On 1 and 2 November 2023, the UK Government held the Global Summit on AI Safety at Bletchley Park, which was attended by politicians, academics and tech executives. King Charles addressed the summit and Sunak hosted a chat with Tesla and X Chairman, Elon Musk. As well as discussions on the existential risks of AI, leaders warned about the risks of generative AI undermining elections through disinformation.
28 countries and the EU signed the “Bletchley Declaration”, agreeing that AI poses significant risks and welcoming international efforts to examine and address its potential impact. The Bletchley Declaration can be read in full here. In anticipation of the conference, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak launched the AI Institute which will collaborate with Australia, Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the US and the UK to test AI systems developed by eight key tech companies before release. The UK government published a press release, and the BBC, EuroNews, Reuters, FT, SkyNews, Guardian, Politico covered the Summit.
Over 100 trade union confederations, human rights groups, civil society organisations, campaigners and experts signed an open letter to Sunak, stating that the Summit missed an opportunity by overemphasising the remote existential risks of AI and marginalising the workers and communities who will be most affected by it. Read the open letter here.
Internet and Social Media
The Guardian complained that Microsoft damaged its journalistic reputation when the platform published an AI-generated poll next to one of its articles, asking readers to speculate on the cause of death of a woman who was found with serious head injuries. In response, Microsoft deactivated its news article poll-feature, stating it would take steps to prevent this kind of error from reoccurring in future. The Guardian reported the story.
The LSE Media blog has published an article analysing the guidance from key transnational bodies on regulating AI with the best interests of children in mind.
5RB published a blog post reviewing the Online Safety Act 2023, which was given royal assent on 26 October.
Data privacy and data protection
The ICO have reprimanded Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust for a computer system failure that resulted in the referrals of nearly 5,000 patients being delayed or lost. Some patients had to wait over two years for medical treatment to be scheduled. The reprimand can be read here.
The ICO have also fined three companies offering financial services a total of £170,000 for illegal direct marketing. One company sent more than 415,000 text messages without valid consent, encouraging people to get “free advice”, whilst another made unsolicited calls about pensions. Read the ICO’s press release here.
Lewis Silkin published a blog post about how existing data protection and equality laws would apply to automated decisions in a company’s recruitment process.
Newspaper Journalism and regulation
IPSO has issued new guidance for journalists and the public on the reporting of suicide. It recommends that particular care should be taken when reporting on novel or unusual methods of suicide as this can lead to copycat acts, particularly among vulnerable groups. The Guidance for journalists can be found here, and the guide for the public is available here.
Art, Music and Copyright
Four major publishing trade associations have issued a joint statement calling for an immediate end to AI systems making use of copyright-protected works “with impunity.” The Publishers Association, the Society of Authors, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the Association of Authors’ Agents urged the government to acknowledge and recompense the copyright infringement that has already happened and assure that the practice will end. The Guardian reported on the development. The statement can be read in full here.
Singer-songwriter, Mariah Carey, is being sued by country musician, Andy Stone, who claims that she plagiarised his song, which shares the title with her number one hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. The copyright lawsuit alleges that Carey stole the “compositional structure” and “several lyrical phrases” from Stone’s ballad, which was written in 1988 – six years before Carey’s single was released. This will not be the first legal battle Carey has fought over the song, and Stone is claiming $20 million in damages. Forbes, Reuters, the Independent, NBC, and the Guardian covered the story.
- 17778-23 Hancock v Daily Mirror, 1 Accuracy (2021), No breach – after investigation
- 18473-23 Clunes v Mail Online, 1 Accuracy (2021), Breach – sanction: publication of correction
- 14369-23 The MacDougall family v Mail Online, 3 Harassment (2021), 12 Discrimination (2021), 10 Clandestine devices and subterfuge (2021), 2 Privacy (2021), 1 Accuracy (2021), Breach – sanction: publication of correction
- 18053-23 Blackman v The National, 1 Accuracy (2021), No breach – after investigation
Statements in open court and apologies
We are not aware of any statements read out in open court or apologies from the last week.
New Issued cases
There were no new cases filed on the media and communication list last week.
Last week in the courts
On 31 October 2023 Collins Rice J heard an application in the case of Webster v HMRC.
On 1 November, J Johnson handed down judgement of preliminary issues in the case of Clarke v Guardian  EWHC 2734 (KB). The court found that the Guardian’s reporting of the sexual misconduct claims made against the actor and producer Noel Clarke in eight articles carried several defamatory meanings. Though the articles made clear that Clarke denied all the allegations, the High Court held that the articles mean “there are strong grounds to believe that the claimant is guilty of various forms of sexual harassment” . The Guardian responded to the ruling by stating that they “intend to defend [our] journalism robustly.” It is likely that a full trial of the facts will be heard next year, once the defendant has filed a defence. 5RB explained the issues and Matrix summarised the judgement. The Press Gazette, SkyNews, BBC, Guardian and Evening Standard reported on the ruling.
There was also a case management hearing before Nicklin J in the case of Daedone v BBC. The misuse of private information, libel and data protection claim concerns a BBC podcast series, which alleged that a sexual wellness company was responsible for serious criminal acts. 5RB summarised the proceedings thus far.
