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Legal & Ethical & Codes of Practice for the Client

Legal Considerations
Copyright Laws:
The copyright designs and patents act (created in 1988) was introduced for two main
purposes which consisted of, making sure people are rewarded for their hard work, and also
to give the creator some kind of protection if their work is ever stolen. Before this act, there
was very little that these people could do (legally) if someone else did steal their work and
claim it as their own. This law covers a number of different types of primary multimedia and
in particular its focused on protecting ICT work since (especially if exposed publically on the
web) its a lot easier to steal and claim as your own. This applies to copying software, mp3
songs, videos, images, text etc. Anything that someone has initially created and you have
taken without permission is in breach of this copyright law. More information can be found
here: http://www.teach-ict.com/gcse/theory/copyright_patents_act/miniweb/index.htm
In the UK at the moment, you do not have to apply or register as such since the laws of
copyright are enforced automatically. This lasts for a lifetime and then an additional 70
years after the creators death. After this time period has worn out, the copyright is usually
passed down to the creators heirs or beneficiaries. Sometimes, the copyright does not lie
with solely the creator, but someone else. This can sometimes be hard to track but using
primary assets without the copyright holders permission could put you in serious trouble
since you are in violation of this copyright law. The copyright holder is the only person who
can authorise the reproduction of a work in any medium by any other party even if the work
is being stored electronically. If people are commissioned to do any kind of design work
then they will retain the copyright until an agreement is signed by both parties stating
otherwise. However, if these visual creators are employed and not working for themselves,
then the employer actually is the one who retains the copyright.
Images
Especially with images, theres always the option to use stock photos, which are photos
where the copyright owner has decided to open them up to be freely used by the public.
Sometimes strict rules apply about when and where the asset may be used so its always
important to read what the copyright holder has specified. Then again, you are able to
actually pay for assets, meaning you dont necessarily buy the copyright to the image, but
you buy the right to use it.
Software
In terms of software, if you buy a software package then what you have done is purchased a
license to use that package legally, meaning that you do not own any rights to this, but are
allowed to use it as stated by the company itself. Each software package usually contains
one license in which you can use on one single computer. If you then were to use the same
disk and load the software onto another computer for someone else to use then this is
against the law and you would need to buy another license in order to do this legally.

Sometimes software companies will sell things called multi-user licenses (different to the
single user license) in which the package will state a certain number of users who can log
into the network and use the program at any one particular time. The minute that this
number is met, no more people can use the software until someone logs off. If more
people use it than the package bought originally stated, then this is illegal and it begins to
become a problem. This is especially useful for schools and businesses etc. where a large
number of people all may need to be using one software package at once. It also means that
places are more likely to comply with these laws when they see theres a multi-user license
option rather than having to purchase lots of single user licenses at one. A third option is
sometimes also on offer which is a site license. This is much more versatile and means that
the software can be loaded onto every machine in a particular office or school and everyone
can use it. It sometimes even allows for staff members to have a copy of the program to use
at home but this will have to be checked because this is not the case for every instance. The
client MUST be made aware of these limitations.
If you purchase any kind of software e.g. Microsoft office, Adobe Photoshop etc., you only
buy the rights to one copy of the software. This means that you can download it onto your
computer only, as you are the only one who has bought the right to use it. If you were to
give the disc to a friend or to upload it onto their computer, this would be illegal as they
have not bought the rights to use this software. Sometimes companies sell multi-user
licenses, which mean that the software can be used on more than one PC; this is useful for
businesses and schools. The final option is a site licence, which is useful for in the work
place, however colleagues must check if they can use this software at home too, as they
may have to purchase another license.
General
In my MM project I must ensure that all these considerations are applied to my project and
that the Client is kept fully informed of any breach of these.
Graphics/Videos
It can be difficult when choosing which images to use off the internet. Some of them are not
copyrighted and are legal to download and can be used freely by the public, however some
images are copyrighted and you must get the creators permission before you can use the
graphic. Some people may allow you to buy the image if you want to use it in your work, but
this does not mean that you buy copyright use to the image and start to allow other people
to use it, it simply gives permission for you to use it. The same applies to videos, such as the
ones from YouTube. Online piracy is becoming more and more popular; people are
uploading and sharing copyrighted material all the time. Unfortunately it is hard to track and
remove, as there are millions of websites which do the same thing. If I use videos from
YouTube in my work, I will ensure that I am not infringing the copyright rules, or I will get
permission to use the media before I download it.
YouTube and other media hosting sites

