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 Presentation by David Banks to Durham University 23/2/11.

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Presentation on theme: " Presentation by David Banks to Durham University 23/2/11."— Presentation transcript:

1  Presentation by David Banks to Durham University 23/2/11

2  Journalist since 1988  Media law consultant to most national and regional newspapers, the BBC, charities and police forces  Co-author McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists  Adviser to Ministry of Justice on libel and opening the family courts

3 After all academics don’t sue do they?

4  Well, that’s just thinking out loud  Just a joke  Right?  Unless you joke about Robin Hood Airport

5  Not according to the Press Complaints Commission  Meet Sarah Baskerville, civil servant and victim of the Daily Mail

6  If all you do is link, are you ok?  Depends how much you mess about with the link  Meet Johanne Kaschke

7  Courtney Love Courtney Love

8  Libel  Contempt  Copyright  Privacy

9  Libel is a tort, a civil wrong  You are sued for damages, in the High Court  It is very expensive  Damages can reach £250,000  Costs can top £1m  Most people settle rather than face such a bill  The ‘chilling effect’

10  Publish something which damages reputation  Even if you only repeat someone else  Everyone who repeats is liable for the libel  No defence to say someone else said it  No defence to say everyone believes it  Court assumes claimant has good character  Court assumes all libels are untrue  You have to raise a defence

11  Exposes to hatred ridicule or contempt  Causes to be shunned or avoided  Lowers in the estimation of right-thinking people  Disparages in trade, office or profession

12  Truth, but you have to prove it  Absolute Privilege, for court reports  Qualified Privilege, for official matters, documents, debate required to be in public  Fair comment, for expressions of opinion  Innocent dissemination, for hosting

13  Claimant must show defamation, identification and publication  Case must be brought within one year  Claimant must be alive

14  Preserves judicial process  Don’t comment on ongoing proceedings where there is a jury – save your expertise for after the verdict  Unlimited fines for breach

15  Applies to any material produced with skill, work and originality  Copyright is automatic and doesn’t need to be claimed with a ©  Copyright lasts 70 years from year of the author’s death

16  For reporting current affairs  For review or criticism  For research or private study  Must be properly accredited where practicable

17  Licences to Facebook, Twitter etc.  You retain copyright in pics and words  It is not ‘public domain’ or creative commons  But it’s more likely to be copied

18  New areas of law after Human Rights Act  Courts use Confidentiality and Data Protection to give effect to privacy rights  Don’t reveal material given in confidence  Matters the courts protect

19  Contact details   @Dbanksy 

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