The most fundamental violation of freedom of the press is considered to be a prior restraint—an order issued by a court that prohibits the publication or broadcast of material that in some way is deemed especially harmful. Prior restraints have come up in many different contexts, including permits for demonstrations and ratings for movies. In this guide, however, we focus on two of the most important areas—where publication of information may endanger national security and where it may harm a defendant’s right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment.
Are 3-D printer designs protected by the First Amendment? This was the legal defense raised by Cody Wilson back in 2015, who faced prosecution for violating federal gun export laws after he created a gun with a 3-D printer and then posted the blueprints online for others to download and use.