The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

McKennitt injunction in the Court of Appeal 

I blogged some time abo about Loreena McKennitt's successful bid in the UK High Courts to have an unflattering book pulled from shelves (Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Canadian folk singer opens the door to expanded privacy for celebrities in Europe ). Now the story is back in the news as she takes the battle to the Court of Appeal:

Canadian singer's privacy case back in London court Entertainment Entertainment News

Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:28 PM GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt's action to prevent details of her life appearing in a book by a former friend was challenged in court on Tuesday, the second case this week that could influence English privacy law.

She won a High Court ruling in London last year in which the judge prevented the disclosure of details of her private life in a book by Niema Ash called "Travels With Loreena McKennitt".

Ash and the book's publishers, Purple Inc Press, are seeking to overturn the ruling in the Court of Appeal, arguing that it struck a "triple whammy" against freedom of expression.

A successful appeal could pave the way for the book to go back on sale -- about 300 copies were sold before it was withdrawn from shelves.

On Monday, celebrity magazines OK! and Hello! took their protracted row over photographs of the 2000 wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones to the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament which is also England's highest court.

That case is also being closely watched for which side the lords favour -- the celebrities and OK! magazine, who had an exclusive deal for the photographs, or Hello! which published unauthorised "spoiler" images of the event.

Legal experts say protecting people's private lives is one of the areas of the law most affected by the introduction of human rights legislation six years ago.

David Price, lawyer for Ash and Purple, told the court that considerable uncertainty surrounded privacy laws in the country.

"There is a perception that the law relating to breach of confidence and misuse of private information is in a state of some uncertainty," he said. "This uncertainty is undesirable. It has a chilling effect on freedom of expression."

He said the original judgement in McKennitt's favour set a "low hurdle" on what qualified as private information and a difficult and restrictive test for justifying information that is private.

He said it blurred the distinction between defamation and privacy which was a "particular concern for book publishers".

The court ruled last year that McKennitt was entitled to an injunction restricting publication of passages of the book which fell into categories including personal relationships, emotional vulnerability and her feelings for her late fiancé who drowned.

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