Digital Communications- Knowing The Legal Boundaries

Libel- A false statement that is published in order to damage a person’s reputation.

Defamation- The act of ruining a person’s reputation by slander or libel.

Copyright- The legal right to make copies or license artistic work such as music, video, literature, etc…

Two Examples Of Online Stories That Have Been Subject To Legal Proceedings Against Publisher.

The first example comes from The Guardian’s website:

Lily Allen is taking legal action against the Daily Mail for an online article that featured pictures of her home.

The article, which was published by the paper’s Mail Online website in September, ran with the headline: “Pregnant Lily spends £3m on stunning Cotswold home.”

The singer has taken legal action alleging invasion of privacy for running shots of the home as well infringement of copyright for the images used.

“We have today issued proceedings on behalf of Lily Allen against Associated Newspapers [Daily Mail’s parent company] for copyright infringement and breach of confidence,” said law firm Atkins Thomson, which is acting for Allen, in a statement. “This action is in relation to an article published in the Mail Online on 14 September 2010.”

In October, Allen won damages against French sports magazine So Foot over an article that falsely alleged she called Victoria Beckham a “monster” and the X Factor judge, Cheryl Cole, “stupid and superficial”.

In September 2009, she received £10,000 in damages and an apology from the Sun for repeating some claims made in the same So Foot article.

The next example is from The Daily Mail’s website:

Blackpool to take legal action against fan after allegations posted on internet forum about chairman Karl Oyston
Blackpool are launching legal proceedings against a supporter
Chairman Karl Oyston and father Owen, as well as the football club, claim they have had a series of ‘untruths’ posted about them on the internet
The Championship club are now suing the individual for up to £150,000


IPSO, or the independent press standards organisation, oversee’s the standards of the British Press. It was launched on the 8th of September 2014. They have a code of practice that everyone has to follow. They work in the print media industry. If anyone has any complaints, or feel like they are being harassed, they can to go to IPSO and they will help you. IPSO replaced the PCC, Press Complaints Commission, which had previously received criticism for it’s lack of action towards the News Of The World phone hacking scandal.

Digital Economy Act 2010

The Digital Economy Act 2010 is an act that was put in place by British Parliament. The act looks at media policy issues, all relating to digital media, such as copyright infringement, Internet domain names, radio and video games.

Since the act has come into force, many sites that contain some type of copyright infringement have been blocked, and made inaccessible from inside the UK. This can be a problem sometimes, as some sites can be unfairly blocked even if they are showing content of fair use.


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