Thomson Reuters the publishers of the database, agreed to pay damages and costs and expressed regret for placing Finsbury Park Mosque in the “terrorism category”. There were reports of this, among others, in the Guardian, the Press Gazette and on the BBC website.
We had a post about the statement. It has been suggested that there could be several hundred more cases against World-Check. We had a post last year entitled “World Check Database: due diligence or blacklist?”.
The Maryland County Court has dismissed a claim by first lady, Melania Trump, against an entity called Mail Media Inc (which denied being the publisher of MailOnline). The Judge accepted that argument that the Mail had too few ties to Maryland to be sued there.
The Sunday Times reports that it has been “gagged by an injunction”. The MailOnline takes the opportunity to rehash some old “super injunction” stories – although, the injunction having been mentioned by the Sunday Times, it is not, of course, a “super injunction” at all.
It is reported that the Supreme Court has given permission to appeal in the case of Cartier v BskyB (see our post on the first instance decision in 2014). Permission has, however, only been granted on the narrow issue as to whether innocent third parties should bear the costs of blocking injunctions.
Internet, Search and Social Media
Law.com reports that a Delaware federal judge has given final approval to a US$5.5 million settlement between Google Inc. and a nationwide class of plaintiffs that had challenged the tech giant’s practice of overriding cookie blockers to access users’ internet history information.
The Federation of German Consumer Organisation (VZBV) has filed a claim in Berlin’s state court claiming that WhatsApp “collects and stores data in part illegally and passes them on to Facebook”.
Data Protection and Data Privacy
The Hunton & Williams blog reports that on 1 February 2017, the UK Minister responsible for data protection gave evidence to a House of Lords Committee about the Government’s position on the GDPR. He confirmed the Government’s support for the GDPR and reaffirmed that it will come into effect in the UK on 25 May 2018, notwithstanding Brexit. He made it clear that there will be implementation legislation. There is also a piece on this on Out-law.com.
Concerns have been raised as to whether President Trump’s Executive Order of 25 January 2017 impacts on the Privacy Shield framework. A Hunton Williams blog argues that it will not because EU nationals still have access to the US courts. However, the Amberhawk blog argues that a detailed analysis of privacy protections will reveal them to be patchy and deficient.
The ICO has given notice to 11 charities that it intends to fine them for breaching the Data Protection Act
The German Government has presented a revised draft of a bill to implement the GDPR following criticism of its initial drafted.
The fieldfisher Privacy, Security and Information Law blog has an analysis of the Article 29 Working Party guidelines on the “one-stop-shop” principles under the GDPR.
Surveillance and Information Gathering
On 31 January 2017, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal handed down a damning judgment in the case of Dias v Chief Constable of Cleveland Police  UKIPTrib 15_586-CH finding that series of communications data authorisations relating to police officers and journalists were unlawful. There were reports about the case in the Northern Echo, the Press Gazette and on the Channel 4 news blog.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
Ofcom has revoked six licences of ARY Network in the UK three weeks after the channel went into liquidation and its chief operating officer applied for bankruptcy after losing £3million libel case to Shakilur Rehman.
The Guardian reports that senior executives from Rupert Murdoch-owned companies met the prime minister or chancellor 10 times in a year – more than any other media organisation
IPSO has ruled that a Daily Express headline which stated that “EU Exit Boosts House Prices” was inaccurate. The newspaper was required to publish the adjudication – and a reference to it on the front page. This was done, see picture (the notice is across the bottom). There was an item about this in the Press Gazette.
Hold the Front page has a piece entitled “IPSO and the use of social media as a source”
Statements in Open Court
As already mentioned, on 1 February 2017, there was a statement in open court in the case of Finsbury Park Mosque v Thomson Reuters.
Last week in the Courts
On Tuesday 31 January 2017, Warby J heard the compensation application in the long running case of Barron v Collins. Judgment was reserved. This was the subject of a BBC news story.
On the same day the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland will hear an application in the case of CG v Facebook. The damages payable to the claimant were reduced to £2,000 and the Court made no order for the costs of the appeal. The order for costs made by the first instance judge remained in place.
On 31 January and 1 February 2017 Sir Michael Tugendhat heard an application in the case of Baines v DNT. Judgment was reserved.
On Wednesday 1 February 2017 the hearing of the trial in Hourani v Thomson began before Warby J. The trial continued on 2 and 3 February 2017 and will resume this week.
On Thursday 2 February 2017, Garnham J heard an application in the privacy case of ZXC v Bloomberg LLP. Judgment was reserved.
