Law and Media Round Up – 10 July 2017

10 07 2017

The Reuters Institute has released its worldwide Digital News Report 2017 [pdf].  The section on the UK shows a fall in the trust in the media following the Brexit referendum campaign from 51% to 43%. The survey showed that online has overtaken TV as the most popular source of news with 41% using social media to access news (the same as print). 

The Press Gazette had a report about the survey.

There have been a large number of comments on the Google v Equustek decision by the Canadian Supreme Court (see our post last week):

  • DLA Piper called the decision “landmark” and explored the backgrounds and global implications of the decision.
  • Truth on the Market blog called it a “good thing for freedom – even on the Internet.”
  • CanLII Connects suggested that the decision could have “far-reaching effects,” and called the Supreme Court of Canada’s reach “global” like “the Internet’s natural habitat.”
  • Lexology has explored what the decision will mean for tech companies.
  • McMillan and Security Gladiators also explored the global ramifications of the decision.

The Court of Protection has announced that it is the hold its hearings in public.  The Transparency Project has a post on how and why to live-tweet from the Court.

Internet and Social Media

Socially Aware has published Social Links, a round up of the most important stories in the world of social media this week.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The ICO’s Subject Access policy has been updated after court rulings on disproportionate effort.

A judge’s handwritten notes have been obtained to challenge a ruling for the first time after the Ministry of Justice has handed over confidential material providing an insight into the reasoning behind a judgment.

The ICO has ruled the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust failed to comply with the Data Protection Act when it provided patient details to Google DeepMind.  Paul Bernal has a post about the wider lessons of the case entitled “Listen to the Privacy Geeks …”

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has given a speech about promoting privacy and innovation within the law at the 30th annual conference of Privacy Laws and Business.

Digital rights advocacy group Access Now has urged the European Commission to push the U.S. for more surveillance reform through the upcoming EU-U.S. Privacy Shield review.

The personal information of three million people was left exposed after a security company found an unsecured database belonging to the WWE.

The Belgian Data Protection Authority (the ‘Privacy Commission‘) has published a recommendation on the records of processing activities (the ‘Recommendation’).

Deutsche Welle (DW) has said that German regulators cracking down on hate speech need to look beyond Twitter and Facebook.

The new Austrian Data Protection Act, which will implement the GDPR, has passed in the Austrian parliament.

An Irish parliamentary committee has heard that the Irish State appears to be on a “collision course” with European law over its handling of major projects involving personal data.

Surveillance

Reporters Without Borders has said that they are concerned that Government threats to crack down on encryption technology could make it harder for investigative journalists to keep their sources safe.

Privacy International has published a blog post entitled The Military-Industrial Complex’s Secret War for Our Data.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Media Blog has conducted a survey about podcast listening habits.

Britain’s independent watchdog on terrorism has found that media reports on terrorist attacks and the accompanying images fuel the killers’ propaganda.

The Press Association has won a €706,000 (£621,000) grant to run a news service with computers writing localised news stories.

IPSO

IPSO has urged journalists to check social media users’ privacy settings before taking photographs and other material from social media.

Trinity Mirror group editor Neil Benson has replaced Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre as the new chairman of the Editor’s Code of Practice Committee. Zelo Street has published a blog post on the subject entitled New Press Watchdog Head Isn’t.

IPSO has found that the Sun breached the Editors’ Code with two inaccurate stories about Facebook comments posted by a British Council employee about Prince George.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

There were no statements in open court last week.

Last week in the Courts

The trial in the case of case of Various Claimants v Mirror Group Newspapers did not take place on 5 July 2017, all but one of the cases having settled.  The remaining issues in the case of Eddie Jordan v MGN will be dealt with on 17 July 2017.

On 6 July 2017, Dingemans J handed down judgment in the case of Guise v Shah [2017] EWHC 1689 (QB).  The claimant was awarded £28,000 damages for libel and harassment.  There was a news report about the case on the 5RB website.

On 7 July 2017, the Court of Appeal (Master of the Rolls, Longmore and Sharp LJ) handed down judgment in the case of Brevan Howard Asset Management v Reuters [2017] EWCA Civ 950.  The appeal was dismissed.  There was a case report on the 5RB website.

On the same day, Warby J handed down judgment in the case of ABC (A Mother) v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire ([2017] EWHC 1650 (QB)).  The claim was dismissed.

Events

26 February 2018, “Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference,” Ottowa, Canada.

Please let us know if there are any media and law events which you would like us to list. 

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia

In an interview with Fairfax Media, New South Wales Chief Justice Tom Bathurst has warned of “worrying costs” in defamation cases.

The Victorian Court of Appeal has formally stated its concerns about criticisms made by three Australian government Ministers, published in the national daily newspaper The Australian.

A radio station in Newcastle has won damages in a defamation claim against a talkback caller who falsely alleged that Aaron Kearney, who was hosting 1233 ABC Newcastle’s breakfast at the time, had been convicted of drink driving three times in two years.

Amber Harrison has dropped her court battle and agreed to a permanent gag order preventing her from speaking about her affair with Seven West Media head Tim Worner, days before the case was scheduled to be heard in a Sydney court.

Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that a woman can file a privacy claim against Facebook in British Columbia and benefit from the Canadian right to privacy laws.

Gambia

The Gambian government have said that the reforms of the country’s media laws are in process. The government has started discussion with international stakeholders, including Article 19, the United Nations and the European Union.

Ireland

Ryanair has filed a defamation claim against Channel 4 and Blakeway Productions over a Dispatches programme entitled Secrets from the Cockpit which was aired in August 2013. The airline has asked the High Court in Dublin to order the broadcaster and production company to disclose their sources of information used in the documentary.

Malta

A court has declined Victoria Mayor Samuel Azzopardi’s request to the libel case filed against him by former Minister for Gozo Anton Refalo heard by a different magistrate.

New Zealand

A Dunedin councillor has settled for $50,000 after taking defamation action against Mayor Dave Cull.

United States

Donald Trump’s legal team wants a defamation claim that was filed against the President by a former contestant on reality show the Apprentice to be dismissed on the grounds that it is politically motivated.

The Associated Press has asked a judge to dismiss a libel claim filed against them by Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska on the grounds that the case is “intrusive, expensive and chilling” with no “legitimate claim of defamation”.

The legal team for the New York Times in their case against Sarah Palin have argued that the former governor of Alaska cannot establish malice in her defamation claim against the paper.

Media File has called the ‘pink slime’ case “the latest battle over the first amendment”, while MRC News Busters has criticised broadcast networks because they have “refused to cover the conclusion of a massive defamation case involving one of their own.”

Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, has filed a gag order to stop comedian John Oliver from discussing their defamation case and to stop HBO from rebroadcasting the June 18 episode.

The Baltimore City Circuit Court has vacated the initial Patel v. Chan order after it was found to be fake.

Rob Kardashian could face jail time and fines for posting illicit pictures of his ex Blac Chyna on Twitter, due to California’s revenge porn laws.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

We are not aware of any media law cases listed for the forthcoming week.

Judgments

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

Mionis v Democratic Press heard 27 October 2016 (Gloster, Sharp and Lindblom LJJ)

Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 29 and 30 November and 1 December 2016 (Macfarlane, Davis and Sharp LJJ).

Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers heard 12 December 2016 (HHJ Moloney QC).

PNM v Times Newspapers, heard 17 and 18 January 2017 (UK Supreme Court)

R (News Media Association) v Press Recognition Panel. 29 and 30 June 2017  (Rafferty LJ and Popplewell J).

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