On the same day, Julian Knowles J handed down judgement in the case of Crosbie v Ley  EWHC 2626 (KB) in favour of the defendant. The claimant was a therapist who sued her former colleague for passing off the claimant’s business as her own. The defendant counterclaimed in defamation and harassment in regard to Twitter and Facebook posts containing the allegations of passing off, fraud and unethical conduct. The court held that the claimant’s claim was wholly without merit due to a lack of evidence that the defendant had committed an unlawful act . The defendant’s counterclaim was successful and she was granted an injunction to prevent the defamatory remarks being republished, in addition to general and aggravated damages. 5RB and Brett Wilson LLP summarised the decision. The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Daily Mail also reported on the judgement.
On 1 and 2 November 2023, the UK Supreme court (Lords Reed, Sales, Hamblen, Burrows and Richards) heard the appeal in the case of Mueen-Uddin v Secretary of State for the Home Department. The main issue in the case is whether the Court of Appeal correctly struck out the defamation claim as an abuse of process in  EWCA Civ 1073. The defamation claim concerns a 2019 report titled ‘Challenging Hateful Extremism’, which was published by the Home Office, and contained a footnote referring to the Appellant’s conviction by the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh for crimes against humanity. The claimant has always denied the allegations and was convicted in absentia. Read the Supreme Court case summary and watch the hearings here. Law360 summarised the appeal.
On 2 November 2023, Nicklin J heard a pre-trial review and application notices in the case of Blake and others v Fox.
On 3 November 2023, there was a case management conference before Nicklin J in the case of Gottlieb v Nicholas.
Media law in other jurisdictions
On 2 November 2023, the District Court of New South Wales struck out and dismissed proceedings in the case of Woolf v Brandt  NSWDC 460 on the basis that they were brought outside the limitation period.
On 3 November 2023, the Federal Court of Australia dismissed an application to extend the limitation period for commencing a defamation claim in the case of Tucker v McKee  FCA 1335, as the applicant failed to sufficiently explain the delay.
On 31 October 2023, the Supreme Court of British Columbia handed down judgement in favour of the defendants in the case of Seyedalikhani v Mansouri, 2023 BCSC 1902. The defendants argued that the defamatory statements alleged were made in the context of a complaint to the Immigration Consultants of Canada and were therefore protected by absolute privilege. Giaschi J agreed with the defendant’s argument and struck out the notice of civil claim.
On 1 November 2023, the Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the claimant’s defamation claim in Lee v Black, 2023 BCSC 1920 as being without any basis in fact.
A study by The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) revealed that Indian apps and health website are providing third parties, including Facebook and Google, with the private health-related data of their users. Privacy International has joined with the CIS to recommend that such apps should limit the data collected and shared, obtain free and unambiguous consent from users, never share data for the purpose of advertising and give users access to and control of their data.
On 30 October, President Biden signed an executive order on “safe, secure and trustworthy Artificial Intelligence.” The order requires developers of the most powerful AI systems to share their safety test results with the US government, develops new standards for biological synthesis screening and directs the production of a report on AI’s potential labour-market impacts. The White House statement can be read in full here. In a speech by Vice-President Harris at the Global Summit on AI Safety, the US also announced the establishment of an AI Safety Institute.
Research and Resources
- Valtere, Laura, The Interface between Patents and Regulatory Exclusivities and the View on the New EU Proposals Concerning Patent Compulsory Licensing and Regulatory Exclusivities (2023), University of Luxembourg Law Research Paper No. 2023-015.
- Arewa, Olufunmilayo, Data Collection, Privacy, and Children in the Digital Economy (2023), George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 23-22, Chapter in Families and New Media.
- Cohen, Greyson, Digital Purgatory and the Rights of the Dead: Protecting Against Digital Disinterment in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (2023), Cardozo Law Review De Novo, 121 (2023).
- Khattar, Perla and Yang, Dillon, Privacy in the Age of IoT Technologies: Examining the Shortcoming of the Fourth Amendment and the Third-Party Doctrine for Smart Home Users (2023), 5 Notre Dame Journal, Emerging Tech, forthcoming 2023.
Next week in the courts
On Monday 6 November 2023, there will be a statement in open court in the case of Packham v Fieldsports Channel & O’Rourke KB-2023-000965.
On the same day, there will be a hearing of preliminary issues before Griffiths J in the case of Alam-v- Guardian News & Media Limited KB-2023-000955.
On Tuesday 7 November 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of Bell -v- Department of Work and Pensions QB-2022-001436.
On Wednesday 8 November 2023, there will be a remote hearing in the case of Blake and others -v- Fox QB-2021-001248.
On Thursday 9 November 2023, there will be a hearing in the case of Mincione -v- GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A QB-2020-004499.
On Friday 10 November 2023, there will be a hearing in the misuse of private information case of Pearson and others v Harpin KB-2023-004119.
Mueen-Uddin v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 1 and 2 November 2023 (Supreme court).
George v Cannell and another, heard 17-18 October 2023 (Supreme Court)
Trump v Orbis Intelligence, head 16 October 2023 (Steyn J)
Harcombe v Associated Newspapers, heard 3 to 7 and 10 to 11 July 2023 (Nicklin J)
YSL v Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, heard 14-15 June 2023 (Julian Knowles J)
MBR Acres v FREE THE MBR BEAGLES, heard 24-28 April 2023, 2-5, 9, 11-12, 15, 17-18, 22-23 May 2023 (Nicklin J)
Various Claimants v Associated Newspapers, heard 27 to 30 March 2023 (Nicklin J)
Duke of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Limited, heard 17 March 2023 (Nicklin J)
This Round Up was compiled by Jasleen Chaggar who is a litigation and media paralegal at Atkins Dellow