FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.
Dude, where are my clothes? Those might have been the words of Prince Harry when he learned that photos of him naked, but covering his royal private parts, had gone viral worldwide.
How did this happen? Apparently, his royal nakedness was partying in Las Vegas when someone snapped cellphone shots of him in the aftermath of a strip billiards game that then ended up on TMZ.com.
So much for the supposed "code" that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Indeed, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reportedly is upset - stating that "Las Vegas is about adult freedom" and that people are supposed to follow the code about what activities are private and not to be publicly shared.
It will be interesting to see if and how the photos will affect Prince Harry's reputation. He already is regarded as a relatively free royal spirit. So, this caper may fit hand in glove with how he already is viewed. Also, some people may like the fact that the royals might not be all that stodgy after all.
On the other hand, undoubtedly, some people may be upset to see someone in Prince Harry's position engaging in such juvenile activity. Cast your eyes away!
But seriously, what is the lesson learned here? The world has become a very small fishbowl. Practically anything you do can be photographed and beamed worldwide in an instant.
Accordingly, it is important to think carefully about what you do and in the presence of whom. If you cannot completely trust the people around you, comport yourself prudently.
Also, apparently cell phone free parties are emerging. Namely, people are required to turn over their cell phones when they show up for a party. But that is not completely secure. Someone theoretically could turn in one phone, but still have another camera-ready phone hidden and available for use.
Of course, as more and more embarrassing material shows up worldwide, like this Harrygate debacle, to some extent, the shock value goes down. Given how practically all aspects of life are viewable instantaneously on a global basis, we are realizing that people truly are human, and almost everyone at some point engages in behavior that could be deemed somewhat embarrassing.
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.
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