A critical and liberal look at law and policy

RSS

Is it the Sun what lost it?

An alternative view on the Giggs injunction.

The Sun can publish the name of Ryan Giggs, and so can we. So can, it would appear, over 70,000 Twitter users. And we can all connect Mr Giggs to Imogen Thomas and the allegation of an affair.

As it stands, the Sun cannot do much more than that. The terms of the injunction, which is still in place, would appear to prohibit the Sun from publishing the details of the alleged relationship, rather than just the fact of its existence.

But it is the details which make the "kiss and tell" commercially worthwhile: the information for which the notorious chequebook is used. The Sun, previously in a position where it was at a disadvantage to Twitter users, is now on the same footing as any other Twitter user. However, it cannot print the account of the relationship it would like to because it is injuncted, and Twitter users cannot because they simply do not know. And the Sun is unlikely to share that information.

Some media lawyers are now wondering whether the Sun has won any significant victory after all. The internet and a foolish MP may well have assisted in removing the anonymity of this particular injunction; but it may be that the Sun has still not gained any commercial advantage, and they have been saddled with the high legal bills as well.

This may be media lawyers just being optimistic about a bad outcome; but one must wonder how often a tabloid will mount a similar exercise again if, as it now looks, they are ultimately still unable to commercialise their story.

 

David Allen Green is legal correspondent of New Statesman