Lily Allen secures privacy & copyright win against Mail Online

Associated Newspapers has this week reached a High Court settlement to pay undisclosed damages and costs to Lily Allen over an article and photo that it published on its Mail Online website under the headline: "Pregnant Lily spends £3m on stunning Cotswold home".

Allen launched proceedings after the article appeared last September alleging invasion of privacy and copyright infringement. The basis of her claim was that while she is well known she is not a mega-celebrity to the extent that every area of her private life is 'fair game' for the media and that she should be entitled to some privacy over where she makes her home. The other aspect was that of copyright - Mail Online reproduced a picture of Allen's new home that they - it would appear - had obtained via the estate agents (or its website) through which Allen bought the property. Allen had contractually secured the rights to the photographs of the property meaning they could not be used or reproduced without her consent. So in using the photograph without consent Mail Online would have infringed copyright in the image.

From both a privacy and copyright point of view and law it is unlikely Mail Online could have shown sufficient public interest in its story or use of the image to go any distance to defending its actions or infringements.

Allen has been the focus of much media and paparazzi attention and even installed high tech surveillance equipment at considerable cost to keep them at bay - as reported earlier this year She has in the past also had to resort to harassment laws to prevent the paps from preying on her. This coincided with other actions over a story suggesting she'd had a rant about footballers wives - she certainly keeps her lawyers at Atkins Thomson busy.

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