Imagine that you are on vacation with your family. Suddenly, during the time that you have set aside for privacy and relaxation, the paparazzi shows up without notice and snaps a few pictures of you and your family.
When you return home, you discover that those pictures have been published in the tabloids for the world to see.
Now, for the average person, that might actually be really exciting. But for a celebrity who is followed by the press on a daily basis, I would imagine that such an experience would be far from exciting. I think a better word to describe it would be infuriating.
The famous English actor Jude Law is a celebrity who recently suffered from the invasion of privacy that unwanted press can bring.
Jude Law sued the editors of the British magazine Hello! for publishing unauthorized pictures of his children this past January. The photos were taken while Law was on vacation in the Caribbean with his two sons and his daughter, as well as his ex-wife Sadie Frost and girlfriend Sienna Miller.
Law won the lawsuit for invasion of privacy in the beginning of April. The editors of Hello! magazine have agreed to cover Law’s legal costs, as well as paying Law $15,000 in damages. Hello! magazine agreed not to publish any photos of Jude Law’s family and children until they reach at least 18 years of age.
The magazine also will not publish pictures of Law or his family in places in which “he has a reasonable expectation of privacy,” for example when on a personal vacation or in the privacy of his own home.
However, they are still allowed to publish images of Law when taken at places such as the red carpet at a movie premiere, where celebrities should expect to be photographed and interviewed for publication purposes.
Law won the case because the photos were taken while he was on vacation, and should be able to obtain full privacy during that time. He did not give the press permission to take the pictures, let alone to publish them in one of Britain’s most popular celebrity magazines.
Not only did the magazine editors violate Law’s privacy, but also that of his children.
I fully support the court’s ruling. With the increasing ubiquity of the press, celebrities these days have little to no privacy, and they have work hard to obtain small amounts of uninterrupted private time for their personal affairs.
The media today is so pervasive in the lives of all people in many different ways, whether it means as a celebrity having your personal life exposed to the public, or as an average person having various extensions of the media surrounding you constantly in your everyday life.
Court cases such as this one, which highlight the invasive qualities of the press, will no doubt have an impact on the media industry. This proves the need for tighter restrictions on today’s press. The security of a celebrity’s personal privacy should take precedence over the pursuit for the next hot tabloid story.