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back to article BBC's images of murdered infant did not breach privacy, copyright

Copyright and privacy law do not prevent the BBC from publishing images of a murdered child, a Scottish criminal appeals court has ruled. The High Court of Justiciary ruled that the BBC could have access to six photographs of Declan Hainey in a "healthy and apparently happy" state in order to include the images in a report on …

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Mushroom

WTF?

How does this judegment NOT go directly against this one

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/25/Imitated_Image_Copyright_Case

Where the 'bang your head against a brick wall' icon when you need it?

<--- What I'd like to do to the Judges... (or at least bang their collective heads together)

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Different issue

different court, different country. Both sensible judgments, though.

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"How does this judegment NOT go directly against this one"

There isn't any similarity between the two cases. What's your point?

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Anonymous Coward

So...

By that logic, if a Paedophile is convicted of taking indecent photos of Children, then because they have been exhibited in court, then they are free to be displayed in Public Domain and do not breach privacy?

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You see the bit where the judge said "No questions of indecency or of shock to members of the public arise", that's where one of the many reasons the answer to that question is no has been explained

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"By that logic, if a Paedophile is convicted of taking indecent photos of Children, then because they have been exhibited in court, then they are free to be displayed in Public Domain and do not breach privacy?"

Not at all. Your logic is seriously flawed. This is a matter of copyright law, not criminal law. While copyright would not be breached by publishing the images you described, criminal law would clearly be broken. We have a system of common law, that is to say that the whole of the law applies and the judge considered the whole of the law. Just because one law isn't broken doesn't mean that all laws aren't broken.

Furthermore it is extremely unlikely that the jury would be shown the sort of images you describe.

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Fair dealing

Surely, when it comes to 'fair dealing', one reason for treating photographs differently to other things is that they tend to be reproduced whole, or at least as significant-sized excerpts, and are therefore meaningful infringements of various rights?

If a media organisation shows a clip from a film, or a snatch of music, that is just a little of the whole work, and they're not necessarily greatly trampling on anyone's rights - if they were planning to play the whole film or musical work, you'd expect them to pay for the right to do that.

And are we just talking about being able to override a rights-holder's objections while still paying the market rate or some multiple of it, or are we talking about media organisations taking stuff without paying to make a story 'better' while claiming a 'free expression' defence?

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Even if it isn't reproduced as a whole

I can see it now, they'll crop 20px from each edge and claim that they'd only used part of the image (which would technically be true)!

As it's an _exemption_ we're talking about using without paying and without the copyright holders permission.

Re the article, I think it was probably the right decision though it's unfortunate for the Grandmother.

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>>"As it's an _exemption_ we're talking about using without paying and without the copyright holders permission."

That does seem a bit of a rip-off, irrespective of whether the photo was 'published' in court.

Also maybe even counterproductive.

Assuming it was actually useful for the court proceedings that the photos were there, what happens if in a similar case, someone decides not to offer copies of pictures for use in a trial because they don't want some big corporation effectively stealing the right to use them to make a story 'better'?

If a trial hinges around an alleged killer supposedly obsessed by a film, which is played to the jury as part of the case, or a poem which is read to them in open court, does that film or poem cease to be copyright?

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Funnily enough I had the same thought - bet she's regretting providing them to the court. In reality though, I guess in that situation you'd only be interested in helping lock the bugger up at the time.

I'd hate to be in the Grandmothers position, I've no idea what the hell I'd do if I lost a case like this!

As far as I know, yes the poem/film would cease to be copyright when it came to media organisations wanting to use the item to report on the story. They couldn't then use it for something else, and non-media organisations wouldn't be able to use it anyway. Of course once it's been published you have no real control over what happens with it.

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>>"As far as I know, yes the poem/film would cease to be copyright when it came to media organisations wanting to use the item to report on the story. They couldn't then use it for something else, and non-media organisations wouldn't be able to use it anyway."

But presumably some kind of fair use provisions would apply for a work of any length which might not be hugely different to what provisions would apply if the work hadn't been provided as evidence. Surely someone couldn't broadcast the entire film and get away with it by wrapping it in a few minutes' mention of the trial?

It's also not obvious why the BBC actually needed (wanted) *all* the photos to illustrate a story when one or two would seem to have been perfectly adequate, and would have left the grandmother with more things which were kept private to her.

Seems a bit like trying to prove a point, while looking like a heartless greedy bully.

It's not as if the photos were at all necessary to illustrate why the trial took place, or why it came to the result it came to.

