The NewsU Course on Online Media Law I took awhile ago was extremely beneficial because it discussed specific regulations for publishing things online and ways to protect your self. I believe this course is vital not only for anyone who is in public relations or journalism, but also for anyone who is publishing anything online, which is the majority of the population. Everyone should take it to protect them selves from a potential lawsuit from something they believed to be completely innocent or trivial.
I learned a lot of valuable information from this NewsU course. This course informed me of the three important areas of media law that specifically relate to gathering information and publishing online which include defamation, privacy, and copyright. The definition of defamation is “injury to reputation caused by publication of falsehoods”. Elements of a defamatory claim include that the defendant published the defamatory statement, the statement was false, the statement is about the plaintiff, the false statement harmed the reputation of the plaintiff, and the statement was published with some level of fault. The definition of invasion of privacy is when you publish personal or private information about someone without his or her permission. And copyright is basically copying someone’s work.
What surprised me when I took this course is that you can have a defamatory claim against you simply by publishing someone else’s defamatory statement. This is very interesting to me, because I thought that if you were just quoting something someone said, you would be fine because it wasn’t your words. However, the NewsU course informed me differently. You can protect yourself against this by quoting a witness testimony in court, because then you would be protected under “fair-report privilege”.
I would like to learn more about copyrighting images, music, or media from the internet. I especially use images that I find online in many ways. It would be horrible if anything happened because of it, so I would like to learn more about the legality of this action.
This NewsU course was extremely helpful to myself and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, especially if you are publishing any kind of content online.