It's no secret that we all live in the golden age of technology and the internet, where anything anyone says or does can make or break their reputations and careers. But with the right education courtesy of a media law class and the terms that come with it, people can now have a leg up in the world of both the media and the law.
To start, people everywhere believe that they are entitled to some level of privacy in their lives, even when they frequently post about their lives on the internet. This includes A list celebrities, social media influencers,
and popular YouTube stars. But what they may not be aware of is that privacy falls under different aspects, depending on which one sis the most prevalent. The 4 aspects of privacy are Appropriation, False Light, Public Disclosure, and Intrusion. Appropriation is the use of a person's name or physical likeness for commercial trade without permission, which is also considered a violation of someone's right to publicity. One good example to go by is Lindsay Lohan's legal suit against Rockstar gaming for the use of her likeness to portray a character in Grand Theft Auto 5. Next, is False Light is where published material may place someone in a false light; one that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. If a lawsuit where to come about, the publisher may be at fault for the material. Then, there's Public Disclosure which ties into the publicity of privacy, where the private life of another person is published and even subject to liability. Finally, there's intrusion, something a bit more familiar to alot of celebrities; in which a physical intrusion is happening and disrupts the seclusion, solitude, or private affairs of another person. Something that a reasonable person would find offensive.
In a like manner, advertising and commercial trade, two things that are also prevalent on the internet when or comes to things like advertisement revenue, also falls under media law protection and legality. One way this is true is through Advertising and Trade Purposes where someone makes money from commercial uses of a product or brand. There's also the Right of Publicity in which a person has the right to control the commercial use of their name, image, or likeness; basically aspects of their identity. Both of these terms are useful to know in the event that a person is not getting the revenue that they were promised from doing commercial work or advertising. Similarly, media law terms that are useful to know and keep handy are FERPA, COPPA, and HIPAA. FERPA is a legal policy that limits the public access to students educational records. COPPA is designed to protect the privacy of children and their parents while they're using the internet. On the other hand, the HIPPA laws are in place to protect the privacy of individuals identifiable by their health records.
In conclusion, while it may not be the most exciting class in a course description, a media law class is more interesting and informative than it sounds due to the vast wealth of knowledge and insight it gives into how the legal system is structured around not just the world outside of the internet, but media as well. Just keep an open mind and an open notebook ready.
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