Take 10 #10

Published on 22 January 2021

Welcome to RPC's fortnightly digest for media lawyers. This month's digest reports on key media developments and the latest cases.

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News items

True Vision Productions Ltd v The Information Commissioner

A fine imposed by the ICO on production company True Vision Productions Ltd has been reduced from £120,000 to £20,000 after an appeal by TVP to the First Tier Tribunal. Read more

Amazon withdraws from Parler 

Amazon Web Services has withdrawn its hosting services for the controversial website Parler, citing posts on the website in the lead up to the Capitol Hill riots which Amazon contends "clearly encourage and incite violence". By withdrawing its hosting service, the website has been shut down. Read more

Onwude v Dyer [2020] EWHC 3577 (QB)

HHJ Parkes QC has dismissed a defamation claim brought by a gynaecologist against a journalist, the British Medical Journal ('BMJ') and its editor in relation to its an article published on the BMJ website which reported a decision of a GMC disciplinary panel that the gynaecologist was guilty of misconduct. Read more 

Press Association obtains High Court injunction

The PA news agency has obtained an injunction preventing the Workers of England Union from including specific wording on press cards issued to citizen journalists. Read more 

Rachel Riley strikes out defence to libel claim

Mrs Justice Collins Rice struck out a Defendant blogger's truth defence to a defamation action brought by Rachel Riley over an article published on the blogger's website which accused Ms Riley of engaging in, supporting and encouraging a campaign of online abuse and harassment of a 16-year old girl on Twitter. Read more 

Reviews causing damage

In the case of Summerfield Browne Ltd v Waymouth, Master Cook ordered a client to pay £25,000 in damages to a law firm after the client made defamatory comments about the firm in a review posted on the Trustpilot website. Read more

Google News Initiative

A Covid-19 Vaccine Counter-Misinformation Fund has been launched by Google News Initiative. Read more 

Chatter

Sussex 

A summary judgment hearing took place on 19 and 20 January 2021 before Mr Justice Warby in the ongoing Duchess of Susses v ANL litigation. Read more 

Loveworld breached broadcasting rules

Ofcom has found Loveworld, a Christian satellite television channel, in breach of broadcasting rules by presenting harmful and inaccurate conspiracy theories about Covid-19. The channel aired a programme which contained various claims including the assertion that the pandemic was planned, and that the vaccination contains nanochips made to harm and control people. Read more 

TikTok privacy settings reviewed

The accounts of all TikTok users under the age of 16 will now be private by default. This means that only accounts which have been approved by the user will be able to view their videos. The platform has also placed controls on who can comment on videos posted by users aged between 13 and 15. Read more

YouTube suspends Trump

YouTube has suspended Donald Trump's channel for another week amid concerns he might have used the platform to encourage violence on Inauguration day. Read more 

Covid-19 news

IPSO has ruled that the Telegraph must publish a correction over a July 2020 article which claimed the common cold could provide "natural immunity" to Covid-19 and London was "probably approaching herd immunity".  Read more 

Quote of the fortnight:

"It is no part of the function of the Information Commissioner or of this tribunal to substitute their view of what programme should have been made, what evidence should have been gathered for it, or the methods used to obtain it. Nor is it part of their function to act as an arbiter of good taste, either in the content of the programme or the method of investigation, or as a censor." 

Jacobs J, decision of the First Tier Tribunal in True Vision Productions Ltd v The Information Commissioner, 12 January 2021