Is Big Brother Watching You?



Throughout the semester, we have been learning about how to make entertainment effective and engaging. The main focus has been how to write, how to format, and how to conceptualize. But what happens if somebody begins to steal your original ideas? In this chapter 11,” Learning the Legal Landscape”, of “ Writing for Digital Media” by Brian Carroll , the reader is brought into the history and future of copyright law.

As Simon Garfinkel said,

The future we’re rushing towards isn’t one where our every move is watched and recorded by some all-knowing “Big Brother.” It is instead a future of a hundred kid brothers that constantly watch and interrupt our daily lives.”-pg 252

The First Amendment guarantees the right to publish information about government and about public issues, but it does not help much with access to that information. There were two cases, Richmond vs. Virginia and Branzburg v. Hayes that established a constitutional right to access to information for all citizens.

Another landmark occasion was the Freedom of Information Act , initially passed in 1966 and amended for the Internet in 1996. It ” provides the disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents possessed by the federal government, but its effectiveness depends on cooperation from government.” It’s exceptions include national security, agency housekeeping rules, statutory exemptions, and confidential business information.

I hadn’t really thought about the copyright and privacy law before I began to make my video for Digital Communications and we could only use songs that were not copyrighted. There is so much artistic freedom these days that cannot be used. Privacy law has 4 general areas:



-Publication of private facts

-False light invasion of privacy

These are all things to consider when you are working in the digital media realm. One can never be too careful to only use original work because it is important to give credit where credit is due. So, I guess for now, Big Brother is still watching us, but eventually Big Brother could be not so big after all.