Saturday, 23 July 2016

Index on Censorship | Art and the Law: Guides to the legal framework and its impact on artistic freedom of expression - Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship | Art and the Law: Guides to the legal framework and its impact on artistic freedom of expression - Index on Censorship: "Freedom of expression is essential to the arts. But the laws and practices that protect and nurture free expression are often poorly understood both by practitioners and by those enforcing the law.

As part of Index on Censorship’s work on art and offence, Index has published a series of law packs intended to address questions about legal limits related to free expression and the arts." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Uber/Barcelona in CJEU

EUR-Lex - 62015CN0434 - EN - EUR-Lex: "Request for a preliminary ruling from the Juzgado Mercantil No 3 de Barcelona (Spain) lodged on 7 August 2015 — Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi v Uber Systems Spain, S.L.

(Case C-434/15)

(2015/C 363/27)" 'via Blog this'

After Snowden, there is clear evidence of a paradigmatic shift in journalist-source relations

After Snowden, there is clear evidence of a paradigmatic shift in journalist-source relations | Comments from media industry experts: "All through my time as a journalist there has been a behind-the-scenes battle going on to close down journalists’ access to insider sources – people who are usually deeply concerned about what is going on under the cover of blanket secrecy. These are the people who allow journalists to do their aspirational fourth estate role of monitoring what intelligence does, in our name.

 Until Edward Snowden’s documents began to be published in June 2013 – again by the Guardian – no one other than the intelligence agencies and a handful of cabinet ministers knew the sheer scale of personal information that was being collected by GCHQ as part of the National Security Agency’s ‘Five Eyes’ network.

The Snowden revelations – that our actions and movements are recorded digitally – raise serious questions over the ability of journalists to protect their sources whether in intelligence agencies, government or corrupt private companies.

 Over the last months I interviewed over a dozen investigative journalists, at least two from each of the Five Eyes countries. All have extensive experience of national security reporting." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Charter of Fundamental Rights

Introduction to Human Rights – UK Human Rights Blog:

"it would seem that the much wider Charter of Rights is now part of our domestic law. Moreover, that much wider Charter of Rights would remain part of our domestic law even if the Human Rights Act were repealed." (R(AB) v Secretary of State [2013] EWHC 3453 (Admin), at [14])

 This instrument, which was given legal effect by Article 6(1) TEU (the Lisbon Treaty), is controversial because it contains a range of rights some of which mimic those in the European Convention of Human Rights, others which go beyond the scope of the ECHR by appearing to grant social and economic rights to citizens of the EU, including the right to health care (Article 35), access to services (Article 36) and social security (Article 34).  These are aspirational “rights” whose effect on the EU legislature has yet to be played out.

 Although it has full Treaty force, the Charter does not extend the competence or powers of the EU (Article 51(2) of the Charter and  Article 6(1) TEU).  The jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice has long established the rule that the human rights aspect of Community law is only binding on member states when their actions engage EU law (Case 5/88 Wachauf and Case C-260/89 ERT ).  However, EU law reaches far into the relationship between state and citizen and as a result the UK has filed an “opt-out” protocol in respect of the Charter, Article 1 of which states that it

does not extend the ability of the Court of Justice of the European Union, or any court or tribunal of Poland or of the United Kingdom, to find that the laws, regulations or administrative provisions, practices or action of Poland or of the United Kingdom are inconsistent with the fundamental rights, freedoms and principles that it reaffirms (Protocol No 30 of 2007)" 'via Blog this'

Today's The Anniversary Of A Landmark Freedom Of The Press Case

Today's The Anniversary Of A Landmark Freedom Of The Press Case - RightsInfo: "The key consequence of the decision in Sunday Times v UK is that newspapers can publish stories on court cases where it is in the public interest for them to do so. On the other hand, it is also important that there should never be a ‘trial by newspaper’ or, now, trial by Google, Facebook or Twitter.

‘Trial by newspaper’ is the phrase used to describe the impact of television and media coverage on a person’s reputation before their trial in a court of law. It is important that this does not happen because it might look like the media coverage is able to affect the legal proceedings in some way, which could undermine the public’s confidence in the justice system.

