Key Legislations

Key Legislations for Film and Press

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Video Recordings Act (1984)

  • Passed in parliament in 1984
  • 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"
  • The BBFC was given the authority.
  • In the year after the law was passed the BBFC changed its name to the British Board of Film Classification as opposed to Censorship.
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The Official Secrets Act (1989)

  • Passed in 1911, revised in 1989
  • Is a law that restricts the media publishing state secrets and official information and mainly upon matters regarding national security.
  • Applies to both Film and Press.
  • A newspaper can be issued a DA-Notice which is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security.
  • If a newspaper were to break this request they would most likely face prosecution.
  • In the revised Act it is now NOT an offence to publish details of official business, for example the MP Expenses Scandal
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Human Rights Act (1988)

  • "Everyone has the right for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."

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Contempt of Court

  • Its a restriction on a newspaper reporting anything that may interfere with the workings of a court case.
  • For example, publishing an article saying someone is guilty when they haven't yet been convicted.
  • It is "A publication will be in Contempt of Court if it creates a substantial risk that the course of justice will be impeded or prejudiced.
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Race Relations Act (1976)

  • The Race Relations Act 1976 was established to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race.
  • Items that are covered include discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of goods and services, education and public functions.
  • People are exempt it if is part of their occupation for example being an actor.
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PCC and Privacy

  • Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.
  • Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information.
  • It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.
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Supporting the PCC's effectiveness on Privacy

Rochelle Wiseman - March 2010 - News of the World

  • She complained to the PCC after photographs were taken of her entering a London Solicitors building as she claimed they were in breech of Clause Three of the privacy code.
  • After a few days the case was 'Resolved' and the News of the World said they deleted all images from their system and said they had no intention of publishing them
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Challangeing the PCC's effectiveness on Privacy

J.K. Rowling - October 2007 - The Scottish Mail on Sunday

  • She complained to the PCC after the newspaper published long distance pictures of her home, identifying where she lived and circling an image of a recent property she had just purchased.
  • She said they were in breech of clause three of the privacy code "Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence"
  • The claim was not upheld and nothing was done about it
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