'Associated Newspapers vs Paul Weller' may not go down in history as one of the most shocking examples of invasion of privacy by the UK media but it is surely a contender for most fatuous.
Lawyers acting for the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail Online lost their appeal on Friday against a High Court decision to award Paul and Hannah Weller £10,000, on behalf of their children. And what was this story the Mail felt so strongly about that it simply had to publish and defend through the courts and a subsequent appeal, no doubt at considerable cost?
The BBC reports:
"Seven paparazzi photos were published in October 2012 under the headline "A family day out: Paul Weller takes wife Hannah and his twin sons out for a spot of shopping in the hot LA sun... A photographer had followed the family... and took photographs without their consent despite being asked to stop."
That's right, it was a 'man goes shopping with his family' story (unless it was the added revelation that California can get hot sometimes that really tipped this over the news threshold).
The Wellers were understandably angry, especially as the article included unpixelated, unobscured photos of their young children who were 16-years-old and 10-month-old twins at the time (Weller's 16-year-old daughter was wrongly identified as Weller's wife in that original headline). A right to privacy for them and their children is something they obviously take very seriously and Hannah Weller is also now campaigning to safeguard the privacy of other children.
Associated Newspapers has claimed the case could have "adverse effects on the freedom of the UK media" (to report on celebrities' kids on shopping trips?). But rather than bemoaning the outcome of this particular case they would perhaps do well to have another read of their "man goes shopping with his kids" scoop and consider the extent to which they are using or abusing that important freedom.