Legal and ethical.

When a producer is running a show or film they have 2 factors to consider, legal issues and ethical issues. a producer must know what lines they can and cant cross, for example; a show can legally show a women being raped, but it can be seen as un ethical and morally wrong. however the morality of a piece can change depending on what context it is used in, for example; a show showing a women getting raped is generally unethical and wrong, however if that show is a hard hitting drama, that intends to educate an audience on what to do to prevent these situations, it may be acceptable.

on the other hand a show can be morally okay yet be illegal.


Law: [mass noun] (often the law) the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties:

Ethical: relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge.

Tomas pauls definition of ethical in the media: ‘set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behaviour helps and does not harms’

Ethical issue’s ar eoften very subjective and it often comes down to how things are portray and what approach shows take on various issues.


There are many laws a tv show has to abide by. a producer must know these laws a check a show doesnt break any of them before it makes it to tv.

Wikipedia definition of entertainment laws: Entertainment law covers an area of law which involves media of all types (TV, film, music, publishing, advertising, Internet & news media, etc.), and stretches over various legal fields, including but not limited to corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity and privacy.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

in the media industry this requires all producers to have a risk assessment conducted at every location they or their employees have to work. risks often found on a set include cables, plugs, lighting, sound and heavy equipment.

Intellectual property:

Wikipedia definition: Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognised. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.

this basically means the original creator of content has exclusivity over there content. this means no other person can use this with permission from the original. it also means the original creator must be credited, for example; although the batman comics are no longer written by him, bob kane the creator of batman is credited in each comic as the creator.

a producer must check if the tv show they are running conflicts with anybody elses intellectual property, for example, if a producer is given a show about a time traveller travelling through space in a blue box with a companion, then doctor who can claim its a complete rip off off its show and it conflicts with there intellectual property.

Intellectual property can be sold, which means all rights are transferred over to the buyer. for example the original creator of superman sold the rights many years ago, and now his son is trying to claim some sort of rights to the money made by the superman franchise. the son has lost many times in court because his father sold the intellectual property and therefore his son has no rights.

European Convention of Human Rights definition:

Article 10, Freedom of Expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent states from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law

This is where the phrase’ this is a free country’ comes from. this law means media outlets have the freedom the express any opinion they wish to do as long as it doesn’t conflict with a variety of laws. those laws include the intellectual property act. some companies such as the bbc are not allowed the same freedom as other companies as it must remain unbiased in its opinion. this is another case where ethics and law clash.


as previously stated a producer has to take into consideration an ethical issues a show might face.

for example, although legally a show is entitled to freedom of expression, if an opinion is expressed that the majority of the audience will find offensive then it is un ethical to have that opinion air on tv.

other ethical issues a producer might face is the portrayal of gender race and ethnicity. this has been a major issue in recent years as often groups feel tv portrays there culture in a negative way, and often over exaggerate a stereotype.

ethical issues are the most difficult the define as what is right and what is wrong as alot of it depends on your personal opinion or view on a situation. generally a ethical issue is defined by the dominant ideology. this means the idea that the majority of the audience has is seen as the ‘right’ point of view.




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