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By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
youngian wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:I think he's got a point about the vexatious claims, but surely it's not acceptable to have the old system where it was a waste of time complaining, vexatiously or otherwise. The best thing would be to join the body, and see how it goes. And of course the idea Pearson couldn't afford a few admin people is ridiculous.

I think the body would fairly quickly get the hang of chucking out silly claims. If there were high powered people trying to fuck the press over, they would be able to go to law if they thought they had a point. The tedious bloke who always writes to newspapers about eg climate change being a lie would just have to fuck off.
I would imagine Ofcom have to deal with vexatious complaints against the 'left wing' BBC all the time and as you say are easy to throw out (same with nutty obsessives making FOI claims).

Thinking aloud, this proposed body might also be helpful in reigning back the lengthy and costly libel circus.

For example the absurd proceedings bought by the Chiropractor's association that Simon Singh had to go through to defend an academically rigorous article criticising homeopathy mumbo jumbo nearly bancrupted him.

A body like this could just look at the case and throw it out which would weaken the hand of wealthy organisations if they proceded with a libel case.
Good comparison with broadcasting. Though the BBC's internal complaints is a bit shit, in my experience. I complained about Liam Fox's made up "£x bn black hole in the defence budget" being repeated as fact when C4 Fact Check couldn't account for half of it. They said "well, we needed a figure, so went for one that we'd heard before". Utter crap.

Hopefully there might be some sharpening up on that front as an offshoot from Leveson.

Wasn't Ofcom "as we know it" supposed to be history by now?
By satnav
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
The Red Arrow wrote:Et tu, Kevin? :roll:

Despots will take heart from the Three Stooges beating down the Press ... ts-1772523" onclick=";return false;
I usually have a lot of time for Kevin Maguire but on phone hacking he has been pretty poor. Sadly the Mirror became contaminated when Piers Morgan was editor and they clearly engaged in a fair amount of phone hacking so throughout the phone hacking scandal the Mirror has kept extremely quiet hoping that it's own guilty secrets wouldn't come out.

Andrew Pierce tried to make out that this country is now on a par with Iran when it comes to press censorship but he couldn't actually come up with any concrete examples of stories that would be suppressed as a result of the proposed new changes.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Cameron apparently told (or more likely, politely requested) that the proprietors get an agreement in place with Maria Miller in December. I wouldn't have thought Miller would have been too difficult. Seems like they didn't bother, just hoping it would all go away.

Clowns. Utter clowns. Not just the lies and all, the incompetence. These fools sit in judgement on others?
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
This has worn well. ... ng-moment/" onclick=";return false;
We argue in our leader in this week’s Spectator that Cameron is a man of principle, a friend of freedom and a pragmatist who will recognize that press regulation would not address the abuses of press freedom. He said today: ‘issue of principle, practicality and necessity. For the first time, we would have crossed the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land’.

The Commons, he rightly said, has been ‘a bulwark of democracy for centuries’ and should ‘think very carefully about crossing this line’. Any legislation that’s simple at first, he then said, would become more complex later on. And Leveson’s proposed ‘validation’ of independent press, Cameron said, would create a mechanism for political control that could be ratcheted up later.

This is a defining moment for the Prime Minister, invoking ancient liberties to give a calm, eloquent and robust defence of freedom of speech. It shows that he is, at heart, a classic English Tory who dislikes changing hundreds of years of precedent due to momentary panics. I hope those 42 pro-regulation Tory MPs were in the chamber listening to him: this is Cameron at his boldest and best.
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Littlejohn's brain wrote:hmm ... for-blogs/" onclick=";return false;
"Oh yeah, and while we're at it" policy making that is as unworkable as it is stupid. The only way to regulate the web is by pulling the plug. Ask China.
By The Weeping Angel
Membership Days Posts
So are PS right? because over at Liberal Conspiracy Sunny Hundal said it was nonsense ... -bloggers/" onclick=";return false;
By Inquisitor
Membership Days
An interesting article: ... on-system/" onclick=";return false;
At least one newspaper – The Guardian – has indicated that it has received legal advice that suggests that the new provision for exemplary damages could be susceptible to a legal challenge under article 10 of ECHR, and I strongly suspect that it is the creation of two separate types of exemplary damages that Garnier identifies here that may well have been identified as a possible breach of newspapers’ article 10 right.

This being the case, a successful legal challenge to this dual system for awarding exemplary damages would force Parliament to choose between two options for bringing this system into line with ECHR. It could either drop the parallel statutory provisions for exemplary damages against relevant publishers, which would entirely defeat the primary purpose of their introduction as an incentive for newspapers to sign up to the new regulator, or it could extend these provision to Garnier’s irrelevant publishers leaving anyone and everyone open to a claim for exemplary damages for the misuse of private information, breach of confidence and harassment.

And it may not even stop there, because when it comes to private and confidential information, and even harassment, the distinction these clauses make between news-related material and other published information is rather arbitrary. Why, for example, should a celebrity or public figure be allowed to claim exemplary damages over the publication of a private photograph in a newspaper but not a private citizen who has a similarly private photograph posted, without their permission, on Facebook, or perhaps more to the point, on a revenge porn website?

It is at least conceivable that the distinction between news-related material and other published material could be challenged under article 10; there is, after all, no such distinction in claims for defamation and malicious falsehood.

