JN204 Lecture Notes - Paparazzi
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October 4th, 2012
Week 4, Class two, thursday
Legal restrictions on media gatherings
invasion of privacy
Taking actions that invade the personal privacy or personal life of another
Examples: publishing excerpts from someone's diary or posting a compromising photo of someone.
B.C Saskatchewan. MB, Newfoundland and Labrador have privacy legislation that gives specific
Illegal wiretaps on phones, eavesdropping on private conversations, stalking someone, unauthorized
use of personal diaries or documents, using someone's name or likeness without their consent to
Generally, journalists are only in danger of being charged with invasion of privacy if they use illegal or
covert methods to collect personal information or harass someone when there is no public interest in
It's common practice to seek someone's permission before shooting or filming them in a public place.
Singling out an identifiable person in a crowd, particularly at a controversial event, could be grounds
for legal action.
It's prudent to use a consent form and or explain to people how their photos will be used in context.
SCC has said that artists, politicians, and other people whose professional lives rely on publicity must
expect that some aspects of their personal lives will be in the public eye.
Section 162 of the CC makes it an offence to watch, photograph or film someone, including public
figures, at a time or place when a person is entitles to believe their privacy will be respected.
Photographers could face five years in prison.
Law targets peeping toms and paparazzi
also a crime for an outlet to sell, publish or distribute photos they know to have been obtained illegally.
Does not apply to people in public places.
It's legal to record any phone conversation with the consent of one party.
This includes reporters taping their interviews over the phone
Sources need not be told they are being recorded.
CRTC forbids media outlets from airing interviews or conversations conducted on the phone without
the consent of the person on the other end.
Similar rules apply to any audio posting online.
It's illegal to record conversation where it's reasonable to expect that no one else will hear.
But recorded conversations journalists discover by chance are fair game, as long as they are not
It's illegal for anyone to enter or cross private property without the owner's permission.
You must leave if requested by the owner.
Owners or security guards may not seize or destroy notebooks, recording equipment etc.
Theft and possession of stolen goods is a crime.
But confidential information itself has no value and cannot be stolen.
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