Rights of Privacy and Publicity in the Digital Age
The American University of Rome
Area of Study
Communication Studies, Media Studies
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits0
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
In this age of digital and social media, it is possible to expose a person’s most intimate secrets, likeness and personal information to the public in literally a matter of moments. Some people seek this type of attention, while others take unprecedented steps to avoid it.
Whereas the exposure of someone’s likeness or private information might in some circumstances be self‐inflicted and either intentional or unintentional, in many circumstances, it is the unwanted, intentional action of a third party seeking commercial gain without consent who is the culprit. This course studies in detail the concept and laws relating to “rights of privacy and rights of publicity.” In particular, it delves into how these laws have evolved, how they affect and protect a private individual or public figure and most importantly, the role the First Amendment plays in protecting this often unwanted public exposure.
Required Textbook (subject to change)
Course Learning Objectives
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Understand the relation between rights of privacy and rights of publicity
2. Understand the evolution of common law and state laws that protect people's rights of Privacy and publicity
3. Understand what one's legal right of of publicity is
4. Understand how the First Amendment protects the general public's right to private and public information
5. Understand how the courts sort out the conflict between one's rights of privacy and publicity, rights of free speech, and legal remedies for violations of one's rights of privacy and publicity
Course Learning Activities
Participation. The Socratic method of learning will be used for purpose of discussion, not unlike a traditional law school course.
After discussing the assigned readings throughout the body of the course, the last course sessions will involve an open forum to explore the interplay between State Law and the First Amendment in the protection of Rights of Privacy and Publicity. The final exam will be a writing assignment issued before final exams
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations