Archive for the ‘Law Court Censorship’ Category

Read more news.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Old BaileyA businessman fighting for the right to be forgotten has won a UK High Court action against Google.The unnamed businessman who won his case was convicted 10 years ago of conspiring to intercept communications. He spent six months in jail. He as ked Google to delete online details of his conviction from Google Search but his request was turned down.

The judge, Mr Justice Mark Warby, ruled in his favour on Friday.

But he rejected a separate but similar claim made by another businessman who had committed a more serious crime. The other businessman, who lost his case, was convicted more than 10 years ago of conspiring to account falsely. He spent four years in jail.

Google said it would accept the rulings.

We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest, it said in a statement:

We are pleased that the Court recognised our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgements they have made in this case.’

Explaining the decisions made on Friday, the judge said one of the men had continued to mislead the public while the other had shown remorse.

But how is Google the right organisation to arbitrate on matters of justice where it is required to examine the level of remorse shown by those requesting censorship?

Advertisements
Read more uk_internet_censors.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

count dankula pug video A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been convicted of committing a hate crime.Mark Meechan recorded his girlfriend’s pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as gas the Jews and Sieg Heil by raising its paw.

It is interesting to note that the British press carefully avoided informing readers of Meechan’s now well known Youtube name, Count Dankula.

The original clip had been viewed more than three million times on YouTube. It is still online on Youtube albeit in restricted mode where it is not included in searches and comments are not accepted.

Meechan went on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court where he denied any wrong doing. He insisted he made the video, which was posted in April 2016, to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29.

But Sheriff Derek O’Carroll found him guilty of a charge under the Communications Act that he posted a video on social media and YouTube which O’Carroll claimed to be grossly offensive because it was anti-semitic and racist in nature and was aggravated by religious prejudice.

Meechan will be sentenced on 23rd April but has hinted in social media that court officials are looking into some sort of home arrest option.

Comedian Ricky Gervais took to Twitter to comment on the case after the verdict. He tweeted:

A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed ‘grossly offensive’. If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive’, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.

Yorkshire MP Philip Davies has demanded a debate on freedom of speech. Speaking in the House of Commons, hesaid:

We guard our freedom of speech in this House very dearly indeed…but we don’t often allow our constituents the same freedoms. Can we have a debate about freedom of speech in this country – something this country has long held dear and is in danger of throwing away needlessly?

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the Commons, responded that there are limits to free speech:

I absolutely commend (Mr Davies) for raising this very important issue. We do of course fully support free speech …HOWEVER… there are limits to it and he will be aware there are laws around what you are allowed to say and I don’t know the circumstances of his specific point, but he may well wish to seek an adjournment debate to take this up directly with ministers.

Comment: Freedom of expression includes the right to offend

index logo See article from indexoncensorship.org

Index on Censorship condemns the decision by a Scottish court to convict a comedian of a hate crime for teaching his girlfriend’s dog a Nazi salute.

Mark Meechan, known as Count Dankula, was found guilty on Tuesday of being grossly offensive, under the UK’s Communications Act of 2003. Meechan could be sentenced with up to six months in prison and be required to pay a fine.

Index disagrees fundamentally with the ruling by the Scottish Sheriff Appeals Court. According to the Daily Record, Judge Derek O’Carroll ruled: The description of the video as humorous is no magic wand. This court has taken the freedom of expression into consideration. But the right to freedom of expression also comes with responsibility. Defending everyone’s right to free speech must include defending the rights of those who say things we find shocking or offensive

Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said: Numerous rulings by British and European courts have affirmed that freedom of expression includes the right to offend. Defending everyone’s right to free speech must include defending the rights of those who say things we find shocking or offensive. Otherwise the freedom is meaningless.

One of the most noted judgements is from a 1976 European Court of Human Rights case, Handyside v. United Kingdom, which found: Freedom of expression206is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population.

the britisher video Video Comment: Count Dankula has been found guilty

See video from YouTube by The Britisher

A powerful video response to another step in the decline of British free speech.

Read more news.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

impress 2016 logo The Daily Mail writes:

Max Mosley has launched a chilling new attack on Press freedom, with an extraordinary legal bid to scrub records of his notorious German-themed orgy from history.

The former Formula One boss also wants to restrict reporting on the £3.8million his family trust spends bankrolling the controversial Press regulator Impress.

