Return of the Max

The IPKat must have been in mid-winter hibernation to have missed this story in the Times of 27 December.

Max Moseley, Formula One boss and sometime frequenter of sado-masochistic 'happenings' has launched a privacy action in Germany, after having won an action that he brought in the UK. Moseley is said to be seeking €1.5 million (£1.4 million) from Bild and, €350,000 from the news agency dpa and also is seeking damages against Die Zeit in connection with the same footage of Moseley in a compromising situation with uniformed ladies, and subsequent newspaper reports.

The case is expected to be particularly controversial because of the sensitivity surrounding Nazi associations in Germany.

The IPKat is puzzled. Although this will be of great interest to comparative privacy lawyers, wouldn't it have been in Mr Moseley's interests to let the whole thing fade away, rather than airing his dirty laundry in court a second time?
Return of the Max Return of the Max Reviewed by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Mr Mosley's lawyers have actually been quite busy in Germany for a quite some time. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung already reported in October 2008 that Mr Mosley's lawyer, Ms Irion, has obtained about 45 preliminary injunctions against German papers, media etc in this matter. It appears that his German legal team also takes the route via the criminal courts, which would lead us, inter alia, to German defamation law under the criminal law code and some other privacy related 'delicts'. I would say that the German courts will give Mr Mosely's right to privacy/general personality right priority ("intimate sphere" = human dignity = basic human right)over freedom of press (basic human right).

    I do not expect much of a surprise here, all obviously depending on the circumstances of the individual case and whether the journalists should have done more detailed research, etc. There is a lovely section in the German criminal law code (section 193, acting in justified interests), which they journalists may be able to invoke.

    Link (in German):

  2. According the Wikipedia entry on Mosley, he "went on to study law at Gray's Inn in London, specialising in patent and trademark law, and qualified as a barrister in 1964."


    Maybe he didn't find IP law sufficiently stimulating.

  3. Or maybe he didn't like the idea of getting a good whipping in court?

  4. Well, somebody who nevertheless spends so much of his time in court obviously likes to suffer...oh, wait.


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