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>> "It's not as if the photos were at all necessary to illustrate why the trial took place, or why it came to the result it came to"

Quite, especially when you consider the BBC news site usually has 1 picture per story (with exceptions). 6 does seem like massive overkill

I suspect you're right, there probably is a threshold that relates to reasonable use. They certainly couldn't justify (for example) broadcasting all of the Batman movie when Mr Ledger died! I guess part of the issue with photos is that it takes all of a second to broadcast the whole thing, whereas a song/movie/poem needs longer.

I'd be interested to know (especially as you used a poem as an example) what the rules are. Whilst I doubt BBC News would read out an entire poem, could a tabloid reproduce it in full?

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Anonymous Coward

Does this mean that with Megaupload case we could publish all the infringing files, as it is publics intrest to know what they are? :)

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Anonymous Coward

15 years for murder is shite. Be out in half that probably! Should be 60 years if u ask me

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FAIL

The Register screwed up. Again.

You cannot be sentenced to "15 years" for murder. Murder carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Upon a guilty verdict, the judge, when imposing the sentence, will set a tariff (of which 15 years is relatively typical). The tariff is the *minimum* amount of time that a prisoner must serve before being eligible to apply for release on life licence. Life licence is *not* parole, and should not be mistaken for it. A prisoner released under life licence is still under the life sentence and may be returned to prison at any time for any reason (they don't have to reoffend, they certainly don't have to be convicted of any further offence) to serve the remainder of their sentence in prison. Note, this offender may *apply* for release after 15 years, but they will be subject to a determination as to whether they have reformed and whether they pose any further danger - they don't have to be released at all. Frankly, given that this column is provided by OUT-LAW.com, they should know better.

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Maybe '15-years-to-life' would be better, but I thought that most people would understand the situation, justifying the use of the shorthand description.

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Stop

They patently wouldn't

...as evinced by our friend above. And 15-life still does not accurately state the case. It's life, period, it's just that you may be allowed to live outside prison after a period equalling or exceeding your tariff. You still have the sentence hanging over you for the remainder of your life. People are used to the idea that if you receive a determinate sentence of a period of years (15, for example) you are eligible for release well before the end of that determinate period. Therefore if you tell someone "sentenced to 15 years", they will mentally add "...and out in 8" or something similar. People by contrast typically DON'T get what a life sentence actually entails, or what the tariff means. You want to talk to my wife about this, she lectures sentencing and hammering this sort of distinction home can be...challenging.

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So you're saying that most people in the UK fail to understand the UK murder sentence situation, to the point that they and need it explaining to them every time it's mentioned?

Or that most people who would read OUT-LAW and/or the Register need it constantly explaining to them?

>>"And 15-life still does not accurately state the case."

As a range of possible sentences for a crime ("You might get anything from 15 years up to a life sentence") it wouldn't accurately state the case.

However, as a description of a particular sentence, surely it would *fairly* accurately state the case - the person has a minimum jail term of 15 years before release is possible, but release doesn't mean the end of the sentence, and recall is possible depending on behaviour.

Any differences between UK licence and US parole seem rather secondary.

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david, it's very easily misunderstood

...especially when misreported as here. This article didn't so much not explain the sentence as completely mis-state it. And actually, most people in the UK DO misunderstand the sentencing situation with regard to murder.

I'm afraid your post implies a number of misunderstandings which I'll attempt to deal with. I assume that you are American and were assuming that I was referring to the American system of parole. I was not. We have parole here, too, for people sentenced to determinate periods (so one might be sentenced to 10 years and be paroled after 7, for instance). I am not familiar with the American parole system, save that I in a general sense understand it to involve early release from custody, dependent upon certain conditions and strictures being adhered to. To that extent, if I am correct it may be very similar to our system of parole. It is very distinct to release on life licence. That said, where I refer to parole, you may take it that I refer to parole in the UK.

If one is paroled, one is allowed to leave prison before the end of a determinate sentence, subject to certain conditions (not going to certain places, attending interviews with a parole officer, not associating with certain types of people and so forth). The parole will not exceed the original duration of your sentence, so if you are sentenced to 10, paroled after 7, those strictures would only apply for the remaining three years of your sentence - after 10 years, you are not on parole anymore. In order to be returned to prison for violating your parole, some further mischief or non-compliance with the terms of your parole must be demonstrated, upon proof of which, your parole may be revoked.

