The Trinity Legal Term begins on Tuesday 5 June and ends on 31 July 2018. A number of media law trials and listed along with an important Court of Appeal data protection case. There are also several important judgments likely to be handed down this term. We will have a preview for the term later in the week.
In a recent example of the perils of misjudged social media use Thameslink has issued an apology to Poundland after comparing its own poor service to that of Poundland cooking chocolate. The incident serves as an important reminder that the reactionary use of social media without vetting to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and mitigation of legal liability can have serious consequences. ITV News also has coverage.
The Law Society Gazette has a comment on the recent decision of Warby J in the case of Sube v News Group Newspapers that headlines such as Shameless French family-of-10 demand MANSION’ did not pass the threshold for serious harm in the Defamation Act 2013.
IPKat has an interesting post entitled Paparazzi & copyright: where are we and where should we be? which concludes that the question as to whether unstaged paparazzi work can be the subject of copyright protection is unanswered by the case law.
With the final episode of “A Very English Scandal” being broadcast yesterday, Geoffrey Robertson has a piece in the Observer about the deal to pay a witness double if there was a finding of guilt and the problem of jury secrecy.
Brett Wilson’s Media Blog has covered a Crown Court Judge’s appearance in Southwark Crown Court having been charged under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 for unauthorised access to the courts case management system.
Internet and Social Media
Law.com has considered the pitfalls of social engineering and how law firms can be considered at risk due to the systematic approach they take. [£]
In a post the National Review has considered the application of the First Amendment to Twitter in a three part series (Parts I, II, and III) that brings arguments on the general applicability of freedom of speech to social media into greater relief.
Privacy and Data Protection
In light of the implementation of the Data Protection Act 2018 and Brexit, the Hawktalk Blog highlights how the legislation is likely required to be subject to an adequacy decision by the EU. Consequently the blog urges the implementation by companies of a “Plan B” to ensure compliance with the GDPR.
Law.com has analysed Max Schrems’ filing of multiple lawsuits against data driven companies within the EU and speculates regarding the adequacy of these companies data protection mechanisms. [£]
Amid Government plans to introduce fines for company directors of nuisance call firms the ICO has issued a statement from Deputy Policy Commissioner Steve Wood.
The Guardian has an interesting article which considers the levels of corporate surveillance that UK homes are vulnerable to given the increasing use of internet-dependent devices.
Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation
The IPSO Blog has considered that the Evening Standard was offering a select group of advertisers favourable news and comment pieces whilst neglecting to inform readers.
IPSO has published a series of rulings and a Resolution Statement from the Complaints Committee:
- Resolution Statement – 02502-18 Deevoy v The Mail on Sunday, resolved via IPSO mediation
- 01593-18 Young v Eastern Daily Press, no breach of Principle 1 (Accuracy)
- 00915-18 The Scottish Government v The Daily Telegraph, no breach of Principle 1 (Accuracy). See coverage by the Press Gazette here.
- 20829-17 Rossi v The Argus (Brighton), no breach of Principle 1 (Accuracy) or 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock)
- 16830-17 Warwickshire Police v Daily Mail, breach of Principle 2 (Privacy). See coverage by the Press Gazette here.
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
There were no statements in open court last week.
Last Week in the Courts
There were no hearings in media law cases last week during the legal vacation.
- The State of Tobacco Control in Ireland with a focus on Trademarks, 2:00pm to 4:00pm on Tuesday 12 June 2018 in the Neill Lecture Theatre in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
In the case of Eustice v Channel Seven  SASC 73 Nicholson J dismissed an application for further particulars of a justification defence.
In the case of Pedro Alfaro v Taylor  NSWDC 134 Gibson DCJ dismissed a libel action against the Guardian where the plaintiff refused to attend court and made a number of abusive communications to the Court.
Canadian Advertising Law highlights key elements of law to be considered when running a contest in Canada.
Michael Geist discusses the latest CRTC paper on the “Future of Programming Distribution in Canada”. He also considers the direction of the CRTC under a new commissioner a year on from the expiry of former Chair Jean-Pierre Blais’ tenure.
