This is the second of our Summary Summer Round Ups (the first was published on 11 August 2014) to draw the attention of readers to interesting news stories, events and cases over the past fortnight.
- On 12 August 2014, in the case of Bleyer v Google ( NSWSC 897) the Supreme Court of New South Wales stayed a libel action against Google Inc based on defamatory snippets because the resources of the court and the parties that would be expended were disproportionate to the plaintiff’s interest in obtaining vindication. We had a post about the decision.
- The coverage of the suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams in the tabloid press was criticised by Mind and the Samaritans. There was a post about this by Michelle Gribbon on the Hacked Off website and there was a discussion on the Greenslade Blog entitled, “Reporting Robin Williams’s death – the good, the bad and the ugly”.
- On 13 August 2104 judgment was handed down by Mr Justice Bean in the libel case of Cooke and Anor v MGN ( EWHC 2831 (QB)) – the first case on the “serious harm” threshold in section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013. We had a post on the decision by Kirsten Sjøvoll and there was a case note on the 5RB website.
- On 14 August 2014, former Sun journalist Ben Ashford was acquitted of charges arising out of his viewing messages on a stolen mobile telephone.
- On 14 and 15 August 2014, the PCC published two adjudications: A Woman v Kentish Gazette and A Woman v The Sun. Both concern complains by victim of sexual assault by Max Clifford. In the first complaints under clauses 1 and 11 were upheld and in the second a complaint under clause 4 (harassment). The Press Gazette reported the Kentish Gazette and the Sun adjudications and there was also a post on the Greenslade blog.
- On 20 August 2014, Mr Justice Warby handed down judgment in the case of Yeo v Times Newspapers ( EWHC 2853 (QB)) dismissing an application by the newspaper for a trial by jury. He also determined the meaning of the words complained of. We had a post about the judgment and there was a report in the Press Gazette.
- On 21 August 2014 journalists Anthony France and Ryan Sabey appeared in Court on charges under Operation Elveden and former senior News of the World executives Neil Wallis and Jules Stenson appeared on charges of conspiring to illegally access voicemails.
- On 22 August 2014, Paul Randall, a former police community support officer, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office by disclosing information that Naomi Campbell had attended a police station in connection with an allegation of assault.
- Finally, some resources and articles:
- The leading South African media law firm Webber Wentzel has published the August 2014 edition of its Media Law Newsletter.
- “Defamatory Meaning, Community Perspectives and Standards”, Gary K Y Chan, Media and Arts Law Review, pp.46-79, 2014, SSRN.
- Human Rights in the Digital Age: The European Court of Justice Ruling in the Data Retention Case and its Lessons for Privacy and Surveillance in the U.S., Federico Fabbrini, Forthcoming in 28 Harvard Human Rights Journal, SSRN.
- The ICO has published a comprehensive report on Big Data and Data Protection [pdf]. There is a blog post summarising its contents on the Privacy and Information Security Law blog.
- The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom has produced an interesting and useful interactive map of the “Status of Journalists in Europe” it provides comparable figures on the status of journalists, highlighting the conditions in which editorial freedoms are performed, protected or even threatened, across EU Member States.
The top 5 posts on Inforrm this past week were
- The Police Tip-Off and Cliff Richard – Dominic Crossley
- Case Law: Yeo v Times Newspapers, Judge dismisses Times application for jury trial and determines meaning – Media Lawyer
- Jennifer Aniston, Friends or Online Foes? – Amber Melville-Brown
- Case Law: Cooke and Midland Heart Ltd v MGN: A seriously harmful approach to serious harm? – Kirsten Sjøvoll
- Case Law, Australia: Bleyer v Google Inc, “Search results” libel action stayed as “disproportionate” – Hugh Tomlinson QC
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