Under life licence you are allowed to leave prison at some point *after your tariff has been served* (so there's no "life, tariff of fifteen, release after eight" if you will). This release will likely have conditions imposed upon it, certainly BUT it is not necessary to demonstrate ANY specific cause to have a prisoner on life licence returned to prison. It may literally be done on a whim. Such a return to prison need *not* be predicated, therefore upon any specific behaviour or breach of conditions. Also, that power to return lasts for the duration of the prisoner's life - there is no expiry point, if you will; no "served fifteen, licence for another ten, then free". Consequently it is clearly distinct from parole. It's not merely a question of semantics; if it were, there wouldn't be the distinction in the first place. Does that help?

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>>"..And actually, most people in the UK DO misunderstand the sentencing situation with regard to murder."

So what difference is one *more* restatement likely to make, when the people who understand the system don't need to read it, and the majority who don't understand it will presumably almost all ignore it like they did all the previous times it has been explained one way or another?

>"I'm afraid your post implies a number of misunderstandings which I'll attempt to deal with. assume that you are American"

I'm not.

>>"Under life licence you are allowed to leave prison at some point *after your tariff has been served* (so there's no "life, tariff of fifteen, release after eight" if you will). This release will likely have conditions imposed upon it, certainly BUT it is not necessary to demonstrate ANY specific cause to have a prisoner on life licence returned to prison."

So in reality the difference between a UK 'life (tariff 15 years)' and US '15-to-life' lies in the precise difference between the UK post-release lifetime 'licence' and the US post-release lifetime 'parole' in terms of exactly what might get someone returned to custody?

And you think that *that* hugely matters when it comes to the majority of UK people who you claim have a chronic lack of understanding of rather more basic aspects of the UK life sentence system, who would likely not really care about exactly how arbitrarily a licence might potentially be managed.

Personally, if UK understanding really is as piss-poor as you say, I'd have thought that the chance of actually *increasing* misunderstanding overall by describing a UK life sentence in '15-to-life' terms would seem pretty small.

You seem to suggest that if everyone in the UK fully understood the US system, *and* thought the UK worked /precisely/ the same way, most of them would actually be rather less wrong than they currently are.

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Stop

Right...

...here we go again.

It's not a restatement since a correct statement has not been given here and is frequently not given elsewhere. Actually giving a factually correct statement would be a start.

Fair enough, you're not American. You misunderstand the nature and distinction of the sentences, however. The US sentence of <determinate period>-to-life means that you may serve a period from <determinate period> years to life, BUT once released and your parole completed you are done. With a life licence, you are NEVER done. Clear? You apparently demonstrate the chronic misunderstanding which you appear to doubt. Frankly, the US system is irrelevant; the issue is misreporting of the *UK* system. The only reason that the US system has arisen is because *you* raised it (hency my apparently incorrect assumption that you are American). If you're not American I have no idea why you would do that, and why you would continue to harp on it - the use of the word parole does not imply any association with the US system at all, since (as noted) we have parole here.

You seem determined to argue that it's OK to completely misreport a sentence, that it would be OK to completely misreport it in another way and that there would something terribly wrong with reporting it correctly. Frankly, that's just bizarre. How difficult would it be to say "<murderer> received a life sentence and will be imprisoned for at least fifteen years"? What is wrong with that?

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>>"The US sentence of <determinate period>-to-life means that you may serve a period from <determinate period> years to life, BUT once released and your parole completed you are done. With a life licence, you are NEVER done. Clear? "

Well, as far as I can see, in the US, someone released on parole from a life-with-parole or N-years-to-life sentence typically is on parole for life.

Which is what I said before.

>>"How difficult would it be to say "<murderer> received a life sentence and will be imprisoned for at least fifteen years"? What is wrong with that?"

Well, the longer something is, the more likely it will be abbreviated by people tired of writing it in full, especially if they expect the bulk of the people reading don't need to be explained to over and over.

If many people were as ignorant as you say, which may well be the case, I'm assuming you don't expect *them* to have much of a clue about the life licence system either.

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>>"You seem determined to argue that it's OK to completely misreport a sentence, that it would be OK to completely misreport it in another way and that there would something terribly wrong with reporting it correctly."

Please don't try to put words in my mouth.

Where did I say it would be 'terribly wrong' to report it in a long phrase, (or anything remotely like 'terribly wrong')?

In practice, there's a limit to how long a phrase can be before it is likely to be abbreviated, especially in places where people assume others know what is intended.

