Reforma del Estado en Mexico, Volume I, at 291–295. Comision de Radio, Television y Cinematograffa, Mexico, 1998.

“Cable/Telco Mergers and Acquisitions: Antitrust vs. Telecommunications Act Approaches.” Chapter 15 in The Telecommunications Act of 1996, at 479–522. Practising Law Institute, 1996.

“The Telecom Reform Act: Who Needs It?” Chapter 14 in The Telecommunications Act of 1996, at 473–477. Practising Law Institute, 1996.

“The 1992 Cable Television Act.” In The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications. Volume 13, at 411–440, edited by F.E. Froehlich & A. Kent. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1996 (with L.F. Cederqvist).

“The Competitiveness of the U.S. Telecommunications Industry.” In Information Law Towards the 21st Century, at 87–103. Kluwer Law and Taxation, 1992.

“Regulation Status: A Preliminary Inquiry.” In Integrated Broadband Networks: The Public Policy Issues, at 265–279, edited by M.C.J. Elton. Elsevier Science, 1991.

“Deregulation and the Public Trustee Concept in U.S. Broadcasting: An Inherent Inconsistency?” InPublic Management and Control of Broadcasting, at 9–23. Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, 1988.

“Deregulation of the Electronic Media in the United States: An Overview and Status Report.” in The Law and Economics of Transborder Telecommunications, at 187–206, edited by E. Mestmacker. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1987.

“The Aftermath of the AT&T Divestiture: A Status Report.” In Media Law Seminars: papers from a series of lectures sponsored, by the Centre for Commercial Law and Applied Legal Research. Monash University Press, 1985 (with E. Noam).

“The FCC’s Regulation of the New Video Technologies: Backing and Filling In the Level Playing Field.” In Rivalry Among Video Transmission Media: Assessment and Implication, edited by E. Noam. Columbia University, Research Program in Telecommunications and Information Policy, 1985.

“Regulation of Telecommunications in the United States.” Chapter 14 in Telecommunications for Management, at 291–307, edited by C.T. Meadow & A.S. Tedesco. McGraw-Hill, 1985 (with M.J. Sprague).

LAW REVIEW AND OTHER SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS

“Regulation of Municipal Wi-Fi (New York Law School Faculty Presentation Day III),” 51 New York Law School Law Review 975-988 (2006-2007).

“Open Video Systems: Too Much Regulation Too Late?,” 58 Federal Communications Journal 439-444 (2006).

“The FCC’s New Indecency Enforcement Policy and Its European Counterparts: A Cautionary Tale,” New York Law School Media Law & Policy 7-56 (2005).

“Compulsory Licenses in Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: A Workable Solution?,” 30 Southern Illinois University Law Journal 69-86 (2005) (with E. Samuels).

“The Demise of the Information Superhighway.” 11 Media Law & Policy 85–97 (2003).

“Thoughts on the Sprint Acquisition.” 8 Media Law & Policy 51–54 (1999).

“Cable/Telco Mergers and Acquisitions: An Antitrust Analysis (Symposium: Antitrust Issues in the Telecommunications and Software Industries).” 25 Southwestern University Law Review 569–604 (1996).

“Judicial Review of FCC Action.” 13 Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 317–344 (1995).

“Consolidation, Coordination, Competition, and Coherence: In Search of a Forward Looking Communications Policy (Special Issue on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Communications Act of 1934).” 47 Federal Communications Law Journal 229–236 (1994) (with M.D. Director).

“Regulation of Fiberoptic Integrated Broadband Networks: Common Carriage, Ownership and Rates.” 3 University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy 65–83 (1990).

“The Competitiveness of the U.S. Telecommunications Industry: A New York Case Study.” 6Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 233–325 (1988) (with A. Pearce).

“Deregulation of Broadcasting in the United States: Quo Vadimus.” 7 Journal of Media Law & Practice 56–61 (1986) (with E.G. Krasnow).

“New Video Technologies in the United States: Regulatory and Intellectual Property Considerations.” 125 Revue Internationale du Droit D’Auteur 66 (1985).

“Cable Television Franchising and the Antitrust Laws: A Preliminary Analysis of Substantive Standards.” 36 Federal Communications Law Journal 253–282 (1984).

“Regulation of Cable Television in the United States.” 3 Journal of Media Law & Practice 320–326 (1982).

“New Communications Technologies: The Emerging Antitrust Agenda.” 3 Comm/Ent 685–690 (1981).

“Jurisdictional and Antitrust Considerations in the Regulation of the New Communications Technologies.” 25 New York Law School Law Review 863–903 (1980).

“Rewriting First Year Legal Writing Programs.” 30 Journal of Legal Education 184–195 (1979).

