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Media Law: An Analysis

What is Media Law?

Media Law is also called as Entertainment Law which is that stream of Legal services that essentially provide to the Entertainment Industry. These services usually overlap with IP (Intellectual Property) Law as ‘Right of Publicity’ falls under the ambit of IP Laws. Media Law has a wide range of media under its ambit namely TV, Film, music, publishing, advertising, internet and news media etc. There are entertainment attorneys, who have a strict confidentiality contract with their clients and they often help in building the public image of the client. Entertainment Law is divided under the following broad heads:

· Film

· Internet

· Multimedia

· Music

· Publishing and Print Media

· Television and Radio

· Theatre

· Visual Arts and Design

How does Media Law Help?

Media Law helps in assessing the potential risks in publishing and in the new era of digital literacy. It helps the artists to ensure that no one makes a duplicate version of their original work, without their consent or permission. It further puts a bar on free speech, which may potentially be fake stuff and would lead to defamation. Although we have a provision of defamation under the Constitution and Indian Penal Code, Media Law further offers a great insight into ‘fake news’ with the help of fair and accurate reporting, as truth may sometimes be dismantled with governmental influence or some powerful individuals. Media law also guarantees protection to publication and original work. It helps in the promotion of good journalism and improves the quality of news being floated on social media. This law basically reforms Media for good.

The need for media law in today’s time

India being a democratic country has seen Media as the fourth important limb of the country after legislature, executive and judiciary. When media only commercialises news and is mostly driven towards entertainment, then it is highly criticised. This is primarily because, it is supposed to keep us up to date with happenings around the world and when the news which is being spread is not credible, then it often misguides the public. This result in incitement and the consequences of the same is unnecessary protests, defamation of innocents and chaos in the society. Since nowadays everyone is so active on social media; there is literally no one to stop them from spreading fake news or insulting someone on that platform. Freedom of speech is guaranteed under the constitution but there are certain reasonable restrictions on the same, but how far people follow it is quite questionable. That is where media law comes in and makes sure that authentic news is being floated along with the adherence to certain censorship guidelines of the country. We have often seen media also interfering in the privacy of certain individuals to gather some news which can be very useful for monetising, then there are instances where opinions are longer genuine but with the mala fide intention which subsequently results in bad journalism.

Social media News is considered to be a great influence on people, and sometimes it can be bad if the news is fabricated as people tend to remember the news but not the source. Many people hence, criticise online journalism as it does not always include things like investigation, fact-check, double-check or review by an experienced editor. That is where media law comes into play as it ensures the non-propagation of unauthentic and plagiarised work by content creators as well as distributors.

Media Law deals with a variety of issues such as IP, Defamation, confidentiality, privacy, freedom of information and commercial contracts. There are certain Media Law agreements such as agreements with authors, publishing agreements, distribution agreements and agreement with suppliers.

With the ongoing trend of social media, Media Law helps in tracking down, unauthentic, false, defamatory and false material that could harm the client’s reputation. This is something which most of the clients deal with when they come up to a media lawyer. Hence, the first step is to get your original work protected either with the help of a lawyer or under a governmental statute. People should also be more cautious before sharing any information about anyone on social media with knowing its true source to avoid the spread of fake news, as many of us do not when we share something on social media.


Rudra Prasad is a 4th-year student of Law, currently pursuing Law from Kirit P. Mehta School of Law, NMIMS University, Mumbai. She wrote this, while she was interning with us.

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