Law and Media Round Up – 21 January 2013

21 01 2013

Media and Law Round UpAssociated Press, Getty Images, Reuters, British Pathé, Press Association, and the Federation of Commercial and Audiovisual Libraries have delivered a Letter Before Claim to Vince Cable, in opposition to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. They object to Clauses 66, 67 and 68, “which will allow the government to make changes to copyright exceptions, reduce the length of term of copyright, and allow the licensing of Orphan Works“, the British Journal of Photography reports. More at Out-Law.com here.

Katie Price is suing Star and OK! magazines over articles which she claims breach a contract ensuring “goodwill” from Northern and Shell titles, Press Gazette reports.

The Sunday Times editor, John Witherow, has been appointed acting editor of The Times during an “interim period of continued consultation over the Undertakings” (given in 1981, when Rupert Murdoch bought the Times and Sunday Times titles).

Following Lance Armstrong’s television confession to Oprah Winfrey, the Sunday Times says it is confident of getting back the £1m it paid out in Armstrong’s libel action against the title, including £300,000 it paid towards his costs in an out-of-court settlement in 2006.

A 39-year-old journalist and two serving officers were arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police’s operation investigating allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

This is your last chance (really) to enter the Media Law Quiz of the Year: following several requests from readers, the deadline was extended to the end of today, Monday 21 January 2013.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

On 17 January 2013 there was a statement in open court in the case of Grimaldi v Times Newspapers Limited. Prince Albert of Monaco accepted an apology and substantial damages from the Sunday Times over allegations that he had entered a sham marriage with Charlene Wittstock. There were reports of the statement in the Guardian and in the Press Gazette.

On 16 January 2013, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce accepted substantial damages from Steve Kean, a former manager of Blackburn Rovers, over an allegation by Kean recorded in an online video, that Allardyce was sacked from his previous post at the football club because he was a crook. Mr Allardyce’s solicitor Hanna Basha told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court that Mr Kean had acknowledged the allegation was completely untrue, withdrawn it, and agreed to pay a substantial sum in damages [PA Media Lawyer].

The Media Blog draws attention to what it describes as “The Newspaper Apology of the Week“, from the “People”:

“Sir Roger Moore: An Apology

On 16 September we published an article headed “I’ve had Moore women than James Bond” which claimed that Sir Roger Moore had recently spoken exclusively to The People and made comments to our journalist about his private life.

We now accept that Sir Roger did not give an interview to our reporter and did not make the comments that were reported in the headline”.

Please contact inforrmeditorial@gmail.com with any relevant information to report in this section.

Journalism and regulation

There are two new adjudications to report: in Press Complaints Commission v Closer, the Press Complaints Commission opened an investigation “of its own volition” – following complaints by members of the public – into whether an article headlined “I’d be happy if my girl became a mum at 12 too”, published by Closer magazine on 11 July 2012, breached Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The complaint was not upheld: “While the Commission retained concerns about the story, on balance it concluded that the payment to the woman for an interview that focussed primarily on her own experiences as a young mother – notwithstanding the references to her daughter – did not breach the terms of Clause 6“.

Another adjudication, Mr Lee Turnball v Hull Daily Mail, considered whether an article headlined “Council denies service manager jumped queue for 3 bedroom house” was in breach of Clauses 1 (Accuracy) and 3 (Privacy) and Clause 4 (Harassment). The complaint was not upheld.

There was also a number of newly resolved cases reported:

Brenda Brown v The Observer, Clause 1, 18/01/2013; Mr Billy Shaw v Sunday World, Clauses 1, 5, 17/01/2013; Mr Lee Anson v Take a Break, Clause 1, 16/01/2013; Mrs Angela Ford v Express & Star (Wolverhampton), Clause 5, 16/01/2013; Miss Louise MacGregor v Evening Telegraph & Post, Clause 3, 16/01/2013; Councillor Brian Gibson v The Northern Echo, Clause 1, 15/01/2013; Mr Robert Bryce v The Scotsman, Clause 1, 14/01/2013.

Meanwhile, the Readers’ Editor at the Observer has been internally dealing with complaints over Julie Birchill’s column headlined ‘Transsexuals should cut it out‘ and written in defence of her friend Suzanne Moore, published last weekend. Readers called “appalling“, “vile“, “hateful“,”incredibly offensive“, “rude, bigoted and downright insulting“. The editor of the Observer, John Mulholland, took the decision to remove the piece from the Guardian website, as the Readers’ Editor Stephen Pritchard reports and discusses here. The PCC is, however, also planning to investigate complaints.

Discussion, research & resources

In the Courts

On Thursday 17 January 2013 HHJ Moloney QC made an order for committal in the case of SKA v CRH, imposing a suspended sentence of four months imprisonment on the defendant for breach of the injunction imposed on 31 July 2012.

On Thursday 17 January 2013 orders for third party disclosure were made in the case of Hunt v Times Newspapers.

On the same day, Mr Justice Briggs handed down judgment in the case of Rocknroll v NGN ([2013] EWHC 24 (Ch)). There was an Inforrm Case Comment on this decision and one on the UK Human Rights Blog.

