Media Law Prof Blog: Photographs and Privacy

David Rolph, University of Sydney Faculty of Law, is publishing Looking Again at Photographs and Privacy: Theoretical Perspectives on Law’s Treatment of Photographs as Invasions of Privacy in Law, Culture, and Visual Studies (A. Wagner and R. Sherwin eds.; Ashgate Publishing, 2011). Here is the abstract.

Courts in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are increasingly entertaining claims for invasions of . Many of these cases involve the publication of photographs by a media outlet. In the United Kingdom in particular, the means of protecting personal has been the adaptation of the existing, information-based cause of action for breach of confidence. This has entailed treating photographs as a form of information. This essay analyses the imposition of liability for the publication of intrusive photographs, as it is developing in the United Kingdom, using Campbell v MGN Ltd [2004] 2 AC 459 and Douglas v Hello! Ltd [2008] 1 AC 1 as case-studies. It applies critical insights from leading theorists on photography, such as Barthes, Berger and Sontag, to suggest that the judicial treatment of photography is underdeveloped.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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