August 6, 2017

Legal dangers of social media pile-ons

A Texas jury has awarded over a million dollars to a wedding photographer whose client posted defamatory comments on social media. The problem? The photographer’s refusal to hand over the wedding album unless the client paid extra. The bride claimed that the photographer was holding the pictures “hostage”. In the ensuing […]
November 28, 2016

Interviewing victims of crime for publication

The true crime genre is currently popular both locally and internationally. While some publications, such as the US podcast “Serial” and the Netflix series “Making a Murderer“, focus on the accused, others focus on the victim’s story. Understandably, not all victims of crime or their families wish to share their […]
October 22, 2016

Publication risk – ten questions to ask

I’m often confronted with disbelief when I explain the legal complexities of publishing content in Australia. Here’s a simple guide: if you answer “yes” to any of these ten questions, your content probably needs legal review. 1. Does the publication include adverse comments about anyone? A defamatory publication is one […]
June 10, 2016

Journalist sources and defamation law reform

I’d not be the first to state the obvious – that our defamation laws are punishingly expensive, complex and slow.  This is not a new thing. But given the disruption journalism is now undergoing, these laws need quite urgent reform. In this piece for Inside Story I’m citing as evidence the […]
February 29, 2016

Donald Trump wants US libel laws to be more like ours

Donald Trump recently said that if elected President he would “open up our libel laws so when [newspapers] write purposely negative stories…we can sue them and make lots of money”. That sounds eerily familiar to observers here in Australia, where there is a long history of politicians suing or threatening […]
February 18, 2016

Promoting your content: ten legal tips

These days a promotional campaign needs to reach audiences through social media as well as traditional publicity channels. But promoting your content through social media can increase legal risks. A well known example is the case of Hockey v Fairfax, where Joe Hockey failed to win defamation damages from Fairfax over an […]