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Vibe Productions: Understanding the creative media sector

LO2: Understand the legal and ethical constraints

Understand the ethical and legal constraints with in the media

In order to get the job you are required to understand the following within the media sector your have
chosen. During the interview you will be asked to hand over a written document containing information
on the following aspects of your area.

Video recording act

The video recordings act (1984) is an act that has been put in place by the
parliament of the united kingdom that states that any commercial video
recordings offered for sale or for hire within the UK must carry a
classification that has been agreed upon by the authority designated by the
home office.

Copy Right law

Why is it important within the film industry ?
Copyright law is very important in the film industry in order to keep ideas
within companies safe. For example , if an idea for a movie or a new hit song
released by a record label is patented and [protected by the copyright law ,
then it is safe to be released without being copied or stolen by another
company .
What is its purpose?
Its purpose is to protect original ideas . It grants the creator of an original
work exclusive rights to its use and distribution , usually for a limited time.
The exclusive rights are not absolute however. They are limited by
limitations and exceptions to copyright law , including fair use.
Who does it protect
It protects the product and the creator of it .
What happens if it is broken ?
Civil Penalties
If the holder of the copyright has registered her work with the United States
Copyright Office (USCO), then she can sue you for damages and
compensation in civil court. If you are found guilty of copyright infringement,
you can be ordered to pay damages. The amount of damages depends on
the amount of lost profits from the infringement and the number of times
you infringed on the copyright. You may also be ordered to pay legal fees.
The court can also impose statutory damages of between $200 and
$150,000. Penalties above $30,000 are generally awarded only for “willful”
Criminal Penalties
If you infringe on a copyright in order to earn a profit or gain financially, if
the value of the infringement is more than $1,000, or if you distribute a
work over the Internet that is being prepared for commercial distribution,
such as a movie or CD, you may also be guilty of a crime. In such a case, if
you are found guilty you face penalties including up to one year in jail,
payment of financial damages and payment of legal fees. If the infringement
is worth more than $2,500, then you face up to five years in jail, financial
damages and legal costs.
Examples of when it has been broken and outcome
A music publishing company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones' song
"Play With Fire" sued rapper Lil Wayne today (July 24), saying he released an
altered version of the song without permission.
Abkco Music Inc accused Lil Wayne, his artistic collaborators and his record
company, a unit of Universal Music Group, of copyright infringement and
unfair competition.Representatives for Lil Wayne and Universal were not
immediately available for comment.
Abkco also said that Lil Wayne's version uses "explicit, sexist and offensive
language" and could lead the public to believe the company and the Rolling
Stones approved of and authorized the new version.

What is the Films Act?

Why is it relevant to the film industry?
The films act is relevant for the film and music industry as it helps fund the
projects , giving more companies the chance to produce and showcase their
work .
Does it help or hinder the industry?
the overall outcome is , there are more productions available , meaning
more productions for people to be part of = Jobs for actors , producers ,
artists , engineers , directors etc , however due the increasing number of
projects , there will be more competition and so this will be a problem for
some companies.

Importance of ethical issues

Use of language
Avoid being racist , avoid language that is likely to offend the audience.
Avoid swearing , explicit material is in the exception for their specific market
and audience/fanbase.
Equal opportunities
Hire people from different economic classes/backgrounds. Different races ,
gender so its giving everyone a equal opportunity as there is a very wide
range of people involved on thee projects.
Encouraging diversity
Having diversity within the music industry makes it so much more
interesting as it brakes the trends up . From the standard charts , much of
the music released sounds very similar , in particularly from the pop genre.
Introducing something different to the scene gives the viewers a change ,
this makes it a lot more interesting for them and they intern look further into
that particular artists diversity for example , if they like their style of music
that is.
What ethical issues should be considered when making music/music
videos ?
Appropriate use of language should be considered , any racially biased
phrases / motives . Portrayal of men and women within the video . offensive
terms need to be considered .

Representation of gender

How are men and women represented in music?
Men and women are presented in many different ways through music. The
main portrail of women in the generalisation of modern music release is that
of a sex appeal. The music videos are used to present the women in a
godess/sexy/free like way in order to attract the male audience easily.
men are presented similarly in their music videos to attract the female
Feminism has been an accepted social viewpoint for more than forty years,
and the changes that have occurred in women's roles in society during that
time have been very little. The media’s representation of women still
remains worrying.
Women are often represented as being part of a context (family, friends, and
colleagues) and working/thinking as part of a team. In drama films, for
example, they tend to take the role of a helper or object, passive rather than
active. Men are still represented as Film drama characters up to 3 times
more frequently than women, and tend to be the main focus of news stories.
Representations of women across all media tend to highlight the following:




emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings

Relationships (as opposed to independence/freedom)

