Sexy super MILF. Fairfax has been ordered to pay $10,001 in compensatory damages to private eye Frank Monte, after publishing a photo of his partner, Sharon Sargeant, “posed on a bed and semi naked from the waist up”.
The photo was published as part of a highly critical July 2013 article on Monte by investigative journalist Kate McClymont about how the “liar, cheat and unlicensed private investigator … is again using aliases to scam unsuspecting clients”. Monte wasn’t suing for defamation but for breach of copyright, as the photo The Sydney Morning Herald used to illustrate the article was taken by him for Sargeant’s professional escort service.
As the photo had been widely published online and was a promotional picture rather than one sold for direct profit, Fairfax argued it shouldn’t have to pay large damages. Monte on the other hand argued the photos were for private use only — a claim Judge Rolf Driver of the Federal Circuit Court disputed. However, he did accept that Sargeant had a right to control how the photos were used. “A person wishing to use her services can no doubt find information about them by searching on the internet. It is quite another thing to have a promotional photograph relating to an escort service published in the mass media,” he said in the judgment. For Fairfax, the use of the photo was intended to increase readership, and for Monte and Sargeant would have been highly embarrassing. Thus, the judge was inclined to award additional damages.
He settled on $10,001, not including costs, which will be decided at a later date.
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Meanwhile, Driver’s judgement notes that Sargeant describes herself on Twitter as a “sexy super MILF”. Readers unaware of the acronym can read its meaning here. It appears to have come up in court, with Driver writing that while the meaning of the acronym was known to him, “somewhat surprisingly, I had to explain to counsel for Mr Monte”. — Myriam Robin.
Foxtel not suffering … yet. The entry of Netflix into the Australian market has yet to dent Foxtel’s subscription base, as an estimated 171,000 households have added Netflix subscriptions alongside their existing Foxtel subscriptions, Roy Morgan data suggests. In fact, Roy Morgan believes the total number of Foxtel subscribers has slightly grown in the past six months. Roy Morgan’s analysis compares take-up of pay-TV services through a survey of 4000 Australians over 14 in January, and 5000 in July.
“So far, it appears Foxtel hasn’t been damaged by the arrival of Netflix”, says Tim Martin, general manager of media at Roy Morgan research. “It may turn out to be that the two are not direct competitors after all: Foxtel subscribers will view Netflix as an add-on provider, and non-subscribers were never going to get Foxtel anyway.”
Roy Morgan’s analysis also shows 8% of Australians now have access to Netflix, with 737,000 households subscribing to the service. — Myriam Robin
Honi Soit v SMH. Following investigation by The Australian’s Kylar Loussikian, who tweeted his findings yesterday, University of Sydney student rag Honi Soit has hit back at a page-2 report in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday that students were using impersonators to sit their exams for them.
As the SMH’s “exclusive” story detailed, the allegation was based on a report conducted by the university and emailed to students following several cheating scandals. That report said the number of impersonators sitting students’ exams was increasing worldwide. But Honi Soit writes, as Loussikan did, that the opening allegation was based on two incidents identified by the university over five years, which, Honi’s editors point out, isn’t very often at all.
“Indeed, The Sydney Morning Herald has itself downsized TWICE in SEVEN YEARS, perhaps indicating some sort of scandalous plan to vanish altogether — as it will in spirit — before the end of the decade,” students write on the rag’s website. — Myriam Robin
Sweet tidings. To coincide with the launch of the fifth season of Kitchen Cabinet, the ABC’s Annabel Crabb is releasing a cookbook. Special Delivery: Favourite Food to Make & Take, is full of the desserts featured on the show. It’s co-written with Wendy Sharpe, a recipe consultant on the show, and while, alas, it won’t feature the recipes politicians have cooked up, it does feature detailed instructions on how to transport all the recipes.
Front page of the day. Serena Williams poses for a revealing profile with NY Mag …