Duchess of Sussex wins remainder of claim against the Mail over letter to her father

·2-min read
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo

The Duchess of Sussex has won the final part of her copyright claim against the Mail on Sunday over a personal letter written to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

The former royal had drafted the letter on her phone before sharing it with Prince Harry, and Kensington Palace senior aide, Jason Knauf. She then wrote it out by hand and sent it to her father in LA, reports the BBC.

The publication had suggested that Meghan may not have been the sole copyright owner, arguing that Knauf was a co-author of the letter, meaning its copyright belonged to the Crown, rather than her. Knauf "emphatically" denied the allegations, contributing only ideas, as opposed to actual wording. In a remote hearing today, 5 May, a judge ruled in the duchess' favour.

Meghan sued Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), the company that owns the Daily Mail, the MailOnline and the Mail on Sunday, in August 2018, after it reproduced parts of a private letter between the duchess and her father. She claimed that the five articles, published in print and online in February 2019, misused her private information, infringed her copyright and breached the Data Protection Act.

In February, she won her High Court battle against the tabloid. Justice Warby made two rulings on the case for copyright infringement, finding that the letter did indeed breach the duchess' copyright. Meghan, he said, had a "reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private" and that the actions of the newspaper were therefore "unlawful".

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