The Egyptian Government is considering a draft bill requiring the installation of cameras into restaurants and shops, Al-Monitor considers the backlash this has necessitated, with some considering the move an attempt to survey political opponents.
The Gibraltar Chronicle reports on the comments of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo supporting the use of tax payer’s money to fund defamation cases against social media accounts who make comments against his office.
The Hoot notes the perpetuation of concern and panic around the Nipah virus, which have been facilitated by social media.
The Guardian considers the life of Maltese reporter Caruana Galizia who was fighting 47 civil and criminal defamation lawsuits prior to her murder in October 2017.
The International Press Institute has highlighted a number of instances where Spain-based journalists are being threatened with criminal charges by officials, a matter which poses a threat to press freedom. The article provides a series of case studies involving Spanish journalists who have, amid their reporting on public officials, been subject to the filing of charges which are characterised as attempts to stifle press freedom.
A Thai Appeals Court has quashed an action of criminal defamation against journalist Andy Hall. The action was made by a Thai fruit company following Hall alleging that its workers were subject to human rights violations.
The Five Thirty Eight Blog has a post on the Supreme Court’s allegedly hesitant approach to technology and speculates the impact this culture has on the decisions of the court. The article draws context from the upcoming case of Carpenter v. United States, where the court is being asked to rule on the permissibility of the police using phone records without a warrant.
The Socially Aware blog has a digestible summary of US weekly social media news, following the ruling that President Trump’s twitter account is a public forum, GDPR implementation and the further monetisation of Snapchat.
Amazon’s implementation of new facial recognition software which enables real time government surveillance has received backlash in the form of an open letter from the EFF and ACLU to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
The Federal Trade Commission has approved Paypal’s settlement over peer-to-peer payment service Venmo following the service being found to have misled consumers regarding the privacy of and restrictions on transactions, Hunton Andrews Kurth has coverage.
Privacy International has submitted a request to the US Department of State regarding its collection of social media information.
A Wafb post notes a defamation claim in the sum of $1m has been bought against a customer following her posting several bad reviews of a gynaecologist. The case highlights the perils of leaving negative reviews which are overly broad and disseminated widely.
Research and Resources
Data Privacy and Data Protection
- Granular Legal Norms: Big Data and the Personalization of Private Law, Christoph Busch University of Osnabrück – European Legal Studies Institute and Alberto De Franceschi, University of Ferrara – Faculty of Law
- Implementing Personalized Law: Personalized Disclosures in Consumer Law and Privacy Law, Christoph Busch, University of Osnabrück – European Legal Studies Institute
- Inside the Mind’s Eye: An International Perspective on Data Privacy Law in the Age of Brain-Machine Interfaces, Anastasia Greenberg, McGill University
- ‘Personal Information’ under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) – Privacy Commissioner v Telstra Corporation Ltd  FCAFC 4, Normann Witzleb, Monash University – Faculty of Law.
Internet and Social Media
- Government Sponsored Social Media and Public Forum Doctrine Under the First Amendment: Perils and Pitfalls, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, University of Missouri School of Law
- Free Speech is a Triangle, Jack M. Balkin, Yale University – Law School
- Social Media in China: An Overview Vincenzo Vdemas De Masi, New York Institute of Technology and Alessandro Diviggiano, Communication University of China
- How Much Would You Pay to Use Facebook? A Behavioral Perspective, Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard Law School; Harvard University – Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)
Next Week in the Courts
We are not aware of any media law cases listed for this week.
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
Sir Cliff Richard v BBC, heard 12 to 13, 16 to 20, 23-26 April and 8 and 9 May 2018 (Mann J)
Economou v Freitas, heard 17 and 18 April 2018 (Lewison, Ryder and Sharp LJJ)
TLT v Home Office, heard 17 May 2018 (Gross, Macfarlane and Coulson LJJ)
Lloyd v Google LLC, heard 21 to 23 May 2018 (Warby J)
Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers Ltd, heard 24 May 2018 (Newey and Coulson LJJ).
This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law