This week The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has published its final report on “Disinformation and ‘fake news’” [pdf]. We had a news post and some initial thoughts from Zoe McCallum. The report was widely covered in the media, including in the Guardian, the BBC and the Press Gazette.
Transparency Project member Louise Tickle succeeded in an appeal against a reporting restrictions order in a family case. Submissions were also made by the BBC. The Transparency Project blog has a report and a note of the judgment. The Press Gazette has a post about the case, “Judge to issue new guidelines on challenging reporting restrictions in family courts after journalist’s appeal win”.
The Voyeurism Offences Act 2019 was passed on 12 February 2019 and will come into effect on 12 April 2019. This creates what is generally known as the “upskirting” offence. There is a post about this on the David Banks Media Law blog.
Internet and Social Media
The Center for Internet and Society blog has posts “You’ve been sued in the EU for copying a ‘short extract’”! and New EU Rules on Video-Sharing Platforms: Will they really work?
The Washington Times reports that Twitter is under attack in Russia after the internet watchdog has stated that it has failed to comply with a law report the physical storage of data about Russian users within the country.
Data Protection and Data Privacy
The same blog also has a post about the first significant decision on the Part 3 provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018, R (El Gizouli) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 60 (Admin) which it describes as a “controller friendly” decision.
The Guardian reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered state agencies to investigate a report that Facebook may be accessing sensitive personal data.
The Mishcon de Reya blog has a post, Data Privacy and Data Protection GDPR and direct marketing – consent is not always required
The Himsworth Scott website has a post “Selecting the right reputational strategy during a data breach”.
Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation
The Press Gazette has a post about a ruling “Evolve Politics rapped by Impress over inaccuracy in story alleging misconduct by Tory MP”
The Press Gazette has a post entitled “Mail Online claim that GDPR stopped German Christmas wishlist tradition was inaccurate, IPSO rules”.
IPSO has handed down a number of recent rulings:
- 07543-18 White v Mail Online, 1 Accuracy (2018), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication
- 05871-18 A Woman v Mail Online, 2 Privacy (2018), 4 Intrusion into grief or shock (2018), No breach – after investigation
- 05608-18 McBride v Scotland on Sunday, 3 Harassment (2018), 1 Accuracy (2018), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication
- 05298-18 For Britain Movement v Sunday Life, 1 Accuracy (2018), 12 Discrimination (2018), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication.
- 04725-18 Groman v The Jewish Chronicle, 1 Accuracy (2018), 2 Privacy (2018), 3 Harassment (2018), 9 Reporting of crime (2018), 4 Intrusion into grief or shock (2018), 13 Financial journalism (2018), No breach – after investigation
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
On 19 February 2019 there was a statement in open court before Warby J in the case of Life 2009 Ltd v Lambeth LBC. There is a press statement by the claimant here. There was a report by the Catholic News Agency.
Last Week in the Courts
On 15 February 2019 Nicklin J handed down judgment in the case of Greenstein v Campaign Against Anti-Semitism  EWHC 281 (QB).
On 16 February 2019 Nicklin J heard a case management conference in the case of Soobhan v Badal.
On 18 February 2019 Warby J handed down a judgment in the case of Linklaters LLP v Mellish  EWHC 295 (QB) which made it clear that the action had been compromised on the defendant giving undertakings not to disclose certain categories of information.
On 21 February 2019 Warby J handed down judgment in the case of Otuo v Morley.
On 22 February Master Cook handed down judgment in the case of Haydn Price v Gwendoline Watkins  EWHC 375 (QB) striking out a libel claim, inter alia, on the grounds that the claimant had not proved publication to a third party and any publication proved would be covered by absolute privilege.
Mind the Gap: a blueprint for a new regulatory framework that effectively captures citizen journalists, Information Law and Policy Centre, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR, 28 February 2019, 17.00 to 18.45.
Women and AI: Harms, Impacts and Remedies, Information Law and Policy Centre, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR, 7 March 2019, 17.00 to 19.00.
Media Democracy Festival, Media Reform Coalition, Clore Centre 27 Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL, 10.00am to 6pm 16 March 2019
3rd Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, Berlin, Germany, 3-5 June 2019.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
On 22 February 2019 Wigney J handed down judgment in the case of Chau v Fairfax Media  FCA 2185 awarding the plaintiff A$200,000 compensatory damages for libel. The judge held that article conveyed a number of defamatory imputations and the conduct of the defendant, in publishing these allegations in the Sydney Morning Herald, was not reasonable. The defendant has said it will appeal. There were reports about the decision in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian.
In the case of O’Reilly v Edgar  QSC 24 the plaintiff was awarded A$250,000 in respect of 10 defamatory Facebook posts. The plaintiff is the CEO of the Australian Carting Association and the posts related to his professional and personal conduct. There is a report of the decision on Speedcafe.
The Advertiser reports that Sarah Hanson-Young’s defamation claim against fellow Senator David Leyonhjelm will go ahead in April 2019, after he lost his bid to challenge a ruling refusing to strike out the case.
The Irish Examiner has a report about a Court of Appeal hearing in the case of Nolan v Sunday World, an appeal against a defamation judgment from May 2017. Judgment was reserved.
There has been widespread reporting of Thomas J’s concurring opinion [pdf] in the case of McKee v Cosby to the effect that the US Supreme Court should reconsider New York Times v Sullivan. There a pieces in the Jurist and on Reuters. Blog Law Online has a post “Is New York Times v Sullivan in danger?”.
The Guardian reports that Nicholas Sandmann, a high school student from Covington, Kentucky, has sued the Washington Post for defamation, claiming the newspaper falsely accused him of racist acts and instigating a confrontation with a Native American activist
Research and Resources
- Belgium, Courts, Privacy and Data Protection: An Inventory of Belgian Case Law From the Pre-GDPR Regime (1995–2015), Brussels Privacy Hubworking Papervol. 5, N° 15, January 2019, Paul De Hert, Free University of Brussels (VUB)- LSTS
- The Data Protection Regime Applying to the Inter-Agency Cooperation and Future Architecture of the EU Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Area, Brussels Privacy Hub Working Paper Series, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2014, Brussels Privacy Hub, Paul De Hertand Vagelis Papakonstantinou, Brussels Privacy Hub, Free University of Brussels (VUB)- LSTS and Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- Internet Architecture and Human Rights: Beyond the Human Rights Gap, Forthcoming (2019) 11(1) Special Issue: ‘Internet Architecture and Human Rights’ Policy & Internet , UNSW Law Research Paper No. 19-10, Monika Zalnieriuteand Stefania Milan, University of New South Wales and University of Amsterdam
- Invasion of the Content Neutrality Rule, Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 588, William D. Araiza, Brooklyn Law School
Next Week in the Courts
On 25 February 2019 there will be a statement in open court in the case of Poulter v Times Newspapers before Nicol J.
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland, heard 25 and 26 July 2018 (Sharp and Asplin LJJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).
Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 17 October 2018 (Underhill V-P, Sharp LJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).
Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 13 and 14 November 2018 (UKSC)
ZXC v Bloomberg, heard 27-28 and 30 November 2018 (Nicklin J)
R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal, heard 3 and 4 December 2018 (UKSC)
Ali v Channel 5, heard 4 December 2018 (Irwin, Newey and Baker LJJ).
Stocker v Stocker, heard 24 January 2019 (UKSC)
Various Claimants v MGN, heard 13 February 2019 (McCombe, Ryder and Floyd LJJ) (judgment to be handed down on 7 March 2019).