Olswang comments on impact of Leveson report on online publishers

30 Nov, 2012

Olswang published today a summary of the Leveson report’s key recommendations and what impact they will have for online publishers. The report is available at http://bit.ly/V9LiCW and http://bit.ly/Sup7Ig .


Whilst not the primary focus of specific recommendations, Lord Justice Leveson recognised the important role played by online publishers and explicitly states in his report that that all news and periodical publishers will be encouraged to join the new body, including news publishers online. This applies to both traditional publishers with an online presence, and online-only publications.


Ashley Hurst (pictured), Partner at Olswang comments: “If the attraction of a kite mark and other benefits of membership proves to be a draw for online news providers, they may be encouraged by Leveson LJ’s recommendation that membership be open to all with modular fees and systems of governance for different types of providers.”


Hurst continues: “Whether the incentives will be enough to entice any online news providers other than the Huffington Post to join remains to be seen. With recommended fines of up to £1m of turnover, online operators may choose to stay well clear for a while and let the newspapers fight it out.”


Hurst concludes: “Of course before then, we can look forward to many debates in the media and in Parliament. David Cameron has already sparked a frenzied debate by expressing doubt in Parliament about the statutory underpinning for the new regulator and so it may be some time before its composition and scope become clear.”

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