It could also cause jury members or parties to legal proceedings to pre-judge the case, which potentially denies parties a fair trial." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Court of Appeal injuncts revelation of celebrity's extramarital threesome

Court of Appeal injuncts revelation of celebrity's extramarital threesome - Lexology: "The Court of Appeal has granted a privacy injunction (its first since 2011) to prevent the Sun on Sunday revealing details of a well-known entertainer’s extramarital threesome (PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 100)." 'via Blog this'

The real Whittingdale scandal: a cover up by the UK press

The real Whittingdale scandal: a cover up by the UK press | openDemocracy: "As Culture Secretary, with a brief that includes media policy, Whittingdale has a powerful influence over press regulation, the mooted privatisation of Channel 4 and above all the future finances of the BBC.

So far his key policy decisions have included:

 * Serial attacks on the BBC’s independence and influence

 * Backing for the Treasury’s assault on the public service broadcaster's finances

 * Unilaterally blocked legislation recommended by the Leveson Inquiry into the press, passed by all three major political parties in parliament in 2013 

* Personal support for the press industry’s new non-Leveson compliant regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, IPSO.

 Whittingdale, according to one Whitehall source, became “The culture secretary Rupert Murdoch dreamt of, and the cabinet insider those who fought Brian Leveson’s recommendations prayed they would get.” 

Keeping Whittingdale right where he is, rather than ousting him, perfectly suits those in Fleet Street who view Leveson as a commercial threat to business-as-usual." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 21 March 2016

Adam Johnson: Why putting people in the picture can be risky business

Adam Johnson: Why putting people in the picture can be risky business - "Judge Howard Riddle was quoted in Press Gazette as saying: "It is right and it is, indeed, clear that there are no facial features identifiable from the photo, the hair colour has been disguised, the hair length has been changed and the background to the photograph has been altered and, indeed, there have been other changes relating to, for example, clothing."

 Nevertheless, Dinsmore was found guilty of breaching the Act.

 The judge did accept mitigating factors existed.

Judge Riddle added: "Having heard from Mr Dinsmore, I am satisfied that he took - and the staff on the newspaper took - steps that they thought complied with the law."

 The judge said he was satisfied Dinsmore did not know he was committing an offence and ordered that he pay £1,300 costs and offer to pay £1,000 in compensation to the girl for any distress caused." 'via Blog this'

Hogan v. Gawker - unauthorised sex tapes and privacy

Law and Media Round Up – 21 March 2016 | Inforrm's Blog: "New York Times reported that the damages will probably be reduced, and that any wider effects on press freedoms were ‘likely to be limited.’ It said that ‘a jury decision in one lower court does not set a precedent.’ Several legal experts were quoted saying that the Gawker case would not have a huge impact because it was an unusual and specific case. Erwin Chemerinsky, a professor at University of California Irvine, said

“I think this case establishes a very limited proposition"'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Former Sun editor convicted over Adam Johnson victim picture

Former Sun editor convicted over Adam Johnson victim picture | UK news | The Guardian: "Dinsmore, who was promoted to chief operating officer of the paper’s publisher, News UK, in September 2015, was found guilty of breaching the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 following a trial on Monday.

Under the legislation, victims are granted lifelong anonymity and the press is prohibited from publishing any details that might lead to identification.

The judge ruled that, although the Sun had altered the photo to disguise the girl’s identity, it could have left her identifiable by people familiar with her Facebook profile." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Report urges end to 94 years of BBC self-regulation

Report urges end to 94 years of BBC self-regulation | Media | The Guardian: "“Not surprisingly, best practice requires regulator and regulatee to be in different legal entities,” he said. “Regulatory oversight should pass wholly to Ofcom, which is already the public service regulator for the UK’s broadcasting industry and has the ability to look at the BBC in the context of the market as a whole. Ofcom would be a strong regulator to match a strong BBC.”

Clementi also recommended that the BBC’s day-to-day operations be run by a unitary board, headed by a majority of non-executive directors." 'via Blog this'

Arlewin v Sweden, satellite TV defamation case - European Court of Human Rights

HUDOC - European Court of Human Rights: "Judgment Arlewin v. Sweden - jurisdiction in defamation proceedings arising out of transborder television programme
Press Release - Chamber Judgments   |   Published On 01/03/2016" 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 27 February 2016

CJEU rules on the meaning of 'audiovisual media service' New Media Online

CJEU rules on the meaning of 'audiovisual media service' - Tech Bytes Fieldfisher: "Where video content is included on a newspaper's website, they must be primarily linked and relevant to the text-based journalistic content in order to fall outside the principal purpose test and hence the AVMS Directive. It does not matter how the video content is organised (whether imbedded within articles or collated on a separate sub-domain) or whether the videos are part of a wider news service. This strikes us as a sensible approach, in that the AVMS Directive should not be capable of circumvention merely by the service architecture and the way content is presented.