But, in the film ‘Alien’, the main character Ripley, who is played by
Sigourney Weaver, almost breaks all stereotypes of how woman are
perceived and shown in films. Weaver kills aliens, isn’t shown as a sex icon
with the clothes she wears as she dresses almost manly, she shaves her hair
off and doesn’t act flirty or try and be ‘woman like’. This shows that films
can break stereotypes, but it just depends on what type of audience the film
is looking for and how they can make money.Male
Male characters are often characterised as isolated, and not needing to rely
on others (the lone hero). If they submit to being part of a family, it is often
on purpose to help add or build the narrative, rather than a basic factor. The
male physique is becoming a more important part of representations of
masculinity. For example, in Taken, the main male character is shown as
being the hero and being able to work on his own and get to a place with no
help. Whereas with his daughter being kidnapped, it shows that she, as a
female, is weak and unable to fight of someone and help herself.
Representations of men across all media tend to focus on the following:

Strength - physical and intellectual


Sexual attractiveness


Independence (of thought, action)

In films, men are a lot more varied whereas woman are always shown in
the same way. For example, the Bechdel test which is a short test that is
used as a way "to call attention to gender inequality". It shows that woman
are represented as the following:

The movie has to have at least two women in it

Who talk to each other

About something besides a man.

If you look at a lot of films, all the woman characters meet these
representations and it is very hard to see a female character which breaks
this rule.

Are they seen as strong or weak etc.?
That differs depending on the context and genre of music . However the
majority of occasions , the men and the women are seen as strong.
Supported with examples
Bang Bang - Jessie J , Ariana Grande , Nicki Minaj - They are presented as
strong confident , dominative women in this music video and the lyrics of
the song are very suggestive to this .
Representation of religious beliefs

There is not much representation of religious beliefs within the music
industry as a whole, however , certain aspects of thrive on the religious side.
For example , many artist pray to god before and after every performance ,
thanking him for giving them the chance to share their creations with the
The media’s representation of religious beliefs is said to have been biased
towards a certain religion. For example, Islam and Muslims is the fastest
growing religion in the world, but is also a target to the way films put those
people across. In June of 1995, the American government building in
Oklahoma City was bombed. The following day a British newspaper, carried
the headline "In the name of Islam", followed by a picture of a fireman
carrying the remains of a dead baby. It was then quickly established that the
bombing had been carried out by Christian militants. This incident illustrates
a trend which has emerged in the media - the demonization of Islam and
Muslims. They have also been characters in films and dramas that are more
commonly stereotyped as violent religious fanatics. In current affairs films
we are constantly shown the image of Muslims as savage terrorists, killing
innocent people with no remorse, when in fact not every Islamic or Muslim
person is like this, but is how the media wants people to see them.
Whereas, in most American films, Christianity is involved and plays a big
part in the films and characters life. Unlike Islam and Muslim, however,
Christianity is depicted as being a good thing and is something everyone
should base some of their life decisions on.

How should men and women be

They should be treated equally .

Does your studio represent people fairly
in their films?

Yes they do . The give everyone equal chances to pursue their musical
talents into a career an showcase their projects.


Explain what the following bodies do and why they are important (choose the ones related to your
media sector only)

Do not just cut and paste their ‘about us’ page – please read it and put it into your own words.
Add links to their pages
Distinction grade learners will find cases

British Board of Film Classification
The British board of film classifications is a board that devises age
ratings for film starting from ‘U’ going up to ’18’ . They also have the
authority cut parts of films if deemed too inappropriate or not not
suitable. they also can reject films all together.

The British Board of Film Classification is an independent, nongovernmental body which has classified cinema films since it was
set up in 1912 and videos/ DVDs since the Video Recordings Act
was passed in 1984.
The British Board of Film Censors was set up in 1912 by the film
industry as an independent body to bring a degree of
standardisation to the classification of film nationally. Legal
powers on film remain with the local councils, which may overrule
any of the BBFC’s decisions, passing films we reject, banning
films we have passed, and even waiving cuts, instituting new
ones, or altering categories for films exhibited under their own
licensing jurisdiction.
The BBFC is important because it doesn’t allow anyone to see
content that they shouldn’t be seeing. It keeps people safe and
also allows people to know what type of content they should be
expecting when they watch a film.
An example of a time the BBFC had to suggest cuts to a film was
for the film ‘A Serbian Film - Srpski Film’. It was concluded that
numerous cuts would be required before the film could be
classified at 18. The main issues for the BBFC were scenes of
sexual and sexualised violence and scenes juxtaposing images of
sex and sexual violence with images of children. In total, 49
individual cuts were required, across 11 scenes. It was estimated
that around three minutes 48 seconds would need to be
This will also fall under consumer choice. Because of its rating
being an 18, it obviously contained content which shouldn’t be
viewed by people under the age of 18. Due to its content in the
film from the original edit, numerous cuts were made in order for
it to be classed as an 18. The images which were cut must have
been too much in order for them to give it a rating, and be able to
censor it from viewers who it may have caused distress to. The
taste and decency of a film is also taking into consideration when
thinking about who will view it. For example, young viewers
shouldn’t be exposed to content in the nature of nudity, sex, bad
language or strong violence, etc. This is because it could distress
the younger viewers and cause them to start copying words or
actions they had seen on a film. With the freedom of information,
it ensures that people are able to know why there are certain
ratings on a film or why a film may have banned. People are
entitled to know this due to the freedom of information. If a film
has been rated a 15 for example then they have the right to know

