Is It A Crime To Watch The Naked Erin Andrews Video? No, But It Makes You A Total Jerk

from the didn't-stop-the-NY-Post dept

You may have heard that some miscreant somehow surreptitiously filmed well-known ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews naked in her hotel room using some sort of pinhole spy camera installed the room. Obviously, this was incredibly illegal (apparently, the suspicion is that it was an insider at ESPN who knew which room she was in) and hopefully the person/people responsible are caught and punished. However, CitMediaLaw points out that some legal analysts are apparently claiming that it’s criminal just to watch the video. But, that’s not true. It makes you a terrible person, but it’s not illegal. After talking about how a talking head legal analyst on CBS claimed it was illegal to watch the video, Carlos Miller checked in with a First Amendment lawyer who balanced the questions clearly:

According to Photography is Not a Crime’s legal analyst Marc Randazza (yes, I have a few, so take that, CBS), Bloom is talking out of her ass.

“That CBS analyst needs more legal education and less melodrama,” the Florida First Amendment attorney said in an email responding to my question.

He also added that although it is completely legal to download and view the video, he didn’t have much respect for anybody who would.

“Anyone who does download it is kind of an asshole,” he said. “She did have an expectation of privacy. We live in a society where the sleazes and the lowest common denominator individuals seem to thrive. If we dried up their mud flats, they would die off.

“What I mean by that is that downloading the video is legal. but doing so is a douchebag move. I certainly won’t be downloading it (although I personally would love to see her naked too).”

As if to prove the point, apparently, the NY Post posted still images from the video — and ESPN has responded by banning NY Post writers from ESPN. The Post didn’t break the law, but that doesn’t make it any less evil a move.

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Comments on “Is It A Crime To Watch The Naked Erin Andrews Video? No, But It Makes You A Total Jerk”

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Ryan says:

Re: Just Awful

I laughed at a comment made on a torrent of it on TPB that went something like this:

“I agree with you guys, this is a horrible thing to do to somebody. I hope the guy gets caught and spends several years in prison. Just disgusting.

However, I have been waiting for this video for a long time! I’ve already jizzed to it five times…”

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just Awful

Every female out there (if she’s not a whale or a dog) should realize: if she’s on TV–there’s somebody (likely alot of somebodies) who want to see her naked.

Like, duh.

The quickest way to diffuse the situation would be for her to pose nude for 2 minutes and then be all like “here ya go” and put in online.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

The sad part

The truly sad part of all this is that she isn’t that bad of a sideline reporter. She’s got a decent voice, a clear camera presence, and (for whatever reason) the players seem to be willing to discuss her questions at some length.

It’s a shame that the fact that she’s pretty has caused her to be victimized by all kinds of people: USC football players air-humping her, pinhole cameras, ESPN going out of their way to exploit her looks, etc. etc. etc. I’m not normally on board with the whole feminism thing, but I feel bad for this poor girl who clearly has some degree of talent.

Just not bad enough to not go download that video once I get off work…

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Any minute now...

If you’re implying that she may enjoy the additional exposure(heh) from this, I disagree.

She really didn’t need any additional popularity, and it’s not like she seeks it out when she’s not on camera doing her job. She’s never publicly been very pleased with the erotic controversies surrounding her(the USC LB humping her, pictures of her eating a hot dog, allegations of flirting in the locker room, etc.), but she’s not stupid; she knows a large part of her popularity is in her attractiveness. Nevertheless, she makes every effort to be prepared and attempts to focus attention on the sport, not on her, and to make it fun.

I read a few interviews with her, and she sounds really honest, passionate, nice, down-to-earth, and just generally appreciative of the games she covers. The more I read, the worse I felt. One recent interview even quoted her dad saying they thought the Playboy award honoring her for being the hottest sportscaster was amusing, but that she would never appear in the magazine for any other reason(believe that or not, but I did).

With the nature of this publicity and sports, I wonder if she’ll ever really be able to do her job the same way again, and if she’ll derive the same enjoyment of it. Hopefully she’ll get over it, the crowds and atheletes will be classy to her, and the incident will be forgotten. She adds a fun, attractive, somewhat tongue-in-cheek element to watching while remaining a dedicated professional that makes it more enjoyable for many of us.

ToySouljah (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Any minute now...

Actually, I didn’t know who she was until I read about this…lol. I don’t really watch ESPN since I’m not really big on sports. I’ve always respected women for everything they have to offer and of course their body is a part of that. Now, the way these images were acquired is highly disrespectful to her privacy, and the people responsible should be punished. If she had posed for Playboy or something then it would be a completely different story, but she really should consider it since the pics are out…might as well make them artful and shot by a pro.

technomage (profile) says:

could be...

ESPN finally got it right, and coordinated something like this to increase their ratings. I think I would be looking at her ratings on ESPN and see if they have gone downhill recently. If they have, it is a good argument that this was staged in order to bolster her reputation. Someone made a comment about how women got in TV to begin with, well if what I said is true, she just proved that point, she just did it with Streisand Effect combined with Viral Video.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Some additional legal analysis

“I posted some additional legal analysis on watching/downloading the video, as well as hosting it, on the Citizen Media Law Project site —

Does your additional legal analysis on watching/downloading the video also happen to include a step by step procedural schematic on where to get said video, how to get it onto my screen, the best viewing sizes and formats, and how or where we might be able to get more of this type of video?

Otherwise I don’t know if I want to click your link…

Clueby4 says:

TechPuritan is now, eh?

I don’t find it surprising in the least print entertainment going after tv entertainment on this one.

To me it appears to be karma. Yes, the invasion of her privacy is wrong and should be punished but the resulting interest is a result of the whole entertainmentsurface > newssubstance that exist in today’s media.

The false indignity surrounding this is quite surreal.

tygreen101 says:

possible diffusion

Personally, I think if she would have said, “It’s a really good fake. I commend the creater, but you didn’t include my tattoo”, that the matter would have gone away very quickly. Because of the media attention, everyone wants to see it.

and before you say, “but what if she doesn’t have a tattoo?” does it matter? The point is to redirect it so the matter goes away. If it does surface again that the video is real, she could be coy and say, “I leave that to the perv’s imaginations, like I always have.”

but that’s my 2 cents.

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