“Ashbacker Rites in Administrative Practice: A Case Study of Broadcast Regulation.” 24 New York Law School Law Review 461–480 (1978) (with J.W. Mayer).

“New Copyright Act & Cable Television: A Signal of Change.” 24 Bulletin of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. 1–17 (1976).

“Primary Jurisdiction: The Need for Better Court/Agency Interaction.” 29 Rutgers Law Review 867–900 (1976).

“Citizen Participation in the Regulation of Cable Television.” 24 Catholic University Law Review 777–794 (1975).

“FCC’s Restrictions on Employee’s Publications: A Failure of Communication.” 27 Federal Communications Bar Journal 231–250 (1974).

“Right to Rehabilitation for Prisoners—Judicial Reform of the Correction Process.” 20 New York Law Forum 273–311 (1974).

“Simulation & Roleplaying in Administrative Law.” 26 Journal of Legal Education 234–241 (1974).

“Ventilation of the President, 1972: Political Broadcasting Under the Campaign Communications Reform Act.” 40 Tennessee Law Review 361–375 (1973).

“Access to Cable Television.” 57 Cornell Law Review 419–459 (1972).

“Comparative Broadcast Licensing Procedures and the Role of Law: A Fuller Investigation.” 6Georgia Law Review 743–762 (1972).

“Constitutionality of Restrictions on Poverty Law Firms: A New York Case Study.” 46 New York University Law Review 748–766 (1971).

“Appointed Counsel for the Indigent Civil Defendant: A Constitutional Right Without a Judicial Remedy.” 36 Brooklyn Law Review 368–377 (1970).

“CATV Regulation: A Jumble of Jurisdictions.” 45 New York University Law Review 816–843 (1970).

“The FCC’s Proposed CATV Regulations.” 55 Cornell Law Review 244–261 (1970).

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, PRACTICE MATERIALS, AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS

“FCC’s Crackdown on Broadcast Indecency,” 234 New York Law Journal 4,5 (September 13, 2005).

“The FCC’s New Indecency Policy,” New York Law Journal (September 2005).

Letter to the editor, “The F.C.C.’s New Rules,” The New York Times (May 17, 2004).

Essay in Eight Blocks Away: Memoirs of September 11, 2001, at 129 (New York Law School, 2002).

“Ten Years on the Information Superhighway.” 228 New York Law Journal 5 (July 16,2002).

“Fee-Line Market Pressure.” 22 National Law Journal A24 (November 1, 1999).

“Will MCI/Sprint Merger Overconcentrate Market Power?” 17 Cable TV and New Media 1, 2 (November 1999).

“The 1996 Telecommunications Act: More Concentration, Less Competition.” 17 In Brief 8–9 (Fall/Winter, 1998).

“Medieval Bills of Attainder and Modern Telecommunications Policy.” 219 New York Law Journal 1 (April 23, 1998).

“The Telecom Reform Act: Who Needs It?” 215 New York Law Journal 2 (April 1, 1996).

“Move Over Bill Gates: The Real Antitrust Menace Is the Law Professors.” 214 New York Law Journal 2 (July 6, 1995).

“Is the FCC a Target of Convenience?” 211 New York Law Journal 2 (April 22, 1994).

“The AT&T-McCaw Merger: Need for Analysis.” 210 New York Law Journal 2 (August 30, 1993).

“Questions on Bell Atlantic-TCI Merger.” 211 New York Law Journal 2 (October 15, 1993).

Supplementary Teaching Materials for Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media. West (1993) (with D.H. Ginsburg & M.D. Director).

“Cable Regulation Bill: Boon to Broadcasters or Views?” 208 New York Law Journal 1 (September 23, 1992).

“Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media: Law and Policy for Radio, Television, Cable, and the New Video Technologies.” 30 Free Speech Yearbook 225–227 (1992) (with D.H. Ginsburg and M.D. Director).

“U.S. Telecommunications in the World Market: Changing Policy Considerations.” 208 New York Law Journal 1 (September 3, 1992).

“Allowing RBOC Information Services: An Invitation to Reversal?” 206 New York Law Journal 1 (August 2, 1991).

“The U.S. Experience with New Video Media.” 58 Media Information Australia 70 (1990).

“Can Fibre-Optic Broadband Networks Be Regulated?” Intermedia, at 35 (Fall 1989).

“Fiberoptic Network Communications: A Preliminary Analysis of their Ownership.” 202 New York Law Journal 1 (September 1, 1989).

“Regulation of Integrated Broadband Networks.” 10 Journees Idate (1988).

“Regulation of Ownership of Integrated Broadband Networks.” Intermedia (Fall 1988).

“Life Without “Must Carry”: A Preliminary Analysis.” 22 Television Quarterly 85 (1986).

