In a judgment handed down on 20 October 2017, Nicol J held that a statement in a Home Office press release which meant that Dr Salman Butt was “an extremist hate speaker who legitimises terrorism” was a statement of opinion rather than fact. There was a One Brick Court case comment.
A group of academics and experts have published Recommendation on Measures to Safeguard Fundamental Rights and the Open Internet in the Framework of the EU Copyright Reform. This Article 13 of the Proposed EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and the accompanying Recital 38.
The Clarion reports that Counter-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz has won a defamation suit against Thomas Reuters World Check. World Check had designated Nawaz, along with many others, as a “terrorist.” For the background to claims against World Check see our post by Tamsin Allen.
In an unusual Part 8 claim Master Davison has ordered Express newspapers to publish an apology to James Ellison. The newspaper agreed the apology in settlement of a libel claim but then failed to publish what had been agreed. As a result the claimant brought proceedings to enforce. There is a report in the Press Gazette.
The Metro reports that a group of women calling themselves “Solidarity not Silence” are crowdfunding to pay for their legal defence against a defamation claim by a ‘well-known musician’ after they made ‘statements concerning his treatment of women’. The crowd funding page can be found at Crowd Justice.
The trial in the case of Mark Lewis Law Ltd & Anor v Taylor Hampton Solicitors Ltd & Anor will begin in the High Court this week. As described in a recent interim judgment the claim is for commissions and introduction fees and there is a counterclaim based on an allegation that Mark Lewis had failed to devote 25 hours per week of chargeable time to the carrying out of legal services of Taylor Hampton.
Internet and Social Media
The Brett Wilson Media Law blog has a post on “Harassment and privacy claims arising from dating apps”.
The Diplomat has a post on Chinese Internet law arguing that China has devised a strategy of innovation security as part of its internet law.
The New York Times has a piece entitled How Fiction Becomes Fact on Social Media
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The FT had a piece entitled UK media warn data rules used to stifle journalism dealing with reports that UK media are facing increasing numbers of data protection complaints.
The peepbeep blog has two post on the EU approach to content regulation: tackling (il)legal content online with upload and re-upload filters! and tackling (il)legal content online with real-world identities?
The Hawktalk blog has a post DPBill provides flexible grounds for public bodies when processing personal data for their statutory functions dealing with clause 7 of the Data Protection Bill.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
Byline has had a series of reports from recent phone hacking hearings setting out details of allegations made against Mirror Group and News Group
- Mirror Group: ‘Phone Hacking Cover Up Went To Top Of Company’, Court Hears
- Top Sun Man ‘Hid Evidence Of Cash Transactions’, Court Hears
- Murdoch Paper’s Hacking Tutorial ‘Hidden in Smoking Email’, Claims The Press Gazette reports that The Belfast Telegraph has apologised after a complaint to IPSO that a photographer hid in a churchyard to get a picture of a child’s coffin entering a church.
IPSO has rejected a complaint by a woman after three news websites used a picture of her brother fleeing the London Bridge terror attack which she had posted on Facebook (see Armstrong v Sun.co.uk; Armstrong v mirror.co.uk, Armstrong v metro.co.uk).
In the case of Thompson v Plymouth Herald IPSO dismissed a complaint based on clause 2 (privacy).
In the case of Betts v MailOnline IPSO dismissed a complaint under clause 1 (accuracy) and clause 2 (privacy).
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
Last Week in the Courts
On 16 October 2017 there was a statement in open court in the case of Osborn v Phillips & Anr.
On the same day Nicklin J handed down judgment in the case of Huda v Wells  EWHC 2553 (QB).
On 17 October 2017, Nicklin J heard the trial of the preliminary issue in the case of Brown v Bower. Judgment was reserved.
On 17 October 2017 Master Thornett handed down judgment in the case of Elmadoubh v Moon – a defamation claim based on an email was struck out [Update].
On the same date the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of R v R  EWCA Civ 1588. The case concerned anonymity orders in the Court of Appeal in family financial proceedings. There was a 5RB case comment. [Update]
On the same date Nicol J heard the trial of the preliminary issue in Butt v Home Office with judgment being delivered on 20 October 2017 ( EWHC 2619 (QB)).