Events

21 January 2013, 6.30pm, POLIS/Linklaters Public Lecture – Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich – Chrystia Freeland, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, London.

23 January 2013, Oxford Media Convention, 2013, Said Business School, Oxford University.

25 January 2013, 1.45pm, Legislation as Data, The Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton St, The City, London.

30 January 2013, 7pm, You Can’t Listen to this Talk with Nick Cohen, QMUL Atheism, Secularism & Humanism Society and QMUL Literature Society, London.

31 January 2013, 6.30pm, Marketing Medicine Online: Social Media and Pharma, Polis / Human Digital, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LSE, London.

Wednesday 20 February 2013, 6pm, The Leveson Inquiry: Trauma or Catharsis? Professor George Brock. Barnard’s Inn Hall, London.

5 April 2013, Polis Journalism Conference, LSE, London.

Know of any media law events happening in the next few months? Please let Inforrm know: inforrmeditorial@gmail.com.

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia: On 14 January 2013 a judge in the District Court of South Australia ordered Google to disclose the identity of anonymous bloggers who are alleged to have defamed former footballer Shane Radbone. There is a story about the decision on The Register.

Canada: On 14 to 17 January 2013 the Quebec Superior Court of Justice heard four days of a libel trial in the case of Rosenberg v Lacerte. The time was insufficient and the hearing will resume on 30 January 2013. The plaintiff, Michael Rosenberg, head of the prominent commercial real estate company Rosdev, along with his son Martin Rosenberg and businessman Alex Werzberger, who heads a coalition of chassidic communities, are suing blogger Pierre Lacerte for $375,000 for defamation, harassment and breach of privacy. There is a news story about the case here

Morocco: Youssef Jajili, editor-in-chief of investigative weekly Alaan Magazine was charged with defamation on Monday 14 January in connection with a June 22 article about Abdelkader Amara, minister of manufacture and trade in the current Islamic government. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the charge to be dropped.

United States: In the copyright case, Agence France Presse v. Morel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-02730, a judge found that two news organisations infringed the copyright of a photojournalist when they used images he had posted to Twitter of the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. Other issues are to be decided at trial. Reuters reports here.

Zambia: On Thursday 17 January 2013, Zambian police arrested Hakainde Hichilema, the leader of the country’s second largest opposition party, charging him with defamation of the president.

Next week in the courts

On 22 January 2013 the Court of Appeal will give judgment in the case of KC v MGN (No.2).

On 23 January 2013 there is an application in the case of Cruddas v Adams. The case is discussed in the Daily Telegraph.

On 24 January 2013 there is an application in the case of Auladin v Sheikh.

Next week in Parliament

Tuesday 22 January 2013, 8.55am & 2pm Crime and Courts Bill [HL] Committee. Subject: to consider the Bill. Location: Committee Room 12, Palace of Westminster, House of Commons.

Tuesday 22 January 2013, 10.30am, Culture, Media and Sport. Subject: Support for the creative industries. Witness(es): Jeremy Silver, Chairman, Semetric Limited and Lead Specialist on Creative Industries, Technology Strategy Board, Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group and Peter Bradwell, Campaigner, Open Rights Group; Owen Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society Ltd (ALCS), Richard Mollet, Chief Executive, Publishers Association and Chair, Alliance for Intellectual Property and Lavinia Carey, Director General, British Video Association. Location: Room 6, Palace of Westminster, House of Commons.

Tuesday 22 January 2013, 3.15pm, Communications select committee. Subject: Media Convergence. Witness(es): (at 3.30pm) Mr Nigel Warner, Associate Fellow, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR); and (at 4.30pm) Ms Louise McElvogue, member of the Australian Convergence Review. Location: Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster.

Thursday 24 January 2013, 11.30am & 2pm, Crime and Courts Bill [HL] Committee, Subject: to consider the Bill. Location: Committee Room 12, Palace of Westminster.

Judgments

The following reserved judgments after public hearings remain outstanding:

Iqbal v Mansoor, heard 31 October 2012 (Rix, Etherton and Lewison LJJ)

Tamiz v Google, heard 3 and 4 December 2012 (Master of the Rolls, Richards and Sullivan LJJ)

Citation PLC -v- Ellis Whittam Limited, heard 5 December 2012 (Laws, Arden and Tomlinson LJJ)

Rothschild v Associated Newspapers heard 12 and 13 December 2012 (Laws, McCombe LJJ and Eady J)

Waterson v Lloyd & Anor heard 17 and 18 December 2012 (Laws, Richards and McCombe LJJ)

Tesla Motors Limited & anr -v- British Broadcasting Corporation, heard 15-16 January 2013 (Maurice Kay, Moore-Bick and Rimer LJJ))

Also on Inforrm last week

This week’s Round Up was compiled for Inforrm by Judith Townend, a freelance journalist and PhD researcher examining legal restraints on the media, who runs the Meeja Law blog. She is @jtownend on Twitter. Please send suggestions, tips and event listings for inclusion in future round ups to jt.townend@gmail.com.


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21 01 2013
Law and Media Round Up – 21 January 2013 | Media law and ethics

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