Like it or not, he forfeited his privacy for wealth and fame
The First Amendment and a couple of pricks
Jeff Jarvis

And where exactly does the constitution stipulate that? hint: it doesn’t.

Becoming a celebrity and being famous does not give Gawker any legal right to publish private videos of him or any other celebrity without their permission. By this argument those celebrities whose cloud accounts were breached and the contents within posted publicly should also just suck it up right? After all according to you they gave up any legal expectation that what they do in private is actually private in “exchange” for fame. The years (decades for some) of hard work and toil just wasn’t enough, of course.

Gawker lost this case as they should. It does not serve the public good for any self-proclaimed news outlet to post clearly private and personal videos without the approval of all participants. The legal system of basic rights does not only apply to those who are not famous by some measure. Nor does talking about a subject remove clearly private and personal information from the expectation of privacy.

What other rights do they “forfeit”? Perhaps their free speech? Their right to practice or non-practice of religion? If they have no right to privacy then the fourth amendment doesn’t apply — it being founded on the basic understanding that privacy is private by nature.

Then we must ask at what point is one “famous enough” or “celebrity enough” to somehow for with their inherent rights. Maybe posting anything online under a real name? Maybe being a reporter, a journalist, or anyone else in the media business? Perhaps anyone with mere “Facebook friends” or Twitter followers, or any other “social media” outlet than they have direct personal engagement with? Is “revenge porn” legally defensible if the victim is famous? Nope.

From what limited knowledge I have if the facts of the case the video was apparently surreptitiously recorded but not by “Mr Hogan”. So we have a sex tape recorded either by the other party in the video for nefarious purposes or pleasurable ones that has now been posted on the Internet. That sounds a bit like revenge porn doesn’t it? Perhaps in investigation into how Gawker came into possession of this video is in order for potential prosecution of the guilty party under such auspices.

Indeed I could argue that Gawker was party to porn law violations. Porn productions have certain legal requirements such as signed consent forms and copies of government issued identification before they can be produced or distributed. Does Gawker or the person who recorded the video have these legal forms for this video? If so then it would have gone an entirely different route. Thus the act of distributing video of actual sexual acts (pornography) without the appropriate legal documentation alone could put them in serious legal trouble. And no, there is no exclusion from such regulations for “journalists” or celebrities.

The desire to exclude celebrities from enjoying the basic rights of American citizens is one founded in a notion of “us versus them” and is even a perverse form of populist fascism in which certain vague groups are denied their rights. This behavior is not supported by American jurisprudence, nor any consistent foundation of individual rights in the civilized world.

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