- Misuse of Meghan Markle’s private information but does she own copyright? (HRH The Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
TMT analysis: Following the publication of various media articles about Meghan Markle’s father and their relationship, Ms Markle wrote him a letter setting out her thoughts and feelings. After further articles were published about their relationship, Mr Markle took the letter to Associated Newspapers, which published extensive parts in two Mail Online articles. It also published comments from Mr Markle and an analysis of Ms Markle’s handwriting. She issued proceedings for misuse of her private information and infringement of copyright in the letter. On an application for summary judgment, Mr Warby held that Ms Markle had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the letter. Associated Newspapers had misused her private information and any defence to that claim was fanciful. Similarly, the letter was an original literary work and Associated Newspapers had reproduced substantial parts of it. The only issue to go forward to trial was whether Ms Markle owned the copyright in the letter or whether it was owned solely or jointly by the Crown.
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