Much has been made from the lack of response from the UK Government following its consultation on the implementation of s.40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2003 over a year ago. Indeed this consultation was covered in a post by Alastair Brett and Christopher Whitney last year. This looks to be one of the most awaited responses expected in 2018 and has recently been covered by the Press Gazette.
In December 2017 the IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice Committee has announced a revised Code of Practice following last year’s public consultation. The revised Code came into effect on 1 January 2018. A summary of the revisions is available here. Notably, changes to Clause 2 of the Code concerning privacy place further emphasis on considering material in the public domain at pre-publication stage.
The European Court of Justice is set to hand down judgment in the significant case of Europe v Facebook on 25 January 2018. The case will decide whether, in certain circumstances, it is permissible for actions can be brought jointly on behalf of other users against Facebook. The Claimaint, Max Schrems, argues that (notwithstanding his pro bono activities as a social media lawyer) he should be classed as a consumer of the social media platform and provides commentary on the case here.
In the US the case of Microsoft Corp. v. United States No. 17 – 2 has prompted the EU Commission to file an amicus curiae brief, an action which has been considered by Privacy Europe. The Cyberlaw Clinic has also filed an amicus brief in the case. The Supreme Court must consider whether the US government can compel a company to provide it with data which is stored outside of its jurisdiction via serving a warrant. The Commissions’ interest in the case is unsurprising as it has significance in determining the consistency of personal data protection between the EU and the US, as noted by by Law.com.
Internet and Social Media
The Centre for Internet and Society, Stanford (US) considered the impact of the internet on human wellbeing in a short post.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The Law Society of Scotland’s Convener of the Privacy Law Committee, Tim Musson, has provided guidance on the General Data Protection Regulation compliance.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The Press Gazette commented on the recent settlement by the Mirror and Bristol Post following a complaint made to IPSO regarding their graphic coverage of a hate crime victim’s death.
IPSO has announced the appointment of nine individuals as standards investigations panellists. Profiles of the panellists may be found here. The Press Gazette has covered these appointments in further detail.
There were no new IPSO rulings for the period of 18 December 2017 to 6 January 2018.
Last Month in the Courts
We are not aware of any here were no media law cases before the Courts during the winter vacation
16 January 2018, “Various Claimants v W M Morrison Ltd: Opening the data breach floodgates?“, Turing Lecture Theatre, IET, London Savoy Place, Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL
26 February 2018, “Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference,” Ottawa, 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
Barrister Lloyd Rayney was awarded a total of Aus$2.62 million in his libel action against the State of Western Australia (the judgment on liability and general damages can be found here  WASC 367).
Privacy Lives critically assesses the Chinese government’s surveillance regime in a post entitled “In China, a Steady March Toward Complete Surveillance of Its Citizenry”.
The Financial Times has highlighted debate around the Network Enforcement Act, a new german data protection law which came into force on 1 January 2018. The Act places onerous obligations on social media platforms to remove potentially illegal material within 24 hours of being notified or be subject to fine of up to €50m. The BBC has also covered the enforcement of the Act.
Business Ghana has highlighted recent comment from high court judge Mr Kwasi Boakye which cautions Ghanaian journalists on the dangers of falling foul of libel laws. Boakye’s statements come in the light of the decriminalisation of libel in Ghana.
Criticism of the Indian government’s Aadhaar Project in light of the Supreme Court case Puttaswamy v Union of India is growing, as noted by The Wire. The case was covered by Hugh Tomlinson QC in the following Inforrm post.
The Times of India noted the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance’s recent Report “Transformation Towards A Digital Economy” and considers the implications for India’s data protection laws.
Haartez considers recent Israeli police actions in obtaining phone and personal data.
The judgment in the case of Arthurs v News Group Newspapers  NICA 70 is now available. The case concerned an application by a BBC Let It Shine contestant for an injunction to prevent the publication of the fact that his father was a convicted terrorist. There was a discussion of the case in Press Gazette.
The Taipei Times has covered the filing of a libel lawsuit by New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung against Liberty Times and TV Channel SET News. The claim arises from allegations that Ping-chung received funding from China for pro-unification propaganda.
Socially Aware has posted on key areas for focus in US social media law in 2018. This notably covers web scraping, online advertising, safe harbour and blockchain developments.
As expected President Donald Trump has threatened a libel lawsuit in relation to the publication of the book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”. The Washington Times considers the discourse here. The National Review takes a pragmatic approach to this in its coverage as does NBC News.
Blog Law Online considers the role of the Federal Communications Commission overseeing newspapers, particularly in the context of the cross ownership of media outlets and the Commission’s latest vote on net neutrality.
Research and Resources
- The ECHR blog has reviewed a book on the stance and position of the European Court in Strasbourg published by Professor Adam Wiśniewski of the University of Gdansk, entitled The European Court of Human Rights: Between Judicial Activism and Passivism.
- A Comparison of Data Protection Legislation and Policies Across the EU, Bart Custers, Francien Deschesne, Alan M. Sears, Tommaso Tani, Simone van der Hof
- Global Internet Law: Ethics and the Law, Thomas H. Keonig and Michael L. Rustad, Northeastern University and Suffolk University of Law
- Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law – Irish Perspectives, Eoin O’Dell, Trinity College (Dublin)
- A Critique of the Defamation Act 2013: Lessons for and from Australian Defamation Law Reform, David Rolph, The University of Sydney Law School
- Data Protection in the United States: U.S. National Report, Shawn Marie Boyne, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
- The Freedom of Non-Speech, Enrique Armijo, Elon University School of Law
- Deregulating Collection: Must Privacy Give Way to Use Regulation?, Helen Nissenbaum, Cornell Tech, New York University
- Blockchain: Disrupting Data Protection? Henry Chang, University of Hong Kong
- Why a Right to Legibility of Automated Decision-Making Exists in the General Data Protection Regulation, Gianclaudio Malgieri and Giovanni Comandé, VUB and LIDER-Lab
Next Week in the Courts
We are not aware of any media law cases before the courts this week.
The following reserved judgment after a public hearing in a media law case is outstanding:
Kennedy v The National Trust for Scotland, heard 21 November 2017 (Sir David Eady).
This round up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law