When I was in college there were two courses that sounded similar when I signed up for them. They ended up not being particularly similar. Looking back, Mass Media Ethics and Mass Media Law ended up being very different animals. Somehow, both instructors were memorable – one wrote me a letter of recommendation for graduate studies and the other attempted to fail me after the final for “being one-minute tardy every day for the entire semester.” I didn’t fail that class, and I didn’t get into grad school.
Here’s the point I’m trying to make: When it comes to ethics and law, there are points of overlap for the individual, but what you view ethically and presume psychologically aren’t always going to play out in the real world. Trust me, I’ve had more real-world experiences than I care for and I’m only a handful of years removed from college.
Sadly, things like Fair Use make me nervous when I’m trying to remember exactly how they apply. I’m sure it’s simple, but I haven’t had any use for it recently and my brain just hates remembering some of the details. What I can tell you is that my group won our mock trial in Mass Media Law and our findings were such that there is precedent in the judicial and legal system that states more RIAA anti-piracy cases will not hold up and can be overturned because they cannot determine who committed the piracy and were bringing their cases against the person with the cable internet bill listed in their name. I don’t know if that still holds water in 2017, but in 2010 it won me a trial and got me an “A.”
Katie Lane is a lawyer and she gets all the stuff that I don’t. You probably don’t get most of it either. Stuff like copyright, “work for hire,” and all the other oddities you’ll come across if you’re a freelancer and not so much as an in-house loafer like myself.
I think Lainey might have taken away more from it than I did, so I’ll let her take it from here.
Elaine: I’m guessing most lawyers don’t wear bright red chucks doing a group presentation.
Katie Lane does.
I thought this session would be somewhat dull, but she made it interesting, fun and easy to follow. Lane touched on policies, boundaries and contracts. Lane educated designers in attendance about ways to protect themselves and their works from being taken advantage of. She stressed the importance of planning and all the ways a freelancer can and should help their future selves.
As someone who works with design agencies more than doing the designing myself, I really appreciated all the points she made about how important it is that the designers make it clear that they NEED TO BE PAID (duh) for their work. I’ve already seen ways I can help my working relationships with designers and I am sure designers at Eye on Design took away very important tips of advice to use in their work.