Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Report of the Committee on Super-Injunctions [2011] Super-Injunctions, Anonymised Injunctions and Open Justice

Lord Neuberger's super-powered legal inquiry into use and abuse of super-injunctions, which issued Practice Guidance and a Model Order, which were to be reviewed by the Master of the Rolls twelve months after they become operative in order to assess its efficacy and make any necessary revisions and thereafter reviewed regularly.'via Blog this'

Coogan v News Group Newspapers Ltd & Anor [2012] EWCA Civ 48

Coogan v News Group Newspapers Ltd & Anor [2012] EWCA Civ 48 (01 February 2012): Unusual case in which the hacker/Private Investigator for the NotW, Mulcaire, argued that he needed PSI (protection against self-incrimination) which would stop him answering Coogan's case. The judgment is given by Lord Neuberger MR, with the Lord Chief Justice agreeing (hugely prominent judges in this appeal):
"I would dismiss these appeals, as:
i) Much of the information on the voicemail messages of the claimants which have been intercepted by Mr Mulcaire is likely to have been 'commercial information or other intellectual property' within section 72(5);
ii) Although some of the information was not 'commercial information or other intellectual property', and, in Ms Phillips's case, the confidence may have been that of her clients, section 72 can be relied on against Mr Mulcaire in both cases;
iii) Para (a)(i) of the definition of 'related offence' in section 72(5) applies, and, while paras (a)(ii) and (b) do not, that does not assist Mr Mulcaire in resisting any aspect of the orders he is appealing;
iv) Section 72, as so interpreted, is not incompatible with the Convention, and in particular Article 6; so the orders requiring Mr Mulcaire to give the information ordered by Mann and Vos JJ were correct;
v) It would be inappropriate to impose any safeguards in favour of Mr Mulcaire over and above those contained in section 72(3);
vi) Vos J's order striking out references to PSI in Mr Mulcaire's Defence in the proceedings brought by Mr Coogan was correct." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 18 November 2013

Ofcom’s enforcement action against the “Jessica Pressley” service

Ofcom | Ofcom’s enforcement action against the “Jessica Pressley” service: "Ofcom has recently taken enforcement action against the “Jessica Pressley” video-on-demand service, using powers under Section 368K of the Communications Act for the first time.
The “Jessica Pressley” service, which provided free-to-view R18-equivalent pornographic content and did not have a robust paywall for its premium content, was referred to Ofcom by the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD), the co-regulator for video-on-demand (VOD) in the UK, in relation to breaches of ATVOD’s Rules.  ATVOD had jurisdiction over this particular site because its videos were “TV-like” and because it was based in the UK.
If a VOD service in UK jurisdiction continues to breach editorial content rules, attempts to secure compliance have failed, and if it is deemed appropriate and proportionate, Ofcom can direct the service provider to take remedial action or have its right to provide a VOD service suspended." 'via Blog this'

Independent Press Standards Organization – More of the Same?

The Independent Press Standards Organization – A Genuinely Independent Alternative to the PCC, or More of the Same? | LSE Media Policy Project: "a close analysis of each of the documents underpinning the IPSO scheme demonstrates that the claim that “all the key elements” will be delivered is false. An assessment by the Media Standards Trust, published today shows that, of the 38 Leveson recommendations applicable to a new self-regulatory body, IPSO satisfies 12, and fails 20 – more than half. For the remaining six, it is unclear on current information whether they will be satisfied.
The IPSO plans contain some significant improvements – internal complaints and compliance mechanisms within members, a whistleblowing hotline for journalists, and protection for journalists from disciplinary action if they refuse to breach the Code of Practice – but the recommendations it fails to comply with encompass many of the core components of Leveson’s vision for a new regulatory system. Of these, three stand out: independence, arbitration, and complaints" 'via Blog this'

Why video may kill self-regulation of the press

Why video may kill self-regulation of the press | Siobhain Butterworth | Law | theguardian.com: "Newspapers identified by Atvod as within the scope of the AVMS regulations that fail to notify and pay Atvod's fee (currently £2,900) could be fined up to £250,000 by Ofcom and face suspension of their video offerings.
Under the regulations, a website is an "on demand programme service" if its "principal purpose" is to offer content that is "television-like" and it competes for the same audience as TV – so there is plenty of room for argument about whether newspapers are covered at all.
The press is also likely to quarrel with Atvod's salami-slicing approach to newspaper websites in order to bring them within reach.
Ofcom and Atvod accept that where video goes with text, or is "integral and ancillary" to a website's broader offering, it may not be caught, but what is being suggested is that keeping those videos together in one place on a newspaper's website will lead to regulation.
The PCC, understandably, does not welcome Atvod's encroachment on its territory: "The remit of the PCC was expanded in 2007 to include audiovisual material appearing on newspaper and magazine websites," its director, Stephen Abell, said." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 11 November 2013