There is potential a huge can of worms lurking here, waiting to be opened should the press choose to take to the courts to challenge these clauses, one that could leave everyone who posts any kind of private or confidential information online, whether on a website, blog or social network, wide open to a claim for exemplary damages.


The clauses that are supposed to keep bloggers and specialist publications that ‘do news’ only an incidental basis do not appear to as clear cut as some politicians have been suggesting, a fact that Maria Miller more or less admitted to in Tuesday’s debate, although to be scrupulously fair here, Miller own understanding of the implications of these clause may not all is should be.

Where there is, however, cause for serious concern is in the extension of exemplary damages to torts involving misuse of private information, breach of confidence and harassment and the manner in which this has been undertaken, i.e. by creating a parallel system in statute that ostensibly targets only commercial publishers of news-related material alongside the existing common law system, which in the case of libel, defamation and malicious falsehood, covers all publishers.

The question here is whether or not this system would stand up in the face of legal challenge mounted by the press under article 10 of ECHR and how the government would respond were such a challenge to prove successful, as this could easily result in the extension of exemplary damages in these torts to all publishers, including bloggers and ordinary citizens publishing information on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

That’s where the real hand-grenade resides in these clause and it seems odd that the press has yet to point this out, particularly in light of the lengths to which newspapers are currently going in their efforts to recruit bloggers to serve as human shields for the own interests, most of which have nothing whatsoever to do with these clauses.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
In the meantime, The Telegraph have a man in the House of Lords who wants to persuade them that the agreement breaks human rights law. ... ment-lords" onclick=";return false;

What a joke the House of Lords is.
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Monday, 25 March 2013
The Opinion Poll Nobody’s Reporting
The public is probably getting less reliable information on this subject than any other being reported right now. But it can clearly see through the fog of falsehood and misinformation, which would suggest, once more, that the game may be up. ... rting.html" onclick=";return false;
By Inquisitor
Membership Days
The Red Arrow wrote:Monday, 25 March 2013
The Opinion Poll Nobody’s Reporting
The public is probably getting less reliable information on this subject than any other being reported right now. But it can clearly see through the fog of falsehood and misinformation, which would suggest, once more, that the game may be up. ... rting.html" onclick=";return false;
I'm surprised the Mail just didn't lie about the Yougov poll. They've done that plenty of times before by either ignoring questions that put quite a different spin on the one they focused on or using mathematics that simply don't work.
By Messianic Trees
Membership Days Posts
Victims of press intrusion deserve better than a return to the status quo
I remember when David Cameron claimed to be passionate about change in the press industry, when he talked a great deal about "the victims" and about ending the suffering of innocent people at the hands of unscrupulous newspapers.

I was one of those victims. I was a law-abiding retired teacher in Bristol who was all but accused of murder by most of the national press, and I was among those who, encouraged by the prime minister, told their stories to the Leveson inquiry.

Cameron met us privately and promised us – just as in public he promised parliament and the country – that he would ensure things changed.

Now he is breaking those promises. Instead of delivering change, his government is stealthily attempting to restore the status quo that existed before the Leveson inquiry.
Recently, I and other victims wrote to the prime minister asking him to keep his promises or at least meet us face to face. He wrote back declining to do either. Five days later he went to a party given by Rupert Murdoch.
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
Just had mail from Hacked Off...
Dear Friends,

Today we reached an important milestone. The press self-regulator IMPRESS has been formally recognised as meeting the criteria of independence and effectiveness as recommended by Lord Justice Leveson. This means that for the first time ever, an independent press self-regulator for UK newspapers exists.

Thank you for all of the campaigning you have done, whether it was signing our petition, writing to your MP or Tweeting. We wouldn’t be here without the campaigning of supporters like you, who have made this possible.

Victims of press abuse and free speech figures joined with us today to welcome the news and to call on the Government to now deliver the free speech and guaranteed access to justice measures which were promised.

Hacked Off Patron and libel-victim Christopher Jefferies said: "National titles must now sign up to IMPRESS if they want to show the public that anything has changed since the phone hacking scandal and Leveson Report. The recognition of a regulator was supposed to trigger both costs protection for newspapers who are signed up and guaranteed access to justice for victims of press abuse who need to sue a newspaper which is not signed up. The Government must therefore bring that measure into effect as they promised."

Investigative journalist, Nick Davies who broke the phone hacking scandal said: "No decent journalist wants their work regulated by Ipso - an organisation which is vulnerable to the influence of some very bad people from the worst newspapers in the UK. Impress is a decent alternative, independent of government and of newspapers. It tells you all you need to know about the continuing scandal of press misbehaviour in the UK that these notorious newspapers will not join a regulator which can be trusted to enforce the code of conduct which they themselves have written and claim to want to honour; and that in spite of overwhelming public and parliamentary support, government is too scared of those newspapers to trigger Section 40, which would put pressure on those newspapers to join such a regulator.”

We couldn’t have got this far without you. Please show your support for this big step forward, by re-tweeting us here and/or sharing our Facebook post here.

Now we have to campaign to see the Government bring into force section 40, which will give IMPRESS member publications the free speech protections they deserve. More on that later this week.

But for now, thank you.

Daisy and Evan
Joint Executive Directors, Hacked Off
PRESS RELEASE: Press abuse victims welcome first ever independent self-regulator; call on Government to deliver promised free speech protections ... otections/" onclick=";return false;

Be prepared for a shitstorm from the usual suspects. :D
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