Given that, a way of abbreviating it in a way which seems fairly unlikely to meaningfully confuse many people who do know the situation or meaningfully mislead many people who don't seems at least worth trying, especially if it's rather better than the likeliest alternative abbreviation.

It seems to me that to call describing a sentence as 'N years to life' 'completely misreporting' is also at best an exaggeration, since it requires a particular set of assumptions to be made regarding post-release conditions which are certainly not inherent in the phrase, as suggested by the fact that the phrase is used elsewhere to describe a sentence which *does* require lifelong conditions.

On a more general note, given that one of the complaints I seem to remember hearing about UK sentencing seems to be of the form "X was given a sentence of 'life', but they could be out in 15 years", maybe it'd actually also be rather more honest if the sentence actually was described right from the beginning in the form of "15-to-life" rather than "I sentence you to Life *Imprisonment* (but you could be out in 15)"

It might be a life *sentence*, but it rarely is life *imprisonment* in reality.

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FAIL

Then you

see incorrectly. And you are still stating the sentence wrongly, and a sentence that you're importing from a completely different and irrelevant legal system at that.

If you "abbreviate" something, you shorten the manner in which something is stated, while retaining the sense of it. Mis-stating something to be something else is not "abbreviation", it is simply wrong.

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WTF?

Seriously?

"John Doe was sentenced to life and will serve a minimum of 15 years" is a long phrase in your book? That could be accommodated if Mr. Justice Hairywig was delivering his sentences by Twitter, and it's been used (or variants thereof) in BBC TV and radio reports. There is no excuse for not using it or something like it in an article. Not only is it completely accurate, but it clearly states the minimum time that John Doe will serve (which handily answers your last two paragraphs).

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>>"see incorrectly. And you are still stating the sentence wrongly, and a sentence that you're importing from a completely different and irrelevant legal system at that."

I guess you have a rather different interpretation of 'completely different' to me - to you, it seems to mean 'not identical down to the last detail of every word used to describe it'.

And what's wrong with using a short phrase which other people use elsewhere to mean pretty much the same thing, especially if the longer phrase you like is going to be prone to one or other person truncating it in a way which makes it much less accurate than the short phrase would be?

It's simply your opinion that a "N-to-life' description would be mis-stating, seemingly based on what is partly a misunderstanding of what it actually means elsewhere.

But maybe they're 'simply wrong' elsewhere as well, if they're not putting the same interpretation on the phrase that you have determined that it should have.

Still, it seems evident you've made your mind up once and for all on the matter, so whether 'N-to-life' people elsewhere do actually end up on lifelong parole when you reckon they don't is probably not important.

And despite being a stickler for semantics when it suits you, it's apparently OK for you to put words in my mouth and wildly exaggerate what I said, and then fail to correct yourself when it's pointed out..

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>>""John Doe was sentenced to life and will serve a minimum of 15 years" is a long phrase in your book?"

Well, the relevant point seems to be whether it's long enough in many people's books to result in a briefer description being used much of the time, or to the phrase being broken up in news articles to the point where it frequently takes some reading well beyond the mention of 'life' to find out what the tariff actually was even when you're explicitly looking for it.

Which would seem to be the case.

When it comes to an article on the law, it's a two-way thing - on the one hand, you could argue precision is vital, on the other that brevity (even inaccurate brevity) is acceptable as long as most expected readers won't be confused.

>>"Not only ["John Doe was sentenced to life and will serve a minimum of 15 years"] completely accurate, but it clearly states the minimum time that John Doe will serve (which handily answers your last two paragraphs).

Well, as a sentence is given as something like '"Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 15 years", someone who actually was a stickler for language could argue that that was a bit like saying 'life imprisonment, except it probably won't be'.

'15-years-to-life' would arguably be technically more accurate since it's not saying something and then immediately contradicting it.

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FAIL

Look

We're not going to see eye-to-eye on this. My point was that the original statement in the article was incorrect, and it was. It would have been simple to state it correctly; it could have been done concisely and should have been. You appear determined to either accept the original phrasing or to impose a phrasing referring to a sentence which *does not exist* in Britain, and thus is wholly inaccurate. Fine, you go ahead and do that. By all means insist that black is white and get run over on a zebra crossing too (apologies to DNA). What other jurisdictions, such as the US, do is *irrelevant*; the law in Britain is what is at issue. "What it actually means elsewhere" is meaningless in the context of the UK - there is no such sentence as "n-to-life", and it is misleading to suggest that there is. I would note that as wrong as the article is, they at least restrict themselves to the inappropriate application of a sentence which does exist in Britain.

