Take 10 #15

Published on 06 May 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

Big Brother Watch and others v The United Kingdom

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that GCHQ's methods for bulk interception of online communications violated the right to privacy and that the regime for collection of data was unlawful. Read more

Arlene Foster v Christian Jessen

TV doctor Christian Jessen has been ordered to pay damages of £125,000 to Arlene Foster for posting a defamatory Tweet which made unfounded claims that the First Minister of Northern Ireland was having an extramarital affair. Read more 

Court held Defendants' addresses can be reported

A recent Court of Appeal judgment has been published in the case of Babita Rai v The Crown Court Sitting at Winchester, which upheld the High Court's ruling in February that affirmed the public interest in being able to report matters disclosed in open court proceedings, including the name and address of defendants. Read more 

American Express fined £90,000 

The ICO has fined American Express £90,000 for sending over 4 million spam emails to its UK customers in one year. Read more 

The Open Rights Group v The Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Open Rights Group and the3million (a grassroots organisation of EU citizens resident in the UK) have won a Court of Appeal challenge over an 'unlawful' exemption to data protection rules in immigration cases, arguing that the 'Immigration Exemption' denies people access to their personal records which means that people are prevented from challenging errors made by the Home Office. Read more 


Max Mosley

Max Mosley died on 23 May 2021. Mr Mosley attained a degree of publicity he may not have entirely welcomed following his privacy claim against News Group Newspapers in 2008 over its "F1 boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers" report, for which he received a then record sum of privacy damages. Read more 

Ofcom chair selection process to be rerun 

The ongoing process to recruit a new chair of Ofcom has been restarted by the Culture Secretary amidst reports that the former editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, who had previously been considered a favoured candidate for the role, had been rejected by an interview board. Read more 

The BBC to review its editorial policies 

The BBC has announced a review of its editorial policies and the rehiring of Martin Bashir following the Lord Dyson inquiry into the 1995 Panorama interview of Diana, Princess of Wales, which concluded that Bashir had used "deceitful behaviour" to secure the interview and, once the BBC were aware of Martin Bashir's behaviour, they then covered it up. Read more 

Associated Press is reviewing social media policies

The Associated Press (AP) have announced that they are reviewing their social media policies,  following the dismissal of a journalist for violating AP's social media rules by expressing pro-Palestinian views. Read more 

Sex Pistols in High Court battle

Steve Jones and Paul Cook, former members of the Sex Pistols, are suing former lead singer John Lydon over the use of the band's songs after Lydon objected to Sex Pistols' recordings being used in a television series called Pistol directed by Danny Boyle. Read more 

Facebook to target individual accounts to reduce distribution of repeat misinformation sharers 

Facebook has announced plans to minimise the spread of false or misleading content across the platform by burying a user's posts further down the News Feed if they have repeatedly shared content that has been investigated by one of Facebook's 'fact checkers'. Read more 

Quote of the fortnight:

"On Christmas Day 2019, in the response to the warning I had given to Dr Jessen, he tweeted 'Laugh Out Loud'.  I don't think he will be laughing too much today", Paul Tweed, solicitor for Arlene Foster, revelling in his client's successful defamation claim against Dr Christian Jessen