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Patrick Berry LO2 & LO3 Ethics and Legal

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Legal and ethical side within the media

Video recording act
The video recording act 1984 is an act of the parliament. It states that
commercial video recordings offered for sale or for hire within the UK must
carry a classification that has been agreed upon by an authority
designated by the home office
Copyright Law
The copyright law originated in the United Kingdom form a concept of
common law; the statue of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the
passing of the copyright act 1911. The current act is copyright, Designs
and patents act 1988. The law gives the creators of literary, dramatic,
musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and
typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control the
ways in which their material may be used. The rights cover; broadcast and
public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies
to the public. In many cases the creator will also have the right to be
identified as the author and to object to distortions of his work.
The copyright law is important within the Television industry seeing as it
will provide the creators and publishers legal right over ownership of the
work that they produce. This all means that the creators of an original
piece of television or branding can have some control over how it is used,
so this helps the creators make a living from their piece of work as they
can control where it goes and make sure that no one copies their ideas. So
the purpose of the copyright law is to protect the creator of a work against
infringement, to guarantee commercial exploitation and to stimulate new
ideas. However, you need to make sure that you meet the specific
conditions to qualify to get copyright protection.
If the copyright law is broken, the person who broke it could receive a
polite letter or email from the author asking to remove the material from
your chosen media or they will have to stop the production. They could
also receive a notice demanding them to cease and desist using and
distributing the copyrighted work. If none of this is done then the criminal
could face penalties higher than 100,000 for each infringed piece of
material, they could also go to jail. But this all depends on the extent of
the infringement. An example of copyright infringement within TV would
be in the 2013 American reality show celebrity SEALS. The show had
celebrities engage in competitions modelled on navy SEAL exercises, with
retired Navy SEALs as coaches. Later on the defendants produced a reality
show called Stars Earn Stripes. Which featured celebrities engaging in
physical completions with coaches culled from the military and law

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enforcement. In the end Celebrity SEALS team won seeing as they were
owners of copyright and so were able to persuade the judge that there
were uncanny resemblances between the two shows.
Films Act
The films act 1985 dissolved the British film fund agency, ending the Eady
Levy system established in 1951. The Eady Levy system had effect of both
assisting the film industry, and reducing the effect of entertainment tax on
film exhibition, to which all the cinema industry was opposed. In the Eady
Levy, a proportion of the ticket price was to be pooled, half to be retained
by exhibitors and half to be divided among qualifying British films in
proportion of the UK box office revenue, with no obligation to invest in
further production. The act also abolished the cinematograph Film Council
and dissolved the National Film Finance Corporation, transferring its assets
to British Screen Finance Limited. The act repealed the Films Acts 19601980 and also repealed certain provisions of the Finance Acts 1982 and
1984 and substituted new provision for determining whether or not a film
was British film eligible for capital allowances. The film act helps with
the film industry because it ensures that everyone is financed correctly.
The law will give everyone the correct pay, make sure that the sets are
financed are properly, and make sure that everyone is paying the correct
price towards the film.
Importance of ethical issues
Ethics; this is the moral principles that define how a person or group acts.
So when a producer is creating and filming a TV Show, they will need to
think about certain issues which could affect the way the show runs. Trust,
impartiality, truth, privacy and serving the publics interest is to name just
a few. When creating a TV show you need to think about the language
used. To make sure that youre not breaking the ethical guidelines you just
need to make sure that you dont show any offensive or hurtful language.
This would be any swearing, homophobic comments, racism and any
words that could be offensive to people with mental and physical
disabilities. Some of the language used can be used after UK watershed
time. However this would usually just be the common swear words. Some
of the language could be used to make the TV show more effective
however if the words are used too much then the show could become
tacky and pointless as swear or offensive words would have lost their
Other ethical issues that need to be focused on would be that everyone
has equal opportunities. The producer needs to make sure that everyone
will have a fair chance to be part of the team, no matter what their
ethnicity, beliefs etc. we arent just talking about the actors in this, we
need to remember that the production team all have a fair chance as well,
so the cameramen, editors etc. The ethnicity or beliefs should never
become a factor when applying for any job. This can follow on to

