Pictures and information may be considered private even if posted on sites such as Facebook, says new guidance from the Independent Press Standards Organisation on sourcing material from social media. It highlights issues of accuracy, privacy, children and grief under the Editors’ Code. Read the full guidance, with case studies and examples of rulings, here.
Legal expert Cleland Thom says the Independent website was wrong to justify lifting facts from court copy on the basis that there is no copyright in news as long as it is re-written. Retaining just 11 consecutive words can be a breach. But it is legally unsafe for other reasons too, as well as raising ethical questions. Read more
Parody and pastiche involve copying someone else’s creative work to some extent, which should breach copyright law. That in itself would infringe the human rights of the person making the parody. But as of 2014, English law allows an exemption for parody as long as certain tests are met, according to the website Keep Calm and Talk About Law. Read more
A US judge has dismissed an animal charity’s claim that a monkey owns the copyright on a selfie it took, on a camera set up by a wildlife photographer. The charity wanted to be designated as “next friend”, meaning it would get all the royalties. Read more
In a 12-minute film, Professor Duncan Bloy summarises legal challenges for journalists and community media, including defamation, copyright, reporting sex offences, and privacy. Note that a legal right to film council meetings has been established since this film was made in April 2014. Watch here
Copyright theft has become rife with the advent of e-books, discovered writer Barbara Kevles after she found her own book being offered as a free download (Press Gazette, July 2014). Read more
Pictures present legal pitfalls for the media, said the HoldTheFrontPage law column in May 2014: copyright, mistaken identity, privacy and more. Read it here