Media Law Definition
Media law is a legal field that comprehends all legal regulations related to the industry of print media: newspapers, print advertising, telecommunications, radio and tv broadcasting, and digital and online communication through the Internet. The digital revolution makes this definition grow up constantly.
New digital media moves the information race at the speed of light, and social media such as Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, and all the new technologies have created new ways of communication. Media law practitioners need to keep abreast of all legislative changes and, where possible, contribute to shaping the law.
Every piece of content that is delivered, in a traditional format or through the new and still-developing media, must comply with all the legal requirements, and the role of the media law practitioners is to assist individuals or corporations in understanding this specific regulation to exercise their profession in accordance with law.
Henceforth, in practice the broad classification of media law often covers different legal practice areas, including intellectual property, image, contracts, business, advertising, international, data protection, privacy, social media, and/or litigation.
The principal basis of media law is the freedom of information guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution. However, this freedom is opposed to individual freedoms, such as right to honor, privacy, defamation, slander, etc., the courts must ponder which interest prevails, taking into account all the details of the particular case, because this matter is very casuistic. Therefore, litigation is an important element of this area of the law, because media law is a very litigious area to discuss if the activities performed by a media service are legal, determining where the boundaries of fair use lie, either from the perspective of the media or from the perspective of the affected.
The defense of all the intellectual property over the creations of the professional of the sector, journalist, photographers, drawers, or authors is a very important specialization for a media law practitioner.
The impact of the public law in this sector is also very relevant, taking into account that radio, tv, and advertising is a regulatory area. The role of the public authorities is active, with licensing or radio and TV frequencies; public contracts or authorizations; therefore a media law practitioner must also provide advise to his/her clients in this matters relating to public and administrative law.