Lowering the privacy bar for celebrities in the U.K., a British judge has forbidden a woman to sell "intimate photographs" that she had taken of an unnamed married TV star, ruling that the woman owed the man "a duty of confidence" and that publication of the photographs would be damaging to the health of the man and his family. The judge's ruling was issued contra mundum , meaning that it applies throughout the world, forever. In reporting on the ruling the London Daily Telegraph commented, "The ruling takes secrecy laws to a new level, marking a further advance in the Steps the courts are prepared to take to protect high-profile figures and to restrict the right to freedom of expression." The Sun commented editorially that such rulings represent "a growing menace to Britain's proud tradition of free speech -- and a creeping spread of draconian privacy laws even though none have passed by Parliament." Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover warned that "the judiciary is developing, often in secret, a new law of privacy which enables rich people (nearly always men) to determine what can be written -- and said -- about them." An article in the Mail about the judge's decision was headlined "TV Star's Shame Hushed Up For Ever [sic]."

21/04/2011