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.