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Joke

The only book in question

appears to be the one that you're writing on the fly to justify your assertions as to the requisite brevity of a statement. Thanks, but making a statement and effectively citing your own opinion as an authority for it doesn't really work very well...

15 years to life is not more accurate, since that sentence simply does not exist in Britain. By contrast, stating that someone is sentenced to life and is to serve a minimum period of X years in prison is accurate and consistent.

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>>"We're not going to see eye-to-eye on this."

No, we're not, since you're obviously keen to blatantly misrepresent what I said, make incorrect assumptions and stupid exaggerations, and then fail to show the slightest bit of acknowledgement when that's pointed out.

At best you're now saying little more than asserting that a phrase couldn't be used here by anyone to describe something here irrespective of whether if it would be more accurate than many of the existing current brief or journalistically mangled attempts at description because it isn't officially used here, which does seem like pretty weak reasoning.

I really can't see any point wasting more time on someone like you.

You're only likely to misrepresent me again.

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This post has been deleted by its author

I didn't

blatantly misrepresent ANYTHING that you said. Where I made an assumption (for instance, that you were American) I acknowledge the error.

You, by contrast, initially gave the wrong sentence, which plainly misled the OP as to the likely consequence of that sentence, refused to acknowledge the error, went off on a tangent about, of all the irrelevant nonsense, American sentences and parole systems, which have nothing to do with the case and then asserted that substituting a sentence which doesn't even exist in the UK would be better than a concise statement of the *actual* sentence that was given. And you accuse *me* of weak reasoning?

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You did misrepresent what I said.

You claimed I had said would be something 'terribly wrong' with reporting a sentence correctly.

I simply did not say that, or anything like that.

You failed to address that when I pointed it out.

Personally, I might well use the long-winded description myself much of the time, but that doesn't mean I'm going to throw condemnation at people who don't, especially if they're writing for an audience that is likely to be reasonably knowledgeable.

I merely acknowledged that many people will tend to compact things when writing, and even then, I suggested that if people were going to do that, there are possibly better ways of doing it, which is hardly giving it my total approval

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>>"You, by contrast, initially gave the wrong sentence, which plainly misled the OP as to the likely consequence of that sentence,"

I did no such thing.

The guy who got it wrong wasn't responding to me.

Please get your facts straight.

>>"refused to acknowledge the error, went off on a tangent about, of all the irrelevant nonsense, American sentences and parole systems, "

It wasn't my error to acknowledge.

And you were the one who started going on at length (and seemingly inaccurately) about differences between US and UK systems, in response to a single short sentence I wrote saying (partly for the benefit of any US readers) that differences between our countries seemed minimal in terms of parole.

Given I had suggested the 'N-to-life' usage was a potentially effective shorthand description of a UK sentence, I don''t see that one sentence as 'going off on a tangent' in any obvious way.

>>"asserted that substituting a sentence which doesn't even exist in the UK would be better than a concise statement of the *actual* sentence that was given."

I simply gave an opinion that a particular very compact form of words might be an improvement on what had actually been written in the article, an opinion which I still hold, especially as the compactness is of a strong kind that most journalists would find hard to break.

Where else those words may be used in only marginally relevant.

It was just an opinion, and stated as such, but one which you seem very keen on not merely disagreeing with, but declaring entirely wrong and completely misleading, whatever you had to do in the process.

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Wowsers...

"15 years for murder is shite. Be out in half that probably! Should be 60 years if u ask me" was not a comment on your article? Was not a comment upon your statement in that article that runs "Earlier this month the High Court in Glasgow sentenced Kimberley Hainey to 15 years in prison for the murder of her son."? It's just a coincidence that it appeared in the comments on that article? Hmmm.

The error was yours; you reported the wrong sentence in your article. It was your responsibility to correct it. You didn't. The OP was misled into assuming that the effect of that sentence would be similar to that of any other determinate sentence - that they would be sentenced to fifteen years and be out in half that, which is actually broadly in line with what *does* happen with determinate sentences in the UK. Absent any aggravating factors and assuming good behaviour, it is customary for a prisoner to serve about half to two thirds of their sentence before being eligible for release. Had you said that they had been sentenced to life and will serve a minimum of fifteen years, that misunderstanding could not have arisen.

