A couple who were filmed from a police helicopter, having sex on their patio, should be regarded as victims of voyeurism and entitled to lifelong anonymity, warned the legal team prosecuting the officer who shot the footage. A local editor declined to publish screen grabs despite “lively debate” among colleagues. Read more
However, the judge in the case said it was for editors to decide whether they were actually victims of a sex offence, given they knew they were being filmed. Those who published would risk prosecution. The couple refused to give evidence, meaning they were not entitled to protection as witnesses in the case. Read more
Legal expert Cleland Thom says the Independent website was wrong to justify lifting facts from court copy on the basis that there is no copyright in news as long as it is re-written. Retaining just 11 consecutive words can be a breach. But it is legally unsafe for other reasons too, as well as raising ethical questions. Read more
The Mail Online agreed to take down a video showing a bullying attack on a schoolgirl after the mother of one of the alleged bullies said it breached her daughter’s right to privacy. The Editor’s Code section on photographing children was also considered. The decision avoided the need for an IPSO ruling. Read more.
The Sun escaped censure for a story on a police officer who advertised threesomes with his girlfriend while on paid sick leave. The officer claimed a reporter’s secret film breached his privacy but the Independent Press Standards Organisation agreed the story was justified. Read more in UK Press Gazette.
Media organisations had to make difficult ethical decisions about whether to publish potentially distressing images from the March 2017 attack on Parliament. Social media has changed the debate, with some members of the public not exercising restraint, says Press Gazette. Read more
The 23rd edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists reflects the fast-moving legal and regulatory landscape for the media, say its authors in a blog post. Juvenile anonymity in court cases, privacy and human trafficking are all areas with key changes that journalists must know about, they say – as well as journalists’ own rights. Read more
Long-running phone hacking investigations came to an end after four years in December 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service announced, after insufficient evidence in the latest crop of cases. Read more
The Times later reported that the second part of the Leveson Inquiry, into what happened at the News Of The World, was being quietly shelved because the ground had already been covered in criminal trials. Read more
Press Gazette reported that the Metropolitan Police had spent £40million investigating hacking (11 December 2015).