Media Law

Media law could be said to be a combination of types of work for clients in “media” businesses – e.g. publishers. There is a particular emphasis on:

  • Intellectual property;
  • Defamation;
  • Privacy; and
  • Contracts.

I have referred to Confidentiality elsewhere. Privacy is related to Confidentiality, particularly since the courts tried to confer the protection that a right of privacy would entail by means of describing it as protecting confidentiality. There is now emerging a new type of privacy right, which the courts are calling the right to prevent the improper disclosure of private information.

Recent examples include:

Campbell v MGN Ltd [2004] — Naomi Campbell ultimately succeeded in so far as her claim related to disclosure of the nature and frequency of her visits to Narcotics Anonymous meetings, although not in relation to the fact that she was addicted to drugs, contrary to claims that she had made publicly.

McKennitt v Ash [2008] — publication of a biography containing personal information not in the public domain was prevented.

However, in The Author of a Blog v Times Newspapers Ltd [2009], the author of a blog failed to get an injunction to prevent Times Newspapers disclosing his real name (he was a serving police officer, blogging about police matters and politics).

The court adopts a two-stage approach when addressing claims based upon the publication of allegedly private information in contravention of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life):

  1. did the claimant have a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the particular information in question? and, if so:
  2. is there is some countervailing public interest that would justify overriding that prima facie right?

The test is an objective one.

How I can help?

I have considerable experience and can help you with:

  • advice on Intellectual Property, Defamation  and Privacy; and
  • drafting and negotiation of media contracts.