Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v The United Kingdom: ECHR 10 Mar 2009

The applicant alleged that the rule under United Kingdom law whereby each time material is downloaded from the Internet a new cause of action in libel proceedings accrued (‘the Internet publication rule’) constituted an unjustifiable and disproportionate restriction on its right to freedom of expression.
Held: The rule did engage the claimants right of free publication. It was however according to the rule of law, and prescribed by law and for a legitimate aim. The appellant had waited a year before qualifying the article on its own web-site with a note to say that the article was subject to a claim in defamation. The requirement to publish such a note was not a substantial interference, and the claim failed.

3002/03, [2009] ECHR 451, Times 11-Mar-2009, 23676/03, [2009] EMLR 14
European Convention on Human Rights 10, Limitation Act 1980 2 4A
Human Rights
CitedDuke of Brunswick v Harmer QBD 2-Nov-1849
On 19 September 1830 an article was published in the Weekly Dispatch. The limitation period for libel was six years. The article defamed the Duke of Brunswick. Seventeen years after its publication an agent of the Duke purchased a back number . .
CitedGregoire v GP Putnam’s Sons 1948
(New York Court of Appeals) A book had been placed on sale in 1941, but was still being reprinted and sold in 1946.
Held: The rule in Duke of Brunswick v Harmer was formulated ‘in an era which long antedated the modern process of mass . .
CitedGodfrey v Demon Internet Limited QBD 26-Mar-1999
An Internet Service Provider who was re-distributing Usenet postings it had received, to its users in general, remained a publisher at common law, even though he was not such within the definitions of the Act, and it was therefore liable in . .
CitedReynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others HL 28-Oct-1999
Fair Coment on Political Activities
The defendant newspaper had published articles wrongly accusing the claimant, the former Prime Minister of Ireland of duplicity. The paper now appealed, saying that it should have had available to it a defence of qualified privilege because of the . .
CitedObserver and Guardian v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Nov-1991
The newspapers challenged orders preventing their publication of extracts of the ‘Spycatcher’ book.
Held: The dangers inherent in prior restraints are such that they call for the most careful scrutiny on the part of the court. This is . .
CitedStubbings and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 22-Oct-1996
There was no human rights breach where the victims of sex abuse had been refused a right to sue for damages out of time. The question is whether and to what extent differences in otherwise similar situations justify a different treatment in law: . .
CitedTimpul Info-Magazin and Anghel v Moldova ECHR 27-Nov-2007
Particularly strong reasons must be provided for any measure limiting access to information which the public has the right to receive. . .
CitedFirth v State of New York 2-Jul-2002
(New York Court of Appeals) A report published at a press conference on 16 December 1996 was placed on the internet the same day. A claim was filed over a year later.
Held: The limitation period started when the report was first uploaded onto . .
CitedGuerra and Others v Italy ECHR 19-Feb-1998
(Grand Chamber) The applicants lived about 1km from a chemical factory which produced fertilizers and other chemicals and was classified as ‘high risk’ in criteria set out by Presidential Decree.
Held: Failure by a government to release to an . .
CitedFressoz and Roire v France ECHR 21-Jan-1999
Le Canard Enchaine published the salary of M Calvet, the chairman of Peugeot, (which was publicly available information) and also, by way of confirmation, photographs of the relevant part of his tax assessment, which was confidential and could not . .
CitedBladet Tromso and Stensaas v Norway ECHR 20-May-1999
A newspaper and its editor complained that their right to freedom of expression had been breached when they were found liable in defamation proceedings for statements in articles which they had published about the methods used by seal hunters in the . .

Cited by:
CitedMetropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD 16-Jul-2009
The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 2-Oct-2009
The defendant had published a story in its newspaper. At that time it attracted Reynolds qualified privilege. After the circumstances changed, the paper offered an updating item. That offer was rejected as inadequate.
Held: The qualified . .
CitedBudu v The British Broadcasting Corporation QBD 23-Mar-2010
The defendant sought to strike out the claimant’s action in defamation. It had reported that the police had withdrawn an employment offer to claimant after doubting his immigration status.
Held: The claims should be struck out. The articles . .
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd CA 13-Jul-2010
The claimant police officer complained of an article he said was defamatory in saying he was being investigated for allegations of accepting bribes. The article remained on the internet even after he was cleared. Each party appealed interim orders. . .
CitedSeckerson and Times Newspapers Ltd v The United Kingdom ECHR 24-Jan-2012
The first applicant had been chairman of a jury and had expressed his concerns about their behaviour to the second applicant who published them. They were prosecuted under the 1981 Act. They had said that no details of the deliberations had been . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Media, Defamation, Limitation

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.317946