I’ve blogged a few times about how non-U.S. injunctions are ignored in the U.S. Here’s another example: although U.K. High Court Justice David Eady issued an injunction barring unnamed parties X and Y in the U.K. from publishing nude photos of Tiger Woods — and from even revealing any information on the order itself — many news organizations based outside of the UK, such as the Toronto Star, have ignored the order. The injunction has been posted on TMZ. A letter from Woods’ law firm, Schilling, indicates that “this Order is not to be taken as an admission that any such photographs exist.”
Justice Eady has been accused by some in the U.K. of essentially creating privacy law in the U.K. and has been involved in other privacy rulings that deal with privacy issues concerning the rich and famous. It will be interesting to see how the court responds to the publication of the order itself and whether “X and Y” will be prosecuted to determine if they leaked the court order or otherwise contributed to the leaking of the order.
The Guardian, a U.K. publication, did not directly reveal the contents of the order in their publication as they are covered by the order barring publication in the U.K., but managed to work around the order by reporting:
US media are reporting that the high court has blocked the publication of nude photos of Woods. The golfer’s British lawyers, Schillings, deny that the nude photos exist and suggest that any images in circulation have been doctored.
Afua Hirsch of the Guardian also reports on the discrepancy between U.K. and U.S. law:
The move, described by lawyers as “unbelievable”, prevents the media from publishing material that the US media would be able to publish, prompting further anger about the ability of foreign litigants to take advantage of repressive English laws.
“This injunction would never have been granted in America”, the media lawyer Mark Stephens said. “It’s unbelievable that Tiger Woods’ lawyers have been able to injunct the UK press from reporting information here”.
But there were concerns today that the ability of Americans to invoke the UK’s privacy law makes a mockery of the English courts, as one US website ran a headline “Don’t look for nude photos of Woods in Britain”. Woods, would not have been able to take such action in the US, lawyers said.