Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 July 2012

On 21 March 2012 in Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd [2012] the Supreme Court unanimously upheld an appeal by Times Newspapers Ltd (TNL) and held that the newspaper had acted ‘responsibly’ in publishing an article about police corruption in 2006. This is the second occasion on which the country’s highest court has considered the defence of Reynolds qualified privilege1 as established by the House of Lords in Reynolds v Times Newspapers [2001], and the decision represents a modest shift in the law of defamation in favour of publishers.

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Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 June 2012

There is nothing new about the fact that how an employee behaves can have a serious impact on a company’s reputation; what has changed is that a company’s reputation can now be damaged via a variety of different social media sites as well as through traditional channels. As social networking interaction continues to grow, the price of this global phenomenon is becoming all too apparent. Around 14 million Britons are believed to regularly use social networking sites, with this figure expected to more than double over the next ten years.

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TMT | 01 May 2012

Following the recent High Court decision in Tamiz v Google Inc [2012], which closely followed the decision by HHJ Parkes QC in Davison v Habeeb [2011] just two months earlier involving the same defendant, you may have been mistaken for thinking that the law was for once attempting to move at the pace of technology. However, despite Mr Justice Eady stating in Tamiz that he was ‘striving to achieve consistency in the court’s decision making’, he appears to have come to a very different conclusion by holding that Google (as host of was not (rather than arguably could be) a publisher at common law, regardless of notification.

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Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 March 2012

Imagine your company’s employees are the target of a campaign of activist intimidation, or members of your board are being subjected to aggressive door-stepping by the press. What could you do to protect them? What legal recourse would the victim or your company have?

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Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 February 2012

Nestled in the background for the latter six months of a busy year for media law was Rio Ferdinand’s action against the Sunday Mirror over an article that was published in April 2010. While full privacy hearings are always notable for their rarity, the Ferdinand v MGN Ltd [2011] judgment is notable for the judge’s acceptance of arguments, long since disapproved of by the Court of Appeal, that where an individual may be considered by some to be a role model, that individual’s private life may be less deserving of protection than yours or mine. 
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TMT | 01 December 2011

Ever wondered why that obviously fake, self-righteous review of your company’s service, sits stubbornly underneath your carefully manicured LinkedIn page? Or why that obscure blog attacking your CEO sits firmly on page one of your company’s Google search? Welcome to the murky world of online reputation warfare.

Since the dawn of the online search engine, companies have fought tooth and nail, using weird and wonderful optimisation techniques, to get their company website to the top of search rankings when a prospective customer types in the name of their business sector. A whole industry was created around this art, which became a marketers buzz-term known as search engine optimisation (SEO). [Continue Reading]

TMT | 01 December 2011

While we’re all accustomed to accusations of ‘smear campaigns’ and underhand tactics being bandied about in the political arena, we are seeing more examples of both companies and private individuals becoming the victims of such campaigns. They are often well-organised, well-funded, multi-jurisdictional in reach and with the express aim of causing maximum damage to the target’s business. [Continue Reading]

Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 November 2011

The asset value of a strong brand is now widely recognised, not just by brand owners but by investors. Over the past decade, the top 100 brands, as evaluated by the world’s largest brand consultancy Interbrand, have, year on year, shown a marked lead in financial performance over both the MSCI world index and S&P 500. Strong brands give better returns over time with less volatility and less risk. Luxury brands in particular, which reinvest a far greater proportion of their revenues in creating and maintaining the brand experience, have largely remained buoyant or, in some cases, had gleaming upturns during the global economic crisis. The strongest brands have maintained momentum in the traditional markets of US and Europe, while attracting new revenue in the burgeoning markets of China, India, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East. [Continue Reading]

Technology, Media and Telecoms | 01 September 2011

Consumer engagement, particularly online, is key to creating and maintaining trust in a brand. Post-recession distrust means that brands have to carefully consider their reputation risk strategy. Developing a risk strategy to prevent a crisis is key to ensuring that the company, and those at its helm, are well prepared for any activity that could lead to media scrutiny. This article explores the broader themes of corporate and executive reputation protection and our specific recommendations for taking control of your company’s reputation. [Continue Reading]

TMT | 04 July 2011

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), drafted in the immediate wake of the Second World War as a bulwark against the resurgence of fascism and the spread of Stalinism, guarantees certain fundamental human rights. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which adjudicates on ECHR, offered first signatory states, then, in the mid-1970s, individual complainants, a higher appellate body for challenging judicial decisions of the highest national courts. [Continue Reading]