Sunday, July 27, 2008

The hollow ring of Mosley's win

Henry Porter thinks Max Mosley's win in court on privacy grounds against the tabloids has a hollow ring in the face of the government construction of a surveillance society.

Again for sensible commentary avoid the hand wringing of the mass media and read Lilian Edwards' thoughts over at Pangloss.

"So what do we think of the Mosley case? In many ways this is absolutely nothing new. We have had a long string of cases which support the idea that press intrusion into the firmly private lives of celebrities will be regarded as a serious breach of privacy. This wasn't even a difficult case: the events took place in private behind closed and locked doors, not in the more contested world of the outdoors (cf Rowling); the case wasn't contaminated as in Douglas by the existence of a thresatened revenue stream. It wasn't a contested kiss and tell dispute as in Ash where opposing rights of freedom of expression and privacy clash. This really was a pure privacy and reputation case, about as intimately private a matter as you can get, an exotic sex life, were the incentive of the newspaper was to sell lots of newspapers. It doesn't seem surprising therefore that the damages award was so high, or that the judge was so critical of the paper involved."

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