Under the Digital Millennium copyright act of 1998 sources that feature content that
infringes on copyright can be held accountable and prosecuted individually. With the
millions of online web users across the world, it would be near impossible to monitor and
control all media uploaded to the web. On more popular sites such as YouTube, videos that
feature copyrighted material without having consent from the copyright holder can be
removed from the site and may be prosecuted. With advancements in technology, online
video piracy is becoming increasingly easier to upload and view. The music and film
industries in particular has suffered the most from sites that offer free downloads of music
tracks, or films to watch.
If I feature a video from a site such as YouTube I have to make sure that the media is not
infringing on copyright, and I have the authors permission to use the content (unless it is
public domain, or I use it for educational purposes)
My Product
In order to make sure that I do not break any of these rules, I need to ensure that I gain
permission when using images from the internet, or make sure that they arent copyrighted.
If the owner does not gain me permission, then I will find a different picture, or I could try to
take my own. It is the same circumstances with videos. When downloading them, I need
gain permission before doing so, even if I think theyre not copyrighted. I also need to make
sure that the content is appropriate and safe to include in my software, and does not
discriminate anybody. I will create the logo myself, so I do not have to ask for any
permission to use this.
I will be using different types of software to create my product, and I am certain that all of
the programs have been legally purchased by my college. This means that the college is
licensed to use the software; however I cannot use it at home because I have not personally
purchased it.
Ethical Considerations
When working in any part of the media product, restrictions always apply in regards to
exactly what you can say or what youre allowed to do. This is to protect people from things
such as racist comments which may not only offend someone, but even cause great
problems. Contrary to popular belief, the internet is not somewhere that you can escape
these rules. Its obviously easier to do online and more people are likely to break these laws
here more than anywhere else since its all done very anonymously. However, things can
always be tracked and therefore, even on the internet, some things are still just not allowed.
Clearly within different media job roles, more restrictions apply and are more heavily
enforced such as television channels and radio presenters etc. where content may be freely
published nationally. If someone finds a piece of information offensive in any way then they
may be able to sue the company for a lot of money. There are however rules to avoid this.
These consist of:
You arent allowed to use a picture, video or sound clip of anyone unless you have
obtained their permission to do so beforehand (sometimes needed in writing)

You cant make a verbal statement about any individual which could be seen as abusive or
could harm their reputation. This is called Slander.
You cant make a written statement about any individual which could be seen as abusive
or could harm their reputation. This is called Libel.
You arent allowed to use any part of someone elses work (or the whole thing) without
their written permission beforehand. (Copyright laws).
You have to be careful in how you represent and describe the content and characters in
your work since you must make sure you are both unbiased and accurate. This applies to:

Race (black, white and Asian),

Gender (male and female),

Sexuality (homosexual and heterosexual)

Disability (able bodied and otherwise).

Nationality (British or otherwise).

Class (working, middle or upper).

Regionalism (north and south).

Age (old and young)

This means that you cannot suggest in any way, at all, that one of these groups is inferior to
the other and if you do then you are definitely in breach of this rule and the production may
not be allowed to be seen. There are some laws in place which work alongside these rules
such as The Race Relations Act.
It is essential that when I am designing planning my project that I take into consideration all
of the above and again ensure that all the Acts are complied with. Most of the above is just
sensible considerations but I will check with the Client that she aware of all these
considerations as and when necessary.
In order to make sure that I do not break any of these rules, I need to ensure that I gain
permission when using images from the internet, or make sure that they arent copyrighted. If
the owner does not gain me permission, then I will find a different picture, or I could try to take
my own. It is the same circumstances with videos. When downloading them, I need gain
permission before doing so, even if I think theyre not copyrighted. I also need to make sure that
the content is appropriate and safe to include in my software, and does not discriminate
anybody. I will create the logo myself, so I do not have to ask for any permission to use this.
I will be using different types of software to create my product, and I am certain that all of the
programs have been legally purchased by my college. This means that the college is licensed to
use the software; however I cannot use it at home because I have not personally purchased it.

I will now look at the following Codes of practice that the Client needs to be aware of.
Ofcom
The Office of Communications commonly known as Ofcom, is the government-approved regulatory
and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United
Kingdom.
Ofcom has wide-ranging powers across the television, radio, telecoms and postal sectors. It has a
statutory duty to represent the interests of citizens and consumers by promoting competition and
protecting the public from what might be considered harmful or offensive material.[ Some of the main
areas Ofcom presides over are licensing, research, codes and policies, complaints, competition and
protecting the radio spectrum from abuse.
The regulator was initially established by the Office of Communications Act 2002 and received its full
authority from the Communications Act 2003.

Advertising Standards Association (ASA)


The Advertising Standards Authority is the UKs independent regulator of advertising across all
media. We apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising
Practice. Our work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action
against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements.

British Interactive Media Association (BIMA)


BIMA supports individuals and organisations which deliver high quality, creative and innovative,
interactive media solutions.