On 18, 19 and 20 October 2017 Nicklin J heard the trial in the case of Soobhan v Bandal. Judgment was reserved.
On 18 October 2017 Sir David Eady heard an application in the case of Obileye v Williams & anr
2 December 2017, Media Democracy Festival, Clore Management Centre, Malet Street, London WC1
26 February 2018, “Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference,” Ottowa, Canada.
Please let us know if there are any media and law events which you would like us to list.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
In the case of Lesses v Maras (No 2)  SASCFC 137 the Supreme Court, Full Court reduced libel damages awarded by the District Judge from $75,000 to $25,000.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Kambala school and its former principal will attempt to settle a defamation claim over emails about her circulated to teachers.
The trial of the libel claim brought by cricketer Chris Gayle against Fairfax media has begun in the NSW Supreme Court. The case arises out of a series of reports published from January 2016 that he says falsely claimed he intentionally exposed his genitalia to a female massage therapist and indecently propositioned her in a West Indies’ dressing room while playing in the 2015 World Cup in Sydney
Rugby league player, Brett Stewart, has won a defamation action against News Limited over an article linking him to match fixing.
Businessman Denis O’Brien has lost an appeal against an order refusing disclosure of information identified the client of Red Flag Consulting Limited
In the case of Malak v. Hanna 2017 BCSC 1739 Funt J found that the defendants were jointly liable for defamatory publications on the internet.
In the case of Tomlinson v Gordon, 2017 NWTSC 68 the defendant was ordered to pay defamation damages of $50,000 following a default judgment.
CBC News reports that lawyers for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne have issued notice of a libel suit against PC Leader Patrick Brown over comments he made suggesting she was on trial.
The Canadian Privacy Law blog has published its comments on Nova Scotia’s proposed Intimate Images and Cyber-Protection Act.
The Times of Malta reports that former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil’s had a busy day at the law courts saw him lose one libel case but win another.
The Malta Independent reports that Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia will be dropping the libel cases he had instituted against murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle has dismissed a libel lawsuit filed by a Oleg Deripaska against the Associated Press over an article about his business relationship a decade ago with Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Research and Resources
- Gaps and bumps in the political history of the internet, Felix Tréguer, Internet Policy Review, Vol 6, Issue 4, 18 Oct 2017.
- Why Keep a Dog and Bark Yourself? From Intermediary Liability to Responsibility, Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) Research Paper No. 2017-11. Giancarlo Frosio, Université de Strasbourg – CEIPI.
- Internet Intermediary Liability: WILMap, Theory and Trends, 11 Indian Journal of Law and Technology (2017), Forthcoming, Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) Research Paper No. 2017-10, Giancarlo Frosio,
- Multiple Publication and Online Defamation, Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology Vol. 6.1 (2012) 35, Ursula Connolly, School of Law, NUI Galway, Université de Strasbourg – CEIPI.
- Sexting and Freedom of Expression: A Comparative Approach, 102 Ky. L.J. 103 (2013-2014), JoAnne Sweeny, University of Louisville
- The Constitutional Limits of Private Surveillance, Kansas Law Review, Forthcoming, Kiel Robert Brennan-Marquez, Georgetown University Law Center.
- Toxic Cultures Require a Stronger Cure: The Lessons of Fox News for Reforming Sexual Harassment Law, Penn State Law Review, Vol. 122, 2017, Forthcoming, Kate Webber Nuñez, Nova Southeastern University – Shepard Broad College of Law
Next Week in the Courts
On 24 October 2017 there will be an application in the case of Optical Express Ltd & ors v Associated Newspapers Ltd before Warby J [Updated].
On 24 October 2017 Sir David Eady will deal with a costs hearing in the case of Decker v Hopcraft [Updated].
On 26 October 2017 there will be a 1 day trial in the case of Ajaegbu v Anyanwu.
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
Washington-Carty v Fisher, heard 14 July 2017 (HHJ Moloney QC)
David v Hosany, heard 20, 21 and 24 July 2017 (HHJ Moloney QC)
Brown v Bower, heard 17 October 2017 (Nicklin J).
Soobhan v Bandal, heard 18 to 20 October 2017 (Nicklin J).