Paul Weller’s £10k privacy ruling upheld

Associated Newspapers have lost their challenge to an award of £10,000 (€14,267) privacy damages to three of singer Paul Weller’s children.

Paul Weller’s £10k privacy ruling upheld

The group claimed High Court judge Mr Justice Dingemans got it wrong in his application of the law and created what was, in effect, an “image right” for the first time. This would have far-reaching adverse effects on the freedom of the UK media if allowed to stand, the Court of Appeal heard last month.

The 57-year-old singer brought the case after the unobscured faces of daughter Dylan, 16, and 10-month-old twins John Paul and Bowie were “plastered” over the MailOnline website.

The court dismissed the appeal and refused Associated permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Giving the court’s ruling, Lord Dyson said Mr Justice Dingemans was right to hold that the children had a reasonable expectation in the privacy of the photos, and that their Article 8 rights which relate to respect for private and family life outweighed Associated’s right to freedom of expression.

The seven pictures appeared in October 2012 after a photographer followed Weller and his children on a shopping trip in Santa Monica, California, taking photos without their consent, despite being asked to stop.

Associated said they were innocuous and inoffensive images taken in public places, and that the Wellers had previously chosen to open up their private family life to public gaze. But the judge ruled there was a misuse of private information and a breach of the Data Protection Act, which merited an award of £5,000 to Dylan and £2,500 each to the twins.

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