Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Does the Sun Have a Legal Justification For Publishing the "Harry" Pictures?

Francis Shennan, who teaches media law at the Universities of Stirling and Strathclyde, points me to his post on the Harry/Sun situation, and the legal theory the paper might be relying upon to justify publication of the prince's naughty pix. Professor Shennan writes in part:


The Sun, without naming the case, bases its argument on a Press
Complaints Commission ruling in favour of a magazine which published pictures
widely seen online:
“The Commission felt that the images were so widely established  for it to be
untenable for the Commission to rule that it was wrong for the  magazine to use

This must refer to the complaint of a woman against Loaded
magazine two years ago. Four years earlier when she was only 15, she had
uploaded photographs of her bare breasts to her Bebo site. The pictures had been
taken from there and spread through the Internet.

Loaded published the pictures under the headline "Wanted! The
Epic Boobs girl!", saying she had the "best breasts on the block" and offering
readers a £500 reward for encouraging her to do a photo shoot, along with her

The  magazine argued that the photographs from were widely
available on the Internet, with 1.9m search matches for her.

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