8 March 2017, “The Bubble Reputation: Protecting, Inflating, Deflating and Preserving it”, Information Law and Policy Centre, IALS, 6pm to 8pm.
24 March 2017, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom conference on Media Freedom in Strasbourg, entitled: “Promoting dialogue between the ECtHR and the media freedom community”
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
It is reported that Fairfax Media has apologised and paid a damages to former Leighton Holdings chief executive Wal King in settlement of a defamation action over bribery allegations made in articles published in the Australian Financial Review in October 2013.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that prosecutors are calling for a journalist and her employer, news website Yahoo7 to be fined for contempt of court after an online article led to a murder trial being aborted.
In response to Online Petition, Canada’s Justice Minister will review the offence of blasphemy in section 296 of the nation’s Criminal Code.
The South China Morning Post reports that Apple Daily and journalist Leung Pak-kin have been ordered to pay Chim Pui-chung HK$100,000 damages over an article questioning his soccer World Cup betting formula.
The vice-president of the Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, appeared before a Bhiwandi court in connection with the criminal libel case filed against him by an activist for alleging that the right wing nationalist party, the RSS, was behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The court adjourned the hearing to 3 March 2017.
The Irish Times reports that the “Sunday World” newspaper has lost its appeal over a €85,000 award for defamation to a former English Premiership footballer David Speedie.
The Court of Appeal decision in Leech -v- Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd  IECA 8 is now available.
In a submission to the Department of Justice review of the Defamation Act 2009, the Public Relations Institute of Ireland has argued that the press regulator should be able to levy fines on publishers
The former President of the Malta FA has lost libel claims against his successor and two journalists concerning a story about alleged corruption and misappropriation of funds.
The claim brought by former Conservative Party leader, Colin Craig, against blogger John Stringer has settled. Mr Stringer has retract his statements, apologised and agreed to pay a confidential sum. However, Mr Stringer’s counter claim for defamation is going ahead.
The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Gerry and Kate McCann against an appeal court ruling which overturned a libel judgment in their favour against former police officer Goncalo Amaral. There were reports on the BBC website and in the Press Gazette. As the Daily Mail reports, it is most unlikely that Mr Amaral’s book will be published in the UK.
It has been suggested that President Trump’s doctor may have violated privacy laws by giving an interview in which he said that the President takes “male baldness” pills.
Research and Resources
- MsLods’ Law+tech news round up, 30 January 2017
- Habeo Facebook Ergo Sum? Issues Around Privacy and the Right to Be Forgotten And The Freedom of Expression on Online Social Networks ,Lennin Hernandez Gonzalez, KU Leuven – Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)
- Right to Be Forgotten: Much Ado About Nothing, 15(2) Colorado Technology Law Journal, 2017, Forthcoming, Giancarlo F. Frosio, Stanford Law School, CIS
- The Wilders Case in the Netherlands and Beyond in: Péter Molnár (ed.), Free Speech and Censorship Around the Globe (New York/Budapest: Central European University Press, 2015), pp. 509–530., Jeroen Temperman, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Cram, Ian. Contested Words: Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Speech in Liberal Democracies 2 J. Comp. L. 195, 2006, Gary S. Gildin, Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law.
Next Week in the Courts
The trial in Hourani v Thomson will continue this week before Warby J.
At 2.00pm on Monday 6 February 2017, Warby J will give judgment in the case of Barron v Collins.
We are not aware of any other media law matters listed this week.
The following reserved judgments in media law cases are outstanding:
Mionis v Democratic Press heard 27 October 2016 (Gloster, Sharp and Lindblom LJJ).
Otuo v Watchtower Bible and Tract Society 8 November 2016 (Chancellor, Gloster and Sharp LJJ).
Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers heard 11 November 2016 (HHJ Parkes QC).
Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 29 and 30 November and 1 December 2016 the Court of Appeal (Macfarlane, Davis and Sharp LJJ).
Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers heard 12 December 2016 (HHJ Moloney QC).
Coulter v Sunday Newspapers, heard 19 December 2016 (Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland).
PNM v Times Newspapers, heard 17 and 18 January 2017 (UK Supreme Court)
Flood v Times Newspapers, Miller v Associated Newspapers and Frost v MGN , heard 24, 25 and 26 January 2017 (UK Supreme Court)
Baines v DNT, heard 31 January and 1 February 2017 (Sir Michael Tugendhat).
ZXC v Bloomberg LLP, heard 2 February 2017 (Garnham J).