Law and Media Round Up – 25 June 2018

25 06 2018

The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs has approved the controversial Copyright Directive.  This includes Article 13 which requires digital platforms to check that content uploaded by users does not breach copyright.

A group of Internet pioneers and their successors have written to MEPs [pdf] describing this as an “imminent threat” to the future of the internet.  The Internet Society has a piece entitled “Article 13 of the Copyright Directive Raises Serious Questions”.  There was also a discussion in the Press Gazette.

Parliament will vote on the proposal on 4 or 5 July 2018. There is a discussion of the progress of the legislation on Julia Reda’s blog.

On 21 June 2018 the Government introduced its own Bill to criminalise “upskirting”.  The Voyeurism (Offences)(No.2) Bill amends the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to create additional offences.

There have been a number of comments on the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal in TLU v Home Office case ([2018] EWCA Civ 2217). There was a short post on the Panopticon blog an Inforrm case comments by Lorna Skinner and Iain Wilson.

Hold the Front Page has a comment on the Sarker case entitled “Judges are reminded that Section 4(2) orders are a ‘last resort’”.  We also had an Inforrm case comment on the decision.

LSE’s Media Policy Project blog has considered the concept of media literacy in a response to comments made by technology academic Danah Boyd, who recently asserted that media literacy and critical thinking could leave individuals more vulnerable to media influence.

We note that both Matrix Chambers  (closing date 29 June 2018) and 5RB (closing date 7 July 2018) are presently recruiting media law practitioners.

Internet and Social Media

The Journlaw Blog has a post by Mark Pearson which considers how internet and social media oriented developments can have wide ranging implications requiring high levels of media literacy to anticipate and regulate. The article draws on technological developments and new forms of media to practically illustrate its premise.

The Socially Aware Blog highlights 5 things about “smart contracts”– contracts which integrate technology and coding into their framework to provide useful outputs.

Reuters has a comment piece by David Kaye considering how to “fix” social media without censorship.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

 Brett Wilson’s media law blog has considered the recent case of Sabados v Facebook Ireland which involved a request for the disclosure of information pertaining to the deletion of a deceased person’s account. The claimant, who was the spouse of the deceased, argued that deletion of the messages between her and her spouse (via the deletion of his account) constituted a breach of the DPA and misuse of her private information.

The European Commissions’ leak of personal data on its website contrary to GDPR has drawn scrutiny with Mishcon de Reya’s Jon Baines highlighting that that EU institutions are not yet subject to the GDPR.

Privacy International has alleged that Thomson Reuters is selling access to highly sensitive personal data to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The allegations come following the organisation criticising the US government for its zero tolerance immigration policy.

Privacy International has also highlighted issues surrounding whether the National Police Chiefs’ Council can be subject to freedom of information requests following the its failure to respond to an earlier request.

The IAPP has considered Google’s new privacy and security features, which have been applied to Android devices.

The IAPP also notes that London Islington Council is being investigated for the practice of requiring payment data via email.

ICO

BT has been fined £77,000 by the ICO for sending five million spam emails.

Surveillance

Blog Law Online has an article considering US government’s surveillance in light of the Justice Department accessing the phone records and emails of New York Times reporter Ali Watkin’s.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Transparency Project has posted on the outcome of its earlier request for a correction to an article published by the Daily Mail. The request relates to the Mail’s reporting of a family law case.

A journalist has won the right to report allegations of child abuse against a Michael Jackson impersonator.

The Press Gazette has considered the fining of a Labour partly election agent for posting an advert without identifying it as political campaign material.

IPSO

Sports direct founder Mike Ashley has successfully brought a claim against the Times over a piece which claimed that Parliament had found that the company’s warehouse’s were “run like Victorian warehouses”. The Press Gazette has coverage.

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner has breached IPSO’s code specifically that of accuracy, in its use of the headline “bomb boffin”.

Given IPSO’s release of guidance on how to report suicide has been reflected in its sanction of The Forester for its excessive detail in reporting a mental health worker’s suicide.

Rulings

IPSO has published a single resolution statement and series of rulings from the Complaints Committee:

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

On 20 June 2018 here was a statement in open court before HHJ Parkes QC in the case of Joint Stock Company v Financial Times Limited.  The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim are available on Lawtel [£].  There was a correction in the Financial Times.

