Media & Entertainment Law
Author: Ursula Smartt
Edition: 2nd Edition (March 2014)
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Since the last edition of Media & Entertainment Law was published in April 2011, there has been a continued increase (and focus) on media and entertainment law. This has led (as Smartt acknowledges in her preface) to a "fully revised publication at a time when legislation is fast changing, particularly in the entertainment branch of the law". It includes, for example, consideration of the Defamation Act 2013 and important decisions including McAlpine v Bercow  EWHC 1342 (QB). The aim of Ursula Smartt's Media & Entertainment Law remains, however, the same: to help students tackling this fast-moving area of law for the first time.
Written by an experienced academic, Ursula Smartt from the University of Surrey, Media & Entertainment Law is separated into ten chapters: media freedom; privacy and confidentiality; defamation; contempt of court; reporting legal proceedings; freedom of public information; obscenity laws, extreme pornography and censorship; copyright I: intellectual property; copyright II: entertainment law; and regulatory authorities. The coverage is a challenging but achievable gallop through various (and key) areas of law for any media or entertainment lawyer.
Despite covering such a wide range of legal topics, Media & Entertainment Law feels both well-structured and accessibly laid out. For me, the most striking feature of the text is its readability: pages are quickly turned and key points are driven home by the use of excellent examples. For example, Smartt considers the topical issue of liability for comments made on social media. While this is a growing and developing topic, useful reference is made to the developing case law (including reference to the use of Norwich Pharmacal orders against giants like Facebook). References to the case-law really underpins the reader's learning.
Ursula Smartt's Media & Entertainment Law is a thought-provoking account of the law but, at the same time, written in a practical way. Its practical approach is, however, underpinned by theory which allows the reader to properly understand the law. I was a fan of the first edition and I am also a fan of this second edition. Unlike the first edition, there does not appear to be any companion website (which is somewhat surprising given the subject; even a webpage with all of the links would be very useful). Media & Entertainment Law will, however, continue to develop into an important text for anyone studying this fast-developing area of law.
Reviewed on 25 August 2014
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