A High Court judge’s decision to ban dissemination of a photo of Kate Winslet’s husband, freely circulated on the web for over two years, has been branded as a ‘worrying precedent’ by free speech campaigners.
Justice Briggs made the decree after deciding that publication of the semi-naked image would breach the family’s privacy and lead to their children being bullied.
RocknRoll, the 34 year old nephew of Sir Richard Branson who changed his name from Edward Abel Smith, sought the injunction after the Sun newspaper attempted to print the image.
He won despite the offending image having been freely available on a friends Facebook page – which had no privacy settings, but have since been removed.
Niri Shan, head of media law at Taylor Wessing, said: “It is the first time that a Facebook page without any privacy settings has been subject of a successful injunction," he said. “It is surprising that the fact it had been available on a public page for more than two years and could be seen by his 1,500 friends did not carry more weight.
“It is a worrying precedent for the media because Facebook is a big source of information for them."