Media law - is this something different from entertainment law? Yes and no. In this course, our emphasis will be on 21st Century media, which, through social media, typically is entertainment. In addition to considering legal questions relevant to 'traditional media' (newspapers, radio, and television), we will try to bring the subject into the 21st Century with media that is more prevalent - the Cyber World. This contemporary focus contains some challenges as the law is far from settled and judges and lawmakers must apply old law into new environments. Just consider, as newspapers fail around the world, computer gaming has grown to the point where gaming now generates more money annually than free to air television. We would be remiss and very out of date if we did not take up social media and all of its worldwide ramifications. To borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens, from the viewpoint of media law, this is the best of times, this is the worst of times. The best of times because so much is happening, the worst of times because the legal landscape changes faster than we can adapt.
It is naive to think that we can predict the world of media five years from now. To avoid being legal dinosaurs, there is a significant component of media theory in this course so that as lawyers, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever the future will bring. We make good use of Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan who relished controversy, taunted academics (though he was one) and was a popular television personality in his own right.
This course contains 13 weekly topics that are described on iLearn page. Power Point slides accompany each lecture. The lectures are only available on ECHO recordings and all recordings are new for 2021. Lectures will be conducted by Harry Melkonian (weeks 1-3, and 7-13) and Daniela Simone (weeks 4-6). Tutorials/OCS will be led by Daniela Simone.
Attendance and participation in the tutorials/OCS are absolutely essential to successful completion of this course and some of the assessment will be derived from the materials addressed in these classes.
Readings for this course involve a combination of: (1) The prescribed casebook; (2) Readings on Leganto, and (3) Current materials distributed in class or made available on iLearn
The prescribed casebook is Media Law (2d edition) by David Rolph et al (Oxford 2015). This text provides a good foundation on which we will create media law for 2021!