This week saw a series of press articles attacking the former FIA president Max Mosley over letters before action written by his solicitors to three newspaper groups asserting his rights under the Data Protection Act in relation inaccurate and sensitive personal data.
Mr Mosley was accused of trying to “gag” the newspapers. The Times devoted a front page story and an editorial to the letters. The Guardian had more sober account. There was an Inforrm post by Max Mosley responding to the media attacks and suggesting that this, once, again showed the pressing need for independent press regulation.
Hacked off has made a submission to the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to the Fox/Sky bid. It is highly critical of the initial finding ‘that Sky, Fox and the MFT have a genuine commitment to the attainment of the broadcasting standards objectives’.
On 20 February 2018 the Home Affairs Select Committee will hold an evidence session on “Hate Crime and its violent consequences“, dealing with anti-Muslim sentiments in the print media. The witnesses will include Baroness Warsi, Professor Chris Frost of the NUJ, Sir Alan Moses and Jonathan Heawood.
Strasbourg Observers analyses the case of Fédération Nationale des Syndicats Sportifs (FNASS) and Others v France which considers the privacy rights of sports professionals when undertaking anti-doping tests.
Hold the Front Page has a post by Jennifer Agate entitled “Why the ‘right to be forgotten’ doesn’t apply to newspapers”
Internet and Social Media
The LSE Media Policy Project Blog has a post which critiques the UK’s moves to impose a Digital Charter, suggesting that this an opportunity to strike a deal with online platforms.
With the expanding prevalence of harmful content being posted on social media online Norton Rose Fulbright’s Social Media Law Bulletin considers how to combat the sharing of harmful content on social media.
The Stanford law blog has a post which explores the imposition of intermediary liability.
The Cyberlaw Clinic Year blog has its year in review for 2017 which covers a number of operational and policy matters as well as establish the scope for the Clinic’s 2018 activities.
As one of the foremost leaders in social media the Hoot notes the impact of YouTube on modern culture.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
Harvard’s Business Review has an article on how the implementation of strong privacy policies can save companies millions in liability.
Lexology has an informative piece on the privacy and data protection issues engaged by the eCall’ technology.
The Article 29 Working Party has published updated guidance on the Personal Data Breach notification rules.
The Times considers the GDPR and its practical impact on regulation [£], arguing that laws should go further.
Human Rights Watch has a piece criticising the new German law compelling social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content.
Following Morrison’s Supermarket being fined for serious data loss the Brett Wilson Media Blog considers the implications and what claimants can do following the loss of personal data.
The ICO has moved to prosecute a company that has failed to stop conducting nuisance calls following receiving a fine of £50,000.
Given development of satellite technology the Financial Times considers how satellites could serve as proverbial “eyes in the sky”.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The Press Gazette reports on the latest newspaper circulation figures, noting that the Daily Star now sells more copies (391,988) than the Daily Telegraph (385,346). The Daily Mail sells 1,343,142 copies a day with the Guardian’s daily print circulation now down to 152,714. All the national newspapers declined in circulation over the past year with the exception of the Financial Times. MailOnline remained the most popular online publication with over 13 million daily unique browsers.
The IPSO blog has an article promoting the sensitive handling of suicide reporting.
There were no new IPSO rulings for the period 12 February 2018 to 19 February 2018.
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
The Telegraph has apologised for making claims that a couple plotted an “Islamist Takeover” of Clarksfield Primary School.
Last Week in the Courts
On 12 February 2018, the Court of Appeal (McFarlane and Sharp LJJ and Sir John Laws) handed down judgment in the case of Stocker v Stocker  EWCA Civ 170. The appeal was dismissed. There were reports of the judgment in the Times and the Sun (with different suggestions as to the costs bill faced by the unsuccessful defendant). There is a One Brick Court case summary.
On the same day Dingemans J handed down judgment in the case of Miah v BBC.
On 12 and 13 February 2018 Sir David Eady heard the trial in the case of AXB v BXA. Judgment was reserved.
On 14 February 2018 there was a second PTR in the case of NT1 v Google LLC, before Warby J. A judgment was handed down on 15 February 2018 ( EWHC 261 (QB)).
On 15 February 2018 Warby J handed down judgment in the case of Barron v Collins  EWHC 253 (QB) [pdf]. He made a limited third party costs order against UKIP to reflect the impact of its decision to ensure that the action would not be settled before the General Election. There was a report of the judgment on the BBC website and in the Rotherham Advertiser.
On the same day Nicklin J handed down judgment in the harassment case of Khan (formerly JMO) v Khan (formerly KTA)  EWHC 241 (QB)). An application for an injunction was dismissed.
Media and Communications List User Group, The Queen’s Bench Division Media and Communications List User Group (MACLUG) met on 15 February to discuss progress since its initial meeting on 7 November 2017.
19 February 2018, Personal Data as an Asset: Design and Incentive Alignments in a Personal Data Economy, 7.30pm, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
26 February 2018, “Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference,” Ottawa, Canada.
17 March 2018 The Media Democracy Festival, 10am-6pm, Birkbeck, University of London, Torrington Square, London WC1E7JL
Please let us know if there are any media and law events which you would like us to list.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
The Australian media has been dominated by story about Barnaby Joyce and his affair. There was an Inforrm post about this. There is an opinion piece in the New York Times entitled “Is Australia’s Meda too Prudish for a Sex Scandal”.
In the case of Weaver v Ball 2018 BCSC 205 Skolrood J dismissed a libel action by a climate scientist against a climate sceptic on the basis that his writing was not sufficiently credible to inflict damage on the plaintiff. There was a report of the decision on in the Vancouver Sun.
It is reported that a court has dismissed part of a defamation claim against Archibishop Anthony Apuron who is facing accusations of sex abuse. The remainder of the case continues.
Vanity Fair reports that BuzzFeed is suing the Democratic National Committee to force it to turn over documents relevant to a libel suit the publisher is facing over its publication of Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier,
Research and Resources
- Mark Pearson has, via Journlaw, published his review of the text What is journalism?: The art and politics of a rupture (2016), London, Palgrave McMillian, Nash C.
- Recent Trends in Defamation Law: From the Straightforward Action in Venture V. Kyle to Unmasking an Anonymous Poster in the “Fuboy” Case, David P. Twomey, Boston College
- Right to Information Identity, Elad Oreg, Ono Academic College
- The United Nations Data Privacy System and Its Limits, Kinfe Yilma, University of Melbourne School of Law
- Bringing Privacy into the Fold: Considerations for the Use of Social Media in Crisis Management, Hayley Watson and Rowena Rodrigues, University of Edinburgh
- Privacy and Personal Data Collection with Information Externalities, Jay Pil Choi, Doh-Shin Jeon and Byung-Cheol Kim, Michigan State University, Toulouse School of Economics and University of Alabama
Next Week in the Courts
We are not aware of any media law cases listed for the next week.
The following reserved judgment after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
Gubarev v Buzzfeed, heard 5 February 2018 (Master Fontaine)
Ali v Channel 5 Broadcasting, heard 5, 6 and 7 February 2018 (Arnold J).
Bokova v Associated Newspapers, hearing 8 February 2018 (Dingemans J).
AXB v BXA, heard 12 and 13 February 2018 (Sir David Eady)
This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law