Tag Archives: Media Law

Lecture: Law Refresher And Recent Cases

I gave another media law lecture to the first year journalism students at the University of Huddersfield this week. After giving a series of five last term, this was billed as a refresher. But instead of going over all the same ground, I picked out a few recent legal issues and examined how the laws I’d previously taught them played out in those cases, including the Dave Lee Travis trial.

I also included a bit on election law (well, it is the season), including a reflection on Ofcom’s decision to categorise UKIP as a major party for the first time, at the forthcoming European election. I still think it’s unlikely they will be treated as a major party at next year’s general election, even if they top the poll next month, but real votes in real elections will make them harder to ignore when it comes to the big set-piece TV debates.

The presentation is here.

Embed Getty Images In Your Blog For Free

Scanning the Getty Images archive, and sticking an appropriate image into Photoshop for a quick bit of tinkering before publication, is as much a part of the online journalist’s toolkit as calling the police press office or doing the tea run.

Or at least it is if you’re working for a professional publisher paying for a proper licence to access Getty, the world’s best known photo agency. But bloggers and social media users have instead faced a choice: nick something that’s not yours and hope you don’t get a legal letter, or try to find a copyright-free image. Flickr Creative Commons has 300 million of these, so there are options, but it’s relatively rare to find much freely available on either current or archive news and sport events.

Until now. Getty has taken the decision to make 35 million images from its library embeddable in blogs like this one, which is why I’m able to put a picture from tonight’s demonstration in Sevastopol at the top of this post. I don’t pay anything: but I have to use Getty’s embed code, which at least ensures a credit if no money for both it and the photographer. I also had to tinker slightly with the image sizes within the code to make it fit nicely, but this only took a few seconds.

Click on a picture in the Getty library and this is what you see. I've highlighted the Twitter, Tumblr and embed code links below the image.

Click on a picture in the Getty library and this is what you see. I’ve highlighted the Twitter, Tumblr and embed code links below the image.

All very nice, then. But you might ask why Getty is doing this. A fair summary of the reaction from people far more knowledgeable about photography than me would be that it’s simply realised it just can’t prevent its images being stolen and shared. So it may as well let us do it for nothing in the hope that it can develop some revenue-raising tools around that freely-available content, like YouTube does.

Commercial publishers are still going to have to pay for a proper licence, so Getty will hope its bottom line won’t be affected, but photographers, relying on Getty for cash from those licensing deals, may well wonder where this will end. There’s a blogpost from the British Journal of Photography here, and more reaction from Business Week and the BBC.

There’s more about exactly how it all works on the Getty website here.

And just because I can, here’s a picture from the Getty archive of the last time Crimea was the focus of the world’s attention; Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference of February 1945.

 

Lecture: Copyright Law

I delivered my latest media law lecture to the journalism and media first years at the University of Huddersfield this morning. It was on copyright law, with a particular focus on the law as it applies to social media.

It’s a bit of a challenge making copyright law interesting enough to sustain the attention of several dozen students in a large lecture hall for close to an hour. But I did my best, using clips and examples ranging from the IT Crowd, the recent plagiarism row involving Carly Fallon and the Press and Journal, the familiar story of Peter Pan and Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as who exactly owns what on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Wikipedia, Flickr and all the rest.

The full presentation is here.

Media Law Lecture: Defamation

My third media law lecture to the first year students at the University of Huddersfield was today. It was all about defamation, with a special section reflecting on the various strands of the Lord McAlpine case. It also took in the new defences included in the 2013 Defamation Act.

You can get the full presentation here.

Media Law Lecture: Crime and Courts

I delivered my second media law lecture to the first years at the University of Huddersfield today. It was on crime and courts, including Contempt of Court and looking at issues including the naming of suspects and cameras in courts.

You can see the full presentation here on Prezi.

Lecture: Introduction To Media Law

As part of my teaching commitments in my new job at the University of Huddersfield, I’m giving the media law lectures during the first year Journalism Principles and Practice module.

The first one was today, and it was a general introduction to the law and the English legal system plus a canter through the PCC and Ofcom regulations. In an attempt to make it more engaging to an audience of mostly teenagers, it included a gratuitous mention of Harry Styles from One Direction.

Here’s the full presentation on Prezi.

SMC_MCR December

Alan Davies is among the well-known figures to have apologised to Lord McAlpine.

Social media and the law is the topical matter up for discussion at next month’s SMC_MCR on Tuesday 4 December. Media lawyer Steve Kuncewicz, Pirate Party UK leader Loz Kaye (still the only party leader to have visited my (old) house) and journalist Iram Ramzan will be on the panel for the event at The Northern pub in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

We’ve seen both criminal and civil cases arising from tweets in recent times, with lawyers for Lord McAlpine currently pursuing individuals who falsely linked him to allegations of child sex abuse following the now-infamous Newsnight report of 2 November.

Full details are here at the SMC_MCR website. I make it along to these monthly events when I can and they’re always interesting and thought-provoking, and this one looks like it’ll be particularly good. It’s also free.