British law obviously differs from law in the United States. Nonetheless, a recent ruling by Britain’s Press Complaints Commission reminds us that the laws protecting privacy, copyright, trademarks and so on pertain regardless of whether one is publishing in a newspaper or on the Web. And journalists bear the same responsibility when running “citizen journalism” that they do when running their own.
By Tony Glover
Old-style Fleet Street watchdog the Press Complaints Commission(PCC) has bared its teeth in the brave new world of citizen journalism. Every major news event from the London bombings in 2005 to the recent Mississippi bridge disaster has been recorded by amateurs using mobile phone video cameras, with newspapers and magazines standing in line to upload the best and bloodiest footage on to their websites.
By upholding a complaint against the Hamilton Advertiser, the PCC has made its first ruling on audio-visual content and sparked an industry-wide debate on the best way to police the largely untamed frontiers of the internet.
[Continue reading Glover’s piece on citizen journalism]