Law and Media Round Up – 22 July 2019

22 07 2019

On 15 July 2019 The Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr responded to libel claim made by from Arron Banks, calling it “wholly without merit” and an abuse of process. In two recent speeches she said that Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks was offered money by the Russian Government and had lied about his relationship with the regime.

Banks has always denied receiving money from Russia. There was a piece in the Press Gazette. The Guardian had an article “Brexit funder Arron Banks threatens Netflix over Great Hack documentary”.

The publishers of the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Mirror have won the right to name a transgender man who is fighting a legal battle to be registered as “father” on his child’s birth certificate. Guardian journalist, Freddy McConnell had been involved in a documentary, Seahorse, about his journey to fatherhood through IVF treatment. In his judgment, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division of the High Court, found “firmly” in the media groups’ favour to name McConnell, saying there is a “genuine public interest in the question of law and human rights which lies at the centre of this case”, and this would be enhanced even further by linking McConnell’s experiences in the film with his court proceedings. The news was widely covered by the national press, including the Press Gazette, The Guardian, The Telegraph and 5RB.

Hacked off had a press release “Amber Rudd MP appears to admit decision to cancel Leveson Part Two was taken before full consultation on The Andrew Marr Show: Hacked Off write to DWP Secretary calling for explanation”.

Mr Justice Arnold and Mr Justice Dingemans, Mr Justice Popplewell, all of whom have presided over media cases, have been appointed to the Court of Appeal. There was a piece in the RPC fortnight digest for media lawyers, and an announcement on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

The Government website had a press release “Crack down on misuse of Non-Disclosure Agreements in the workplace”.

The Press Gazette had a piece “NJU censures ex-council member for ‘anti- Semitic’ tweet”.

Internet and Social Media

The BBC has updated its editorial guidelines, providing formal guidance on staff use of social media for the first time.

BBC staff are also told in the new document that disclaimers in Twitter biographies like “my views not the BBC’s” would not give them any defence against posts that may conflict with BBC guidelines. Editorial staff and anyone who identifies “as being linked with the BBC”, have now been formally told that sharing their opinions online or in the press could “compromise the BBC’s impartiality” and “damage its reputation”. There was a piece in the Press Gazette.

The Independent had a news “Metropolitan Police website, emails and Twitter account hacked with messages including ‘F*** the police’”.

The BBC had a piece “Facebook scam-busting service goes live”. The feature came about after Martin Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert website, sued over his name and photo being used on fake Facebook adverts. The Press Gazette had an article.

EDRI Protecting Digital Freedom had a post “More responsibility to online platforms- but at what cost?”.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

On 16 July 2019, the Information Commissioner’s Office has open its consultation on the updated draft code of practice. The consultation will close on 9 September 2019. The public can respond to the consultation via the online survey. There was a news piece on the ICO website.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service revealed that a judge’s emails were automatically forwarded to a malicious account in Nigeria. It is one of five personal data-related incidents listed in HMCTS’s annual report that were reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the data regulator. The Law Society Gazette had a news piece.

The Guardian had a news piece “FaceApp denies storing users’ photographs without permission”.

Privacy & information Security blog had a post “FTC Seeks Comment on COPPA Rule”. On 17 July 2019, the Federal Trade Commission published a notice in the Federal Register announcing an accelerated review of its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA Rule” or “Rule”), seeking feedback on the effectiveness of the 2013 amendments to the Rule, and soliciting input on whether additional changes are needed.

Compliance week had a piece “All eyes on how Ireland will handle Big Tech and GDPR”.

Surveillance

A Home Office minister has refused to deny in Parliament that police have been trawling through journalists’ phone data in response to leaked diplomatic memos about US President Donald Trump. The Press Gazette had an article.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Press Gazette had a piece “Coroner insists journalist submits CCTV video request on ‘headed paper’ before considering it”.

IPSO

There was a blog post on the IPSO website about reporting on child abuse and how positive media reporting has led to improved awareness about how crimes against children happen, prompting thousands of survivors to reach out for support. Responsible, considered reporting can reduce the stigma facing survivors of child abuse, assist police investigations and can bring about important discussions which will help to make society safer for children today and in the future.

Reporting on non-recent child abuse can be challenging for journalists as there are many sensitivities involved. To help with this, IPSO has produced some guidance for the media with input from IPSO, OFCOM and the BBC editorial guidelines team to help when reporting on child abuse.