BT Sport's Tim Lovejoy is poster boy for game's lost soul

BT Sport's Tim Lovejoy is poster boy for game's lost soul - Telegraph: "It also risks obscuring the bigger picture, which is that the BT deal banishes regular, live top-class football from terrestrial television, perhaps for good. A deep-seated affinity with Adrian Chiles is not necessary to recognise the inherent virtue in making football available to as many people as possible. The poor – a demographic that modern football has little time for in any case – will have to make do with whatever scraps BT sees fit to dangle before them. Football’s new beginning also feels like an end.
There is a wider issue at stake here, and it is the piecemeal commodification of our culture: a process that did not begin with BT  Sport, but by no means ends with it either. " 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

TV Licensing - devices and online, the catch-up exception

TV Licensing - Technology - devices and online: "Exception: If you only watch catch-up services online, then you don’t need a licence. For example, you don’t need one to use BBC iPlayer, or ITV player, to catch up on programmes after they have been shown on TV." 'via Blog this'

Supporting the Leveson System, a reply to Helen Anthony – Hugh Tomlinson QC

Press regulation debate: Supporting the Leveson System, a reply to Helen Anthony – Hugh Tomlinson QC | Inforrm's Blog: "Helen Anthony mentions a number of legal arguments against the Leveson system.  These are not ones which, on analysis, are likely to succeed. First, she suggests that exemplary damages and “punitive costs orders” may breach Article 10 of the European Convention. I have previously dealt with the argument that exemplary damages  are a violation of free speech.  The short answer is that under the new statutory provision such damages could only be awarded in case of “deliberate or reckless disregard of rights of an outrageous nature” and where they are necessary properly to punish the defendant. This is proportionate and reflects the position in other countries which have strong free speech protection. Exemplary damages are already available in libel cases.  Awards are very rarely made and the position is not going to change under the new provisions. The main difference with the Crime and Courts Act is to provide immunity for members of an approved self-regulator.
The second argument is that the arbitration system is incompatible with Article 6 of the Convention because it denies access to justice.  Helen Anthony correctly points out that an arbitrator provides a “final and binding decision” (subject to an appeal on a point of law).  But under the Leveson system such a decision would be provided by an independent and impartial arbitrator, applying the law of libel or privacy in the same way that a judge does in court. So there is no basis for suggesting that it would be unlawful. The difference is that, in arbitration, the procedure can be streamlined to reduce time and costs.
In relation to the press, regulated publishers would agree to accept arbitration as a condition of joining the recognised self-regulator.  This is what happens in other areas where arbitration schemes are common-place.  For example, football clubs and footballers agree to be bound by FA rules – which include compulsory arbitration.  These have been found to be compatible with Article 6 by the Courts.  In relation to claimants they would still have a choice as to whether to use the arbitration system or go to court.  The only difference would be that, if they went to court, they would not usually be able to recover their costs.  This is a restriction on access to court but one which would not be found to be unlawful because it is proportionate and justified. It promotes the proper aim of providing swift and effective access to justice.  A properly designed and operated arbitration system would provide great benefits for both the press and claimants.'via Blog this'

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 s.96 - Leveson amendment

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013: "96. Royal Charters: requirements for Parliamentary approval
Where a body is established by Royal Charter after 1 March 2013 with functions relating to the carrying on of an industry, no recommendation may be made to Her Majesty in Council to amend the body's Charter or dissolve the body unless any requirements included in the Charter on the date it is granted for Parliament to approve the amendment or dissolution have been met." 'via Blog this'

Revealed: the Rupert Murdoch tape - Channel 4 News

Revealed: the Rupert Murdoch tape - Channel 4 News: "Throughout the recording, which lasts about 45 minutes, the News Corp boss repeatedly accuses the police of incompetence - of being "unbelievably slow" he says at one point. At another point, he said of the police that he didn't really trust anything they said.
But if he is contemptuous of the police, he also shows remarkable disdain for the offence they're investigating. He belittles the corrupt payments issue. And for anyone convicted over it - the message is: he'll be there for them." 'via Blog this'

The Leveson Report: implementation - Commons Library Standard Note

The Leveson Report: implementation - Commons Library Standard Note - UK Parliament: "The compromise allows for one or more independent self-regulatory bodies for the press to be established. Any such body would be recognised and overseen by a “Recognition Panel”. The Panel will be established under Royal Charter and the Charter will be protected by statute from amendment. Reaction to the settlement has been mixed. Major newspaper publishers responded by presenting an alternative Royal Charter of their own, which was considered by the Privy Council ahead of the Government’s own proposal.
On 8 October 2013 the Culture Secretary announced that the press’s own charter had not been recommended for approval by the Privy Council. The cross-party charter (in amended form) therefore went forward to the next meeting of the Privy Council on 30 October, where it received the royal seal." 'via Blog this'

Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds panic myth: The infamous radio broadcast did not cause a nationwide hysteria

Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds panic myth: The infamous radio broadcast did not cause a nationwide hysteria.: "How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers. Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ program to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalized the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted. In an editorial titled “Terror by Radio,” the New York Times reproached “radio officials” for approving the interweaving of “blood-curdling fiction” with news flashes “offered in exactly the manner that real news would have been given.” Warned Editor and Publisher, the newspaper industry’s trade journal, “The nation as a whole continues to face the danger of incomplete, misunderstood news over a medium which has yet to prove ... that it is competent to perform the news job.”" 'via Blog this'

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 S.11 journalistic exceptions to searches

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984: "11 Meaning of “excluded material”. (1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, in this Act “excluded material” means—
(a) personal records which a person has acquired or created in the course of any trade, business, profession or other occupation or for the purposes of any paid or unpaid office and which he holds in confidence;
(b) human tissue or tissue fluid which has been taken for the purposes of diagnosis or medical treatment and which a person holds in confidence;
(c) journalistic material which a person holds in confidence and which consists— (i)of documents; or (ii)of records other than documents." This is also read into S.22(4) of the Terrorism Act 2000 - and thus is relied on by David Miranda's lawyers in the forthcoming judicial review 'via Blog this'

The Home Secretary’s defence in the Miranda judicial review

The Home Secretary’s defence in the Miranda judicial review | Head of Legal: "The government argues that any interference was proportionate to those aims in view of the lack of alternatives to the use of Schedule 7, the urgency and gravity of the situation and the narrow time window the police had in which to act. A key plank of its argument is that this is not a case involving an attempt to identify journalists’ sources, unlike the Sanoma Uitgevers case relied on by the claimants. While in such cases the European Court of Human Rights gives strong protection to those sources, in this type of case, which simply involves the normal application of security provisions in a way that happens to impact upon someone working with journalists, no special protection is given. In particular, the case law makes clear that no prior judicial or independent scrutiny is required before documents are detained." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 4 November 2013

TSE & Anor v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2011] EWHC 1308 (QB)

TSE & Anor v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2011] EWHC 1308 (QB) (23 May 2011): "It is now clear the test is whether the Claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the information in question. See McKennitt v Ash [2008] QB 73 per Buxton LJ (with whom Latham and Longmore LJJ agreed, at para 11, further cited in Murray at para 27). The question is objective. As Lord Hope put it in Campbell v MGN Ltd [2004] 2 AC 457: "The question is what a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities would feel if she was placed in the same position as the claimant.." In Murray v Express Newspapers Ltd [2009] Ch 481 the Court of Appeal stated: "The question of whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy is a broad one, which takes account of all the circumstances of the case. They include the attributes of the claimant, the nature of the activity in which the claimant was engaged, the place at which it was happening, the nature and purpose of the intrusion, the absence of consent and whether it was known or could be inferred, the effect on the claimant and the circumstances in which and the purposes for which the information came into the hands of the publisher.." [para 36]" 'via Blog this'

Superinjunctions, gagging orders and injunctions: the full list

Superinjunctions, gagging orders and injunctions: the full list | Siobhain Butterworth & Maya Wolfe-Robinson | Law | theguardian.com: "Disclosure in the public interest is one of two main defences to privacy actions (the other is that the information is already in the public domain). Where, as in Ferdinand's case and Max Mosley's, a privacy case goes to trial, the public interest defence is usually argued vociferously. We might ask then, out of interest, how often did editors put forward a public interest defence in the spate of privacy injunctions that produced so much sound and fury only a short while ago?" 'via Blog this'

Google Still Taking a Beating Over Max Mosley S&M Party Search Results

Google Still Taking a Beating Over Max Mosley S&M Party Search Results - Search Engine Watch (#SEW): "Google said in a French court this week that it had removed hundreds of pages for Mosley and stands ready to remove others he identifies, but that the law does not support his demand for the creation of "an unprecedented new Internet censorship tool," according to Bloomberg." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Leveson Report: Cross Party Royal Charter

Leveson Report: Cross Party Royal Charter - Publications - GOV.UK: "Following further discussions on independent press self-regulation based on the Leveson Report, this final version of the Royal Charter has been agreed by all three political leaders and will now be taken forward.
Amendments made since the 11 October 2013 publication are explained in the accompanying Explanatory Note" 'via Blog this'