“Broadcast Station Acquisitions: Valuation Debt-Equity Financing, Preparing to Borrow (Part 1).” 195New York Law Journal 5 (June 6, 1986) (with E.G. Krasnow).

“Financing to Buy a Broadcast Station — Preparing a Business Plan, Convincing Lenders (Part 2).” 195 New York Law Journal 5 (June 13, 1986) (with E.G. Krasnow).

“Status Report on Aftermath of the AT&T Divestiture.” 195 New York Law Journal 1 (February 28, 1986) (with E. Noam).

“The Ambivalent Nature of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984: An Analysis (Part 1).” 193New York Law Journal 5 (March 22, 1985) (with D. Rice).

“The Ambivalent Nature of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984: An Analysis (Part 2).” 193New York Law Journal 5 (March 29, 1985) (with D. Rice).

“The FCC’s Technical Standards and Ownership Rules and Policies for Broadcasting (Part 2).” 194New York Law Journal 5 (October 18, 1985) (with E.G. Krasnow).

“The Governmental Regulation of Broadcasting in the United States (Part 1).” 194 New York Law Journal 5 (October 11, 1985) (with E.G. Krasnow).

“FCC Policies Regarding the New Video Technologies (Part I).” 192 New York Law Journal 5 (September 28, 1984).

“FCC Policies Regarding the New Video Technologies (Part II).” 192 New York Law Journal 5 (October 5, 1984).

“Drafting, Other Problems Seen in Cable TV Bill” 189 New York Law Journal 1 (June 10, 1983).

“Cable Television Franchising and the Antitrust Laws.” 187 New York Law Journal 1 (April 13, 1982).

“Basic Changes Seen Needed in Franchise Format: CATV in the 80’s: Will City be Able to Cope?” 184New York Law Journal 1 (September 2, 1980) (with D. Rice).

“Antitrust Considerations in Regulation of New Technologies: Cable Television, Subscription Television, Multipoint Distribution Service and Direct Broadcasting Satellites.” Federal Communications Commission (1979) (with E. Samuels).

“Copyright Considerations in Regulation of New Technologies: Cable Television, Subscription Television, Multipoint Distribution Service and Direct Broadcasting Satellites.” Federal Communications Commission (1979) (with E. Samuels).

“Jurisdictional Considerations in Regulation of New Technologies: Cable Television, Subscription Television, Multipoint Distribution Service and Direct Broadcasting Satellites.” Federal Communications Commission (1979).

“Legal Aspects of New Communications Media: VTR in Legal Education and Cable TV Regulation.” Communications Media Center, New York Law School (1979).

“When Citizens Complain: UCC v. FCC a Decade Later.” American Association of Law Schools & Communications Media Center, New York Law School (1978) (with H. Bauman, C. Firestone & E. Krasnow).

“Cases and Materials on Federal Regulation of the Electronic Media.” Communications Media Center, New York Law School (1977) (with J. Meyer).

“Judicial, Legislative and Administrative Interaction: A Case Study in Discrimination.” Rutgers-Newark School of Law (1973).

“Cable Television: Tapping the Potential.” New York Law Journal & Cable Television Information Center (1972).

CONFERENCE MATERIALS, MONOGRAPHS, AND REPORTS

“The U.S. Information Superhighway a Decade Later: High Bandwidth, Low Visibility Decisionmaking,” contribution in Transparency: 10 Years of Transparency in the Audiovisual Sector, at 42–47, (European Audiovisual Observatory: Council of Europe, 2003).

Rand, 1973 (with L.L. Johnson).

Rand, 1973 (prepared for the National Science Foundation, with M.E. Price).

Advanced Media Publishing Associates, 1977.

Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1978 (with S. Robb).

Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1979.

Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1980 (with B. Park).

Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1980 (with R. Friedlander).

Lexington Books, 1980 (ed. with D.M. Rice).

Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1980 (with D.M. Rice & E. Samuels).

Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1982 (with A. Pearce & M. Sprague).

U.S. Catholic Conference, 1983.

Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1986 (with S.R. Barnett & E.M. Noam).

Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1988 (with S.R. Barnett & E.M. Noam).

West, 1991 (with D.H. Ginsburg & M.D. Director).

2nd ed. West, 1991 (with D.H. Ginsburg & M.D. Director).

E.I.C. Electronics International Corporation and Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1993 (ed. with S. Farnoux-Toporkoff & R. Tasley).

E.I.C. Electronics International Corporation and Communications Media Center, New York Law School, 1994 (ed. with R. Tasley).

3rd ed. West Group, 1998.

3rd ed. Teacher’s Manual, West Group, 1999., (Universidad Sergio Arboleda, 2004) (Versión Española por E. Barrero & M. Rentería of Regulation of the Electronic Mass Media, 1998).