Friday, May 03, 2019

Covington litigation reminds us of a lesser discusses aspect of privacy law, perhaps

There’s at least a third lawsuit now regarding the Covington Kids matter from January from the Sandmann family, this time against NBC (which I used to work for).

The video above is remarkable because it states the idea that journalists (and presumably) don’t have the legal right to write about previously non-public persons, especially minors. There are torts involving invasion of privacy as well as defamation.

I often report on local musical events or church concerts or plays, as well as those staged by more obviously commercial and public interests.  I don’t usually name minors, but I will, for example, name soloists, pianists, organists, etc.  This has never been an issue, but it could result in someone getting more attention “globally” than the person had ever imagined.
This comports with a trend I have noticed since about 2012, that people are much more sensitive about being photographed in discos than they had been before.

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