He has taken legal action against a range of newspapers — the Daily Mail, The Times, The Sun and at least one other national newspaper — demanding they delete any references to his sadomasochistic sex party and never mention it again.

However, in a move that could have devastating consequences both for Press freedom and for historical records, Mr Mosley is now using data protection laws to try to force newspapers to erase any mention of it. He has also insisted that the newspapers stop making references to the fact he bankrolls Impress — the highly controversial, state-approved Press regulator.

Yesterday, MPs warned against data protection laws being used to trample Press freedoms. Conservative MP Bill Cash said:

The freedom of the Press is paramount and it would be perverse to allow historical records to be removed on the basis of data protection. If data protection can be used to wipe out historical records, then the consequences would be dramatic.

John Whittingdale, a Tory former Culture Secretary, said:

Data protection is an important principle for the protection of citizens. However, it must not be used to restrict the freedom of the Press.

In his action, the multimillionaire racing tycoon claimed that the Daily Mail’s owner, Associated Newspapers, had breached data protection principles in 34 articles published since 2013 — including many opinion pieces defending the freedom of the Press. These principles are designed to stop companies from excessive processing of people’s sensitive personal data or from holding on to people’s details for longer than necessary, and come with exemptions for journalism that is in the public interest.

Read more awcf.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Uk Supreme CourtTwo broadband providers, BT and EE, have gone to the Supreme Court in London to appeal two key aspects of an earlier ruling, which forced major UK ISPs to start blocking websites that were found to sell counterfeit goods.Previously major ISPs could only be forced, via a court order, to block websites if they were found to facilitate internet copyright infringement. But in 2014 the High Court extended this to include sites that sell counterfeit goods and thus abuse company trademarks.

The providers initially appealed this decision, not least by stating that Cartier and Montblanc (they raised the original case) had provided no evidence that their networks were being abused to infringe Trade Marks and that the UK Trade Mark Act did not include a provision for website blocking. Not to mention the risk that such a law could be applied in an overzealous way, eg requiring the blocking of eBay because of one seller.

The ISPs also noted that trademark infringing sites weren’t heavily used, and thus they felt as if it would not be proportionate for them to suffer the costs involved.

In April 2016 this case went to the Court of Appeal (London) and the ISPs lost and so the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Read more news.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Old BaileyGoogle is set for its first appearance in a London court over the so-called right to be forgotten in two cases that will test the boundaries between personal privacy and public interest.Two anonymous people, who describe themselves in court filings as businessmen, want the search engine to take down links to information about their old convictions.

One of the men had been found guilty of conspiracy to account falsely, and the other of conspiracy to intercept communications. Judge Matthew Nicklin said at a pre-trial hearing that hose convictions are old and are now covered by an English law — designed to rehabilitate offenders — that says they can effectively be ignored. With a few exceptions, they don’t have to be disclosed to potential employers.

A Google spokeswoman said:

We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are clearly in the public interest and will defend the public’s right to access lawful information.

The cases will start on February 27 and March 13.

Read more news.htm at MelonFarmers.co.uk

"Lady Chatterley's Lover" Trial: Regina Versus Penguin Books, Ltd. For a quarter of a century, from 1960 until 1985, Jeremy Hutchinson, Lord Hutchinson of Lullington, who has died aged 102, was the finest silk in practice at the criminal bar. He defended Lady Chatterley , Fanny Hill and Christine Keeler (Keeler in the flesh), the atom spy George Blake, and then Brian Roberts, the editor of the Daily Telegraph, and later the journalist Duncan Campbell in two cases that led to reform of the Official Secrets Act.He added a service to the arts by ending the cultural vandalism of Mary Whitehouse, whose attempt in 1982 to prosecute the National Theatre for staging Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain collapsed after his (and the Old Bailey’s) most remarkable cross-examination.

… see an excellent article from theguardian.com outlining some of Hutchinson major successes.

Read more UK News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

HM Courts Service A man who wore a bad taste T-shirt mocking Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster has been fined £795.

Paul Grange admitted a public order offence and told Worcester magistrates that he was ashamed of what he had done and had deservedly lost his home, job, friends and relationship.

Grange pleaded guilty to a charge of displaying abusive writing likely to cause distress. His T-shirt had the slogan: Hillsborough, God’s way of helping Rentokill.

Images of the shirt, which Grange wore in a pub beer garden in May, had been said to have caused ‘outrage’ on social media.