10.5.04

Kate Moss not OK! with holiday snaps

You'd have thought that their victory over Hello magazine in the Douglas-Zeta-Jones case would have alerted OK! to the perilous waters of privacy. Not so it would seem as they went ahead and published holiday snaps of Kate Moss on a beach with her baby girl.

Hot on the heels of fellow supermodel Naomi Campbell's courtroom success for invasion of her privacy, Moss is now armed with a powerful precedent with which to go knocking at OK!'s door.

Moss has instructed her lawyers Harbottle & Lewis to look into the matter after being outraged by the publication of these illicit pictures. Her cause for concern was exacerbated by the fact the photos included her daughter, whose privacy she closely guards.

Publishing pictures of children - which Clause 6(v) of the PCC code tells us should not be done because of their parents' celebrity status - is a no go area. Whether Kate Moss will complain to the PCC remains to be seen but MediaBeak for one thinks this unlikely as litigation or the threat thereof proves far more effective.

There has been ample debate about whether a beach is a place where you should enjoy a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' but a string of cases have confirmed that unless its a private beach you're quite literally exposed. Anna Ford found this out to her detriment when she complained to the PCC about pictures of her on the beach. Kate Beckinsale was also denied a remedy after the Mail published pictures of her with her partner and young daughter Lily in a park. Again, as the park was not private the PCC did not see fit to rule that protection was in order.

Back on the beach and Sarah Cox and Ewan McGregor decided to bypass the annoyance of an impotent PCC ruling and went straight to court. In both cases an injunction and damages were awarded.

The fact that the pictures were taken using longlens photography is hardly worth debating and as a clause in the PCC code is only observed in its breach. It matters not what technology is used to obtain the image but the fact the ensuing image is published that counts.

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