Ruling on Prince
The Telegraph reports that the Prince of Wales faces cross examination in the witness box if he wants to prevent the publication of seven of his private journals by a tabloid newspaper. The Prince sought summary judgement on the ground that his copyright infringement and breach of confidence action against the Mail on Sunday was indefensible. Mr Justice Blackburne in court today disagreed, saying that there had to be a full trial. The same judge did however rule that the paper had no right to publish the other eighth of the prince's journals, known as The Handover Of Hong Kong or The Great Chinese Takeaway - it is now up to the Prince to claim damages and injunctive relief against further infringement of his copyright.
The judge refused the newspaper permission to appeal against his rulings over the Hong Kong journal, but agreed to suspend the effect of his judgment pending an application to the Court of Appeal for permission. The Mail on Sunday said:
"We believe our report and this legal action both raise very serious questions about the constitutional role of the heir to the throne and the freedom of the Press. It cannot be legitimate for the Prince to claim the right to engage in political controversy and at the same time deny the public the right to know that he is doing so. These issues will be heard not only in our appeal over the Hong Kong journal but also in the trial relating to the other seven journals which the judge has agreed we should retain."The IPKat says that, whatever their constitutional status and however eccentric their ideas may be, members of the Royal Family are entitled to as much intellectual property protection, and as much protection of the confidentiality of their thoughts, as any other person. Despite appearances to the contrary, they are not an amusing novelty act, created for the benefit of the popular press - they are real live human beings. Indeed, says Merpel, but the Prince could be more careful in his choice of hats.
Prince of Wailers sues
Aston Barrett, bassist in the late Bob Marley's backing group The Wailers, is suing for £60 million in unpaid royalties, also according to The Telegraph. He is suing Marley's widow Rita, maintaining that he entrusted they Marleys with the business side of things while he concentrated on the musical side.
The IPKat has a hunch that this claim will disappear down a series of paths such as lack of concrete written evidence, unreliability or non-availability of human evidence, vagueness and uncertainty of dealings and limitation rules. Meanwhile, the trial continues ...
Merpel says, Barrett could also be more careful in his choice of hats ...