As regards the US stuff, since YOU raised the comparison between US parole and UK life licence, I referred to that, explained that I was not familiar with it except in a very general sense and that where I referred to parole I would be referring to parole in the UK. You kept banging on about the US system and US sentences in subsequent posts.

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>>""15 years for murder is shite. Be out in half that probably! Should be 60 years if u ask me" was not a comment on your article?

No it wasn't,because it wasn't my fucking article.

>>"As regards the US stuff, since YOU raised the comparison between US parole and UK life licence,"

I wrote one short sentence, to which you responded with a long post telling me how terribly wrong I was.

Apparently, that's me going off at a tangent.

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OK, sorry

When you said "Maybe '15-years-to-life' would be better, but I thought that most people would understand the situation, justifying the use of the shorthand description.", that appeared to be a clear statement that *you* were using that "shorthand". t would seem difficult to read it any other way; but I'm happy to take you at your word.

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Looking back, I can see how my first post could be read that way, even though I'm not identified as a Reg writer.

I started off writing and avoided saying 'think' rather than 'thought' since thoght would have seemed like I was contradicting your assertion about most people misunderstanding things

I apologise for any misunderstanding that might have caused, and see that maybe that was responsible for some of the approach you seemed to take towards what I actually wrote.

It's a pity it didn't get brought up earlier, since it could have been cleared up earlier, but that you didn't mention it earlier suggests it was maybe not central to your argument regarding what I actually did write..

Neither would it explain you claiming I had said there was something Terribly Wrong with writing things out the long-winded way when I simply hadn't said that (and nor had the author).

You could be read as claiming that anything other than the accuracy you seek is completely misstating/incorrect/misleading when it reality, while being incorrect it's not entitrely incorrect, and while being potentially misleading to some, it's not likely to mislead everyone.

To say 'completely mis-stating' necessarily assumes there is such a thing as partially mis-stating, which to be honest, I think would be a far better description of what had been written.

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Gold badge

A right to publicity?

I suppose you could summarise the whole argument by saying that the murdered child has a right to publicity. Society shouldn't be content to sweep such tragic cases under the carpet, and humans are visual creatures, so it makes perfect sense that news reports (which are a desirable reminder of the child's fate) should be able to use method that pull us up short for a minute. If you don't want to see, don't click on the link.

Similarly, much war reporting is just too gruesome to be aired but those sitting comfortably at home shouldn't be *completely* insulated from the rather harsher realities that exist elsewhere.

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>>", so it makes perfect sense that news reports (which are a desirable reminder of the child's fate) should be able to use method that pull us up short for a minute. If you don't want to see, don't click on the link."

That would suggest the BBC should really be showing pictures of the child after death, to *really* pull us up short, as long as they're not *too* awful.

Maybe not the whole thing, you know, in case people are eating, but a shot of a broken leg or a burned arm should be *fine*.

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Gold badge

As far as I can see, that does happen occasionally but generally such images appear to be considered "too awful".

Also, the "healthy" picture is far more likely to make us think of similar people who we know, which is one of the main reasons why these things pull us up short. I don't have too many pictures of mutilated friends or relatives, but I can relate to a picture of a small child on a tricycle. I've known quite a few of those.

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Anonymous Coward

If I read this right...

It's unacceptable to publish a news photograph without permission when the copyright is owned by a rival news organisation, because that might hurt their bottom line. But when the copyright is owned by one of the plebs, there's no problem, because they don't count. Am I missing something?

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Bronze badge

Yes you are missing something. Something fairly major at that. The law states quite clearly that images published in a court of law as evidence may be used by the news media for the sole purposes of reporting that case.

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Paris Hilton

The Public Interest

Somehow I'm pretty sure if this case involved a significant other media empire or a rich public figure and it was an image belonging them being used in such a trial, the BBC wouldn't have such an easy time with the courts.

Also, I find the appeal to public interest to be an interesting one. If we ignore the actual ruling about copyright infringement and simply apply the principle to all court proceedings; then it's staggering how inconsistent the courts can be about public interest.

For example, the use of super-injunctions and the naming and shaming of those who use them: Public figures and corporations can advertise their good reputation, which in turn influences the public to back them in campaigns or buy products they promote. If that public figure or corp is using a super-injunction to hide their dirty secrets then I'd argue that it's of greater public expediency and urgency to know than some pictures of a dead child.

Presumably from this ruling, with the public interest in mind, El Reg is free to publish relevant photos used in this court case (as long as they don't seed them):

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/12/amp_bittorrent_injunction/

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