Monday, 18 March 2013

King's Blog - self-regulation

Today the "Leveson" Royal Charter is being debated in parliament (having been agreed by all the parties). You can read it here.

Despite assurances to the contrary it does apply to this blog (and probably yours, and the King's World and uncle Tom Cobley and all).  According to schedule 4 of the charter:
a) "Regulator" means an independent body formed by or on behalf of relevant publishers for the purpose of conducting regulatory activities in relation to their publications;
b) "relevant publisher" means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:
    i. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material,
    or ii. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine);
c) "broadcaster" means:
    i. the holder of a licence under the Broadcasting Act 1990 or 1996;
    ii. the British Broadcasting Corporation;
    or iii. Sianel Pedwar Cymru;
d) a person "publishes in the United Kingdom" if the publication takes place in the United Kingdom or is targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom;
e) "news-related material" means:
    i. news or information about current affairs;
    ii. opinion about matters relating to the news or current affairs;
    or iii. gossip about celebrities, other public figures or other persons in the news
This is, we are told, "opt in" legislation; no-one large or small is obliged to be regulated, that would involve politicians interfering with freedom of speech, wouldn't it?

The King's Blog will not be opting-in. Its "victims" will continue to have the same remedies as have always been available to those more famous "victims" that prompted the Leveson Inquiry in the first place. (Phone hacking was always illegal, don't be fooled)

Freedom of speech matters. Hugh Grant does not have a right to have his sordid public affairs not reported.

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