IPSO has published a number of rulings and resolutions statements since our last Round Up:

03772-19 Freeman v getsurrey.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2018), No breach- after investigation

01754-19 Wallis v dailystar.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2018), 5 Reporting suicide (2018), 6 Children (2018), Resolved- IPSO mediation

01753-19 Wallis v mirror.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2018), 5 Reporting suicide (2018), 6 Children (2018), Resolved- IPSO mediation

07143-18 McLaughlin v thescottishsun.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2018), Breach- sanction: publication of correction

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

On 17 July 2019 there was a statement in open court [pdf] before Nicklin J in the case of Klaff v Hope not Hate Ltd.

Last Week in the Courts

As already mentioned, on 11 July 2019 Sir Andrew McFarlane handed down judgment in the case of  R (TT) v Registrar General for England and Wales [2019] EWHC 1823 (Fam), the case concerning the identification of a transgender male who had given birth.  There was a 5RB case comment.

On 16 and 17 July 2019 the Court of Appeal (Sharp P, Vos C and Davis LJ) heard the appeal against the judgment of Warby J in the case of Lloyd v Google LLC.  The hearing was live streamed.  Judgment was reserved.

On 16 and 17 July 2019, there was a trial in the case of Yavuz v Tesco Stores Ltd & anr before Richard Spearman QC.  Judgment was reserved.

On the same day Nicklin J heard an appeal in the case of Express Newspapers v LXB.

On 18 July 2019 Nicklin J heard an application in the case of ARN v OSD.

On 19 July 2019 Warby J heard an appeal in the case of Hathi v News Corp UK Ltd.

Events

Please let us know if there are any events we should be drawing to the attention of our readers.

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia

In the case of Fairfax Media Publications and ors v Gayle [2019] NSWCA 172 the NSW Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by three newspapers against an award of $300,000 defamation damages to cricketer Chris Gayle. Articles published in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times had reported claims that Gayle had exposed himself to a female massage therapist in Sydney in 2015.Gayle said the stories were not true, and successfully sued for defamation. There was a piece on the BBC. 

The Sydney Morning Herald had an article “Emma Husar’s BuzzFeed defamation case ‘very close’ to settling, court told”.

Indonesia

Indonesia’s national airline has come under fire for banning the taking of in-flight images after a popular video blogger posted a photo online showing a handwritten menu he was handed in business class. The Guardian had a piece.

 Ireland

Eugenie Houston , a barrister was “completely unjustified” in describing the treatment by her professional body of two complaints against her as like “a Jew in Nazi Germany”, a High Court judge has said. The barrister sued various members of the Bar Council, including David Barniville who was later appointed a High Court judge, claiming defamation, breach of constitutional rights and of competition law by use of a dominant position. Ms Houston had argued that her treatment was reminiscent of the Holocaust, when good people accepted an unacceptable regime. The Irish Times had an article.

 Philippines

In the Philippines 36 people face sedition, inciting to sedition, libel, and obstruction of justice charges as authorities bid to silence critics. Amnesty International had a press release.

Russia

Forbes had an article “Russia’s Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In Its History‘”.

United States

Google is expected to pay a multimillion dollar penalty from the Federal Trade Commission over its handling of kids’ information on its popular video site YouTube.

That’s according to a Washington Post report that Google has reached a settlement with the agency. The FTC was reportedly investigating YouTube for violating a federal law designed to protect kids and their data online. There was a piece on ABCnews.

The Washington Times had an article “Judge hits Oberlin with $6.5M in attorney’s fees after college loses libel case”.

The Times of Israel had a piece “Ohio man accused of abusing minors sues rabbis and synagogues for defamation”.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On 22 July 2019 Warby J will hear an application in the case of Advertising Standards Authority v Mitchell.

On the same day Richard Spearman QC will hand down judgment in the case of Yavuz v Tesco Stores Ltd & anr (heard 16 and 17 July 2019).

The same judge will then hear the trial in the case of Fentiman v Marsh.

On 23 July 2019 Mann J will hear an application by the Claimants in the case of Various Claimants v MGN.

Judgments

The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:

Sadik v Sadik, heard 2 April 2019 (Julian Knowles J).

Various Claimants v MGN Ltd, heard 5-6 June 2019 (Mann J)

Boyo v Lloyds Bank Plc, heard 9, 10 and 11 July 2019 (Anthony Metzer QC).

Lloyd v Google LLC, heard 16 and 17 July 2019 (Sharp P, Vos C and Davis LJ).

Please let us know if there are any reserved judgments which should be added to this list.

This Round Up was compiled by Nataly Tedone, an LPC student with a particular interest in media law


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