why and what the films content contains, making it a 15. Also, if a
film has been banned for whatever reason, anyone has the right
to know why it has been banned. People also have the right to
know why, if a certain scene in a film has been cut out and what
made them have to get rid of it.

Film Distribution Association The film distributors
association launches films. They distribute the way films are released.
they communicate with the UK film council, government and other film
organisations to make sure a wide range of films so the film economy is
more evenly spread. They try to deal with the fight against film privacy
and copyright privacy. They organise press screenings before the films
release so they can review the film to make potential viewers see if they
will like they film.

Film Distributors' Association Ltd. (FDA) is the trade body for theatrical film
distributors in the UK - the companies that release films for UK cinema audiences.
Film is an influential, dynamic part of the UK's creative economy
and FDA is involved in the industry's on-going efforts to stop film
piracy and theft.

The business of film distribution:

Finance: selection of films, acquisition of rights, financing of
prints and advertising.

Promotion: choice of the release date, organisation of advertising,
partnerships, and public relations, material sent to the exhibitors
(trailers, posters).

Bookings: negotiation with exhibitors, selection of the cinemas
which will play the film.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts The british academy of film and television arts is
a charity who helps promote art forms of the moving image by
identifying and awarding excellences. They have an annual awards
ceremony to award them. They need their memberships and donation
to run as they have no other funding.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent
charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of
moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring
practitioners and benefiting the public.
BAFTA is important because it helps an audience and the industry
recognise work and people that deserve to be noticed and
rewarded for. It shows appreciation to what people are working
for and how their hard work can pay off. It also offers aspiring
people for that industry unique access to some of the world’s
most inspiring talent through workshops, master classes,
scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with
audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los
Angeles and New York.
BAFTA received a complaint from a father, who lost his daughter,
Flora, when Pan Am Flight 103 went down. He wrote to the British
Academy of Film and Television Arts objecting that the
programme, The Lockerbie Bomber: Sent Home to Die, has been
put up for an award. BAFTA responded with:
“BAFTA (Scotland) might give an evening of joy to STV, we have a
lifetime to face without those we loved, and we intend to get to
the real facts, to which we have every right.”
An STV spokesman said: “We are confident that the STV
documentary The Lockerbie Bomber: Sent Home to Die, reported
the facts of the case, as legally established in court.”
Television, Radio and Telecommunications Office for Communication (Ofcom)

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA),

The Independent Games Developers Association (IGDA),

British Web Design and Marketing Association

British Interactive Multimedia Association (BIMA)

Press Complaints Commission (PCC),


Then discuss the issues that these regulatory bodies may face with regard to

Customer choice
In a production the company needs to consider what the consumer would want to see. They
need to take into account all desires of their target audience. They will produce successful
projects from this as they know they are producing music that heir audience will like.
Companies as big as this grow to know the ins and the outs of their targets audiences desires
and so are able to produce for the consumers content .
Freedom of information
Freedom of information is where information about the release of music video/track/album is
released freely so everyone can find out about the product before they purchase/listen/watch it
in order for them to be aware of the content and make an independent decision as to if they
would be interested in the said product ( Song/album/music video) . A regulatory body would
make all this information available by viewing the video/ listening to the track first and finding
out all the information about it that they require to set out the regulations into place.
Censorship refers to the age rating of a film and the content within the piece , insuring it has
been carefully sectioned to an age rating to inform the viewers correctly. For example the
companies would make films with highly inappropriate content in a ’18’. Whereas items of
music / film that have little/no offensive content would be a ‘U’ or ‘PG’ .This act is set in place
to correctly inform viewers about the content they are about to watch , so they know of the
content before they see so they are not offended buy any language or footage that they have
not been previously warned about . A regulatory body would decide the rating and cut some
scenes out if deemed necessary rather than the production company so that biased results are
not obtained.
Taste and decency
Taste and decency refers to a piece of film that wont be censored , but will gain complaints as
its not to a viewers taste. The certain viewers who are unhappy with this item, will complain to
a regulatory body about the issue. Usually the situation is , what is being shown maybe
something that the particular viewer does not what to see or gets offended by due to their own
particular tastes and standards , not because it should have already been censored or cut by
the production company.