Mind what you say on the Web!

Posted: 23rd November 2011

The European Court of Justice has upheld a claim by a French actor that information put on an English website (in this case the website of the Sunday Mirror) negatively affected his reputation in France.

The action was brought in France, where the privacy rules are much stricter than in the UK. Mirror Group Newspapers sought a ruling that the French court could not adjudicate on something published in English on an English website.
The Court ruled that an action can be brought in a person’s ‘centre of interests’ or where they reside, not just in the country in which the publisher resides or the item was published.
The practical effect of this is that where something is published which may have a negative impact on someone else’s reputation and they are connected with another European country, thought needs to be given to the law in that country as what may be fair comment in one jurisdiction may be defamatory in another.