 It is also interesting to compare the CJEU's judgment on the principal purpose test with an earlier decision of Ofcom in the Sun Video case. In that case, Ofcom found in favour of the Sun (as there was significant linking between the videos and the articles) and also laid out some examples of characteristics of a service which did meet the principal purpose test. These included the length of the content, whether the service was styled like a television channel and whether the videos were catalogued on a separate section. Interestingly, these examples don't chime well with the CJEU's recent judgment, so we might expect to see some recasting by Ofcom and any other EU regulators who have taken a similar view." 'via Blog this'

Friday, 26 February 2016

New Media Online GmbH v Bundeskommunikationssenat

CURIA - List of results: "Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 21 October 2015.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Verwaltungsgerichtshof - Austria.
Reference for a preliminary ruling - Directive 2010/13/EU - Concepts of ‘programme’ and ‘audiovisual media service’ - Determination of the principal purpose of an audiovisual media service - Comparability of the service to television broadcasting - Inclusion of short videos in a section of a newspaper’s website available on the Internet.
Case C-347/14."

Analysis here 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Justin Walford evidence to Leveson Inquiry

View Section: Justin Walford :: Leveson Inquiry :: SayIt:

"Mr Jay: In terms of your current position, you are currently the editorial legal counsel at News Group Newspaper Limited, which publishes the Sun and of course previously and formerly the News of the World, and you are effectively now the legal manager of the Sun; is that correct?

 Justin Walford: It's not strictly correct, because in fact once Tom Crone had left, we had a new legal director came in called Simon Toms and a new lawyer joined me, Ben Beabey, and we are technically at the same status. We both report to Simon Toms.

 Mr Jay
Thank you. You were and you still are a barrister. You were called to the bar in 1981. You practised at libel chambers and in 1985 you joined the Express and you moved on to NGN in 2005.

If it's not an unfair question to ask -- and tell me if it is -- is there a difference in culture, in general terms, between the Express Newspapers at the time you were there and then News International?" 'via Blog this'

Monday, 4 January 2016

Media law cases in 2015: a short survey of the libel, privacy and data protection cases

Media law cases in 2015: a short survey of the libel, privacy and data protection cases | Inforrm's Blog: "The four particularly noteworthy cases of the year were, in chronological order:

 Vidal-Hall v Google ([2015] EWCA Civ 311) in which the Court of Appeal disapplied section 13(2) of the Data Protection Act 1998 so that claims can now be made for distress damages in data protection, without proof of financial loss. This has opened the way for group actions in data protection – claims which are likely to be an important area of litigation in 2016.  This decision was the subject of a popular Inforrm case comment.  The decision is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court, due to be heard in October 2016.

OPO v Rhodes ([2015] UKSC 32) in which the Supreme Court discharged an interim injunction restraining the publication of a book.  The Court clarified the tort of intentionally inflicting mental suffering, gave a powerful reminder of the importance of freedom of expression, provided important guidance on the form of injunctive relief and abolished imputations of an intention by operation of a rule of law. This case was the subject of two of our most popular posts of the year by Dan Tench (on the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions).

Gulati v MGN([2015] EWHC 1482 (Ch)) – in which, in a detailed and comprehensive judgment (upheld by the Court of Appeal in December [2015] EWCA Civ 1291) Mann J awarded damages totalling £1.2 million were awarded to 8 victims of phone hacking.  We had posts on the first instance and Court of Appeal

Lachaux v Independent Print [2015] EWHC 2242 (QB)) – the most important decision so far on the “serious harm” requirement under section 1 of the Defamation Act 2015, rejecting the submission that the law had not been substantially changed but accepting proof of serious harm by inference. We had an Inforrm case comment on this decision.  An application for permission to appeal is presently pending before the Court of Appeal.


 There were seven judgments after full libel trials – all of them by judge alone.  Only one of those trials was against the mainstream media – and was won convincingly by newspaper. Overall the claimants were successful in 3 out of the 7 cases." 'via Blog this'