This course will cover a wide spectrum of legal issues relating to modern news media, including constitutional law and the laws of defamation, privacy, newsgathering and intellectual property. Given the pervasive nature of media in modern society, this class is not just for students interested in representing traditional media, entertainment companies or digital start-ups; nor is there any prerequisite course or specialized knowledge necessary to succeed in this class. Media law affects everyone in the connected world from the amateur blogger to giant internet retailers, from the devoted social media poster to the best-known journalists and from the student filmmaker to the major entertainment stars and studios. In a world in which everyone is a digital publisher, every well-trained lawyer needs to know about media law.
This course will explore many of the today’s most interesting legal and ethical issues:
• Balancing reputation against the public’s right to know.
• The limits of privacy in an internet-enabled, 24/7 news world.
• Whistle-blowers, leaks and national security.
• The use of images of celebrities and athletes in videogames, documentaries and other products.
• The propriety of incorporating third-party content into films, news stories and artistic works under the fair use doctrine.
• Public and private access to government records, proceedings and e-mails.