By Catherine Wylie, PA
The Mail on Sunday has printed a statement on its front page acknowledging that Britain's Duchess of Sussex won her copyright claim against the newspaper’s publisher.
Meghan (40) sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), also the publisher of Mail Online, over five articles that reproduced parts of a “personal and private” letter to Thomas Markle (77) in August 2018.
The duchess won her case earlier this year when a UK High Court judge ruled in her favour without a full trial.
ANL brought an appeal against that decision and, at a three-day hearing in November, argued the case should go to a trial on Meghan’s claims against the publisher – including breach of privacy and copyright.
The publisher’s lawyers argued that new evidence from Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, suggested Meghan wrote the letter with the understanding that it could be leaked.
But the challenge was dismissed by Court of Appeal judges in a ruling earlier this month.
A statement along the bottom of the Mail on Sunday’s front page on St Stephen's Day says: “The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in The Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online – SEE PAGE 3”.
On page three, under the heading “The Duchess of Sussex”, it says: “Following a hearing on 19-20 January, 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May, 2021, the Court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement.
“The Court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online.
“Financial remedies have been agreed.”
In March, the publisher was ordered to print a statement on the front page of the Mail On Sunday and a notice on page three of the paper stating it “infringed her copyright” by publishing parts of the letter to Mr Markle.
Lord Justice Warby later ruled that the statement did not have to be published “in the same position, and be in the same size font, as the front-page trailer complained of”.
But the front-page statement about Meghan’s victory in her copyright claim was put on hold, to allow ANL time to seek permission to appeal.