Following the Mail on Sunday’s failed appeal in its court case with the Duchess of Sussex, Mark Kramer, copyright specialist at European intellectual property law firm, Potter Clarkson, said:
This Court of Appeal ruling underlines the strength of copyright protection in the UK, which proved a worthwhile addition to an otherwise robust misuse of private information claim. In publishing lengthy verbatim extracts of the Duchess of Sussex’s letter to her father, the Mail on Sunday infringed her copyright. If the Mail on Sunday had limited itself to reporting on the thrust of the letter and the points it made, it would have avoided a claim for copyright infringement entirely.
“Whilst having a personal letter published in a national newspaper won’t happen to most people, it does provide a reminder to public figures that they may be able to rely on copyright in addition to privacy law when challenging the actions of the media. However, this victory has come at a price for the Duchess of Sussex with a costly legal battle and widespread media coverage of the trial, and therefore the letter, itself.”