Mail on Sunday pays price for splashing Madonna’s wedding photos

A year on from punctuating Madonna’s divorce from Guy Ritchie by splashing a series of their wedding photos across its pages, the Mail on Sunday has been forced to make a substantial settlement – to be paid to Madge’s Malawi charity.

What the MoS did:
• Got hold of photos from Madonna’s wedding in 2000 at the exclusive Skibo Castle in Scotland.
• The pictures had previously never been released and were private.
• An interior designer Madonna had employed back in 2003 had copied a series of photos from a private photo album.
• A third party then offered these for sale to the MoS last year.
• The paper thought it would be a nice touch to publish them just after Madonna and Guy Ritchie announced their divorce.

Why this was not on:
• Madonna had always kept her wedding private and not sought to sell the wedding photos to OK Magazine (like Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas had done – but alas they subsequently got caught out by Hello Magazine)

• It was therefore a private event to which an expectation of privacy could attach.

• Copying photographs (no matter what they are of) is infringement of copyright

• Dealing in an infringing copy (as in buying the photographs) is also infringement

• Not offering Madonna advance notice is also a bit unkind – but had the paper done so she would have got an injunction and spoilt its fun.

Who else could she sue:
Her designer for breach of confidentiality and copyright infringement.
Any third party dealing in the infringing copy

BUT the MoS has more money and splashed the pictures so it gets to pay the price.

Sky News
MoS analyses divorce

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