Internet publishers are liable for privacy invasions in each country the material is accessible. The actor Oliver  Martinez brought a claim against the Sunday Mirror in a Court in France over his relationship with Kylie Minogue.

The case related to a “Personality Right”. There is no such thing as “Personality Rights” in UK law.  The landmark judgment states that Claimant’s can choose to launch an action in their country of residence, or in the country where they have their “Centre of Interest”. In France “Personality Rights” are protected under Article 9 of the French Civil Code. Use of your image or personal history has been held to be actionable under French law.

The most famous case was Francois Mitterrand’s  or Le Grande Secret in which his doctor published intimate details about his life and also details of his medical history which otherwise would have been clearly protected under the doctor patient relationship.

The ECG stated “In its judgment delivered today the Court holds that the placing online content on an internet website is to be distinguished between the regional distribution printed matter by reason of the fact it can be consulted infinitely by an indefinite number of internet users worldwide”.

The ECG went on to say that “A person could sue in the country where the victim had his centre of interest”.

Publishers can be held liable in the court of any member state for an article published on the internet regardless as to where the article is published.

The court when considering damages consider an article published on the internet much more damaging because of its reach.


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