On 21 June there was a statement in open court in West v 24 Seven Fostering Services before HHJ Parkes QC.  There was a report of the statement on the Care Appointments website.

On the same day there was a statement in open court in the case of Demouh v Times Newspapers.

Last Week in the Courts

On 19 and 20 June 2018 the Court of Appeal (Master of the Rolls, Mcfarlane and Sharp LJJ) heard the appeal in the case of Stunt v Associated Newspapers.  Judgment was reserved.

On 18 to 22 June 2018 the trial in Seventy Thirty Ltd v Burki took place before HHJ Parkes QC.  Judgment was reserved.

On 21 June 2018, Julian Knowles J handed down judgment in the same case [2018] EWHC 1570 (QB) (heard 20 April 2018) – dismissing an application for summary judgment.

Events

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia

In the case of Triguboff v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 845 Bromwich J held that the words complained of published  in the Australian Financial Review – which only referred to a company name – were not reasonably capable of being about the plaintiff.

The Guardian has a piece on the proposed espionage and foreign interference bill entitled “We need to talk about press freedom before it’s too late

Bulgaria

LSE’s Media Policy Project Blog has noted how algorithms posed a threat to citizens’ media in Bulgaria.

Canada

The LSE Media Policy Project Blog has noted that the Canadian Telecom’s industry is dominated by three main providers: Bell, Rogers and Telus. In an article the Project considers the impact of this and how to encourage diversity in the market.

The Canadian Government has released a response to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on net neutrality. Micheal Geist has unpicked the key concerns of the Government in a recent article, which highlights stoic support of the principle of net neutrality and a resistance to the erosion of this via legislative action.

In the context of Bell Media’s continual lobbying for website blocking Michael Geist has analysed the recent move of George Brown College President Anne Sado in supporting the blocking plan. The article considers the alleged influence of Bell on the decisions and considers the implications of such an approach by the media outlet.

The Globe and Mail reports that psychologist Jordan Peterson is suing Wilfrid Laurier University following comments made about him during a disciplinary of one their staff members- the subject of the disciplinary had showed a video of one of Peterson’s lectures to a class.

The Lawyer’s Daily has a post considering the overhaul of Ontario defamation law, advocating that any such reform requires a consideration of reputation and community in the internet age.

India

In the wake of the sad assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, editor of Rising Kashmir, the Hoot considers the impact upon the journalism industry.

A Goan Court has held that journalists are not liable for defamation for publishing and commenting on facts- the suit was bought by Sanatan Sanstha against the Goan Observer when the Observer posted photos of a book published by the Sanstha containing images of guns and self-defence training.

Malta

The Time of Malta reports that former minister Tonio Fenech has be ordered to pay libel damages of €7,500 for false allegations linking the plaintiffs to an oil scandal.

Samoa

Radio NZ has highlighted the case of a US-based Samoan lawyer who is considering bringing a defamation claim following recently being named by Samoa’s Prime Minister as being a writer for the controversial blog, O le Palemia.

United States

The Privacy and Information Security Law blog has noted the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Carpenter v United States, finding that a warrant is required for the police to access historical location data held on mobile devices. Privacy International, The Volokh Conspiracy, and Concurring Opinions also have coverage.

The Socially Aware Media Blog has considered the application of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act particularly in relation to requiring the deletion of content.

Research and Resources

Data Privacy and Data Protection

Surveillance

Next Week in the Courts

On 27 June 2018 the Court of Appeal (Newey and Coulson LJJ) will hand down judgment in the case of Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers.

We are not aware of any other media law hearings this week.

Judgments

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)

Lloyd v Google LLC, heard 21 to 23 May 2018 (Warby J)

Bokhova v Times Newspapers, heard 8 June 2018 (Nicklin J)

Otuo v Watch Tower and Bible and Tract Society, heard 7 and 15 June 2018 (HHJ Parkes QC)

Seventy Thirty Ltd v Burki, heard 18 to 22 June 2018 (HHJ Parkes QC)

Stunt v Associated Newspapers, heard 19 and 20 June 2018 (Master of the Rolls, Mcfarlane and Sharp LJJ)

This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law.


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