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Images of Celebrity: Publicity, Privacy, Law

Media & Arts Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2005

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 142

24 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2006  

Andrew T. Kenyon

University of Melbourne Law School

Esther Milne

Swinburne University of Technology

Abstract

Celebrity has been a notable focus in recent media and cultural research, with work considering its textual construction as well as its production, circulation and consumption. Concurrently, celebrities' claims for privacy from certain media publications have been important in English, European and New Zealand case law - law which has significance beyond those jurisdictions and has received considerable Australian attention from lawyers and commentators. In light of themes about celebrity from cultural and media research, this article examines an illustrative legal claim by celebrities where privacy was sought from particular media coverage; namely, the long running Douglas v Hello! litigation. The authors explore ideas about the celebrity as a commodity and the treatment of photographs in privacy-related claims, and draw out two points. The first concerns legal awareness of what could be called the celebrity industry and its role in the construction and circulation of media content. In some situations, these industrial aspects of celebrity may carry doctrinal weight for issues such as when reasonable expectations of privacy exist. The second raises matters about the uses of celebrity content in terms of subjectivity - uses which are suggested in contemporary media and cultural research - and the role of privacy itself within identity formation, which has been raised recently within Australian legal commentary on privacy.

Keywords: celebrity, privacy, law, publicity, media, culture, commodity, photograph

JEL Classification: K1, K10

Suggested Citation

Kenyon, Andrew T. and Milne, Esther, Images of Celebrity: Publicity, Privacy, Law. Media & Arts Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2005; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 142. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=881706

Andrew T. Kenyon (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
61 3 8344 9972 (Phone)
61 3 9348 0973 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/cmcl/

Esther Milne

Swinburne University of Technology ( email )

Cnr Wakefield and William Streets, Hawthorn Victor
3122 Victoria, Victoria 3122
Australia

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