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encouraging diversity. So this would mean that the workplace would have
an equal amount of race, gender, and ethnicity. It used to be that in a lot
of businesses it is very white male gender populated, this has come to
change that people businesses are bringing in more diverse people. So
again this would be another aspect that the producer would need to think
about when creating their team.
Representation of gender
Gender stereotypes have become a big issue within the TV industry,
stereotypes are still as common as ever. Difficulties in differentiating
gender roles in the modern societies can be a perfect example of the
negative social effects of using stereotypes. Within most new television
shows you will see men as the financial providers. Career focused.
Assertive and independent. Whereas women would be shown as lowposition workers, loving wives and mothers, responsible for raising
children and doing housework. From the beginning of TV the stereotypes
have gotten better. In some shows you will see women having more rights
and opportunities within the labour market. Mass media still perpetuates
traditional gender stereotypes, due to their great influence within peoples
attitudes within the TV industry. TV is able to depict social groups in
negative or unrealistic manner towards the audience. TV is able to create
a certain image reality, which is consistent with the policy of the dominant
group. As a result, the reflection of a real world is incomplete and
Representation of religious beliefs
Religion can reach many people who may not otherwise be reached via
the media. This can be helpful and important so people can understand
faiths and traditions and beliefs. The TV industry can occasionally
encourage stereotyping and discrimination against certain religious
groups. For example the Islamic faith in Americas eyes are seen as
terrorists, due to the 11th September 2001 event. As different faiths are
becoming more and more popular its important that the modern world
has a better understanding of different religions and beliefs. TV news has
become a big factor within the representation of religious beliefs. Only the
most controversial and outrageous stories are chosen as they know they
will most likely get a huge amount of responses. The News is looking for
disagreements within religion. Television can raise issues of hypocrisy
within religious texts and cause arguments and in some cases violence.
However TV is also helping with the representation of media. Christianity
and Islam are both missionary religions, theres a religious duty to spread
their understanding of God and his laws, and bring more people in the
religion. Television has become a good way to spread this message. Also
for a many people that arent able to attend their own place of worship as
often as they would like to, the religious broadcasters let them worship

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through TV. Finally TV can be used the bring communities together and
families together especially during special religious days.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity
that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image,
film, television and games. In addition to its annual awards ceremonies.
BAFTA has an international, year round programme of learning events and
initiatives offering access to talent through workshops, master classes,
scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes within the UK and the USA.
BAFTA is an independent charity with a mission to Support develop and
promote the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding
excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. Its a
membership organisation comprising of approximately 6,500 individuals I
the UK. BAFTA does not receive any funding from the government, so
instead relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual
donations, trusts, foundation and corporate partnerships to support its
ongoing outreach work. The reason BAFTA is important is because it
provides opportunities towards upcoming apprentices who are looking for
a life within the media. BAFTA also promote the UK media industry. If we
didnt have BAFTA then America would dominate the media sector
because they are so much more powerful and wealthier. BAFTA make
British media significant.

Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK. They regulate the TV
and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the
airwaves over which wireless devices operate. They make sure that
people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are
protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that
competition can thrive. Ofcom operates under a number of Acts of
Parliament, including in particular the Communications Act 2003. Ofcom
must act within the powers and duties set for it by Parliament in
legislation. The Communications Act says that Ofcoms principal duty is to
further the interests of citizens and of consumers, where appropriate by
promoting competition. Meeting this duty is at the heart of everything we
do. Accountable to Parliament, we set and enforce regulatory rules for the
sectors for which we have responsibility. They also have powers to enforce
competition law in those sectors, alongside the Competition and Markets
Authority. Ofcom is funded by fees from industry for regulating
broadcasting and communications networks, and grant-in-aid from the
Ofcom is important because they regulate TV and radio sectors. Ofcom
ensure that everything that is shown on TV is appropriate for that time,

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channel and audience. Ofcom want to ensure that people who watch
television or listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive
material. Ofcom also ensure that people are protected from being treated
unfairly in television and radio programmes. So why are Ofcom important?
Because they give the general public this sense of security when they
watch/listen to different media forms. Consumer choice would be an
aspect that Ofcom would focus on. They want to ensure that the general
public have more than enough variety to be happy with and keep on
watching/listening to media. Because everyone of the public will have
different views and enjoyments it can be quite hard to make sure that
everyone is enjoying television or radio, but still focusing on making sure
theres no discrimination and that the people are still protected from
harmful material. This can then relate to taste and decency. Because
theres a huge amount of shows, radio stations, and some people are not
going to enjoy certain TV shows are radio stations, when the same radio
stations or TV show could be some elses favourite. Ofcom will need to
look into these pieces of material and make sure that their not harmful to
anyone. When it comes to decency Ofcom want to mainly focus on the
huge offences, so racism, homophobia etc. if it is used excessively then
Ofcom could shut it down, or put censorship on the piece of material. So
this would mean that the script would change or the show would get
pushed back to after watershed time so young people wont be influenced
by what it said. If some material has been banned or censored then under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the general public have the right to
know why. There has to be a plausible and official reason for why the show
has been banned or censored. This all meaning that when Ofcom look into
different television or radio shows they would have to consider a lot for
that material to change.


Patrick Berry LO2 & LO3 Ethics and Legal

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