I have read the article and all the responses with great interest because I too have also been personally affected and am still being affected by this issue.
And before anybody gives me this advice, I am happy with my family name and don't want to change it by deed poll, and I cannot afford to move out of my local area either.
My local newspaper run a small article on me when I was convicted and this was re-produced on-line.
Although my petty crime has a few months left until it is spent, I am still worried that anybody with access to a computer and the internet could just type in my full name, and see details of my crime pop up on their computer screen.
And despite being spent, my name will be on-line for the foreseeable future.
I thought this was really unfair, so I decided to send an e-mail to the newspaper and complain.
They read it, and sent a read me receipt, but I received no actual reply.
So I sent a proper letter.
I then wrote to the editor directly, and sent my letter via recorded post.
I received no reply.
I then wrote to the press complaints commission, and sent them the link to the on-line article, and a photocopy of the newspaper article.
The press complaints commission, after 3 months got back to me and said that the newspaper had not broken any rules.
I then re-wrote to my local newspaper editor, and decided to complain again.
After 1 e-mail and 3 letters I finally received a reply, however the editors reply sadly contained almost word for word, all the information that is written on the PCC website apart that is for his final ending statement.
The reply was as follows but reproduced here in a condensed form :
All members of the press have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards. The Code, which includes this preamble and the public interest exceptions below, sets the benchmark for those ethical standards, protecting both the rights of the individual and the public's right to know. It is the cornerstone of the system of self-regulation to which the industry has made a binding commitment.
It is essential that an agreed code be honoured not only to the letter but in the full spirit. It should not be interpreted so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it constitutes an unnecessary interference with freedom of expression or prevents publication in the public interest.
There may be exceptions to any other clauses where they can be demonstrated to be in the public interest.
1. The public interest includes, but is not confined to:
i) Detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety.
ii) Protecting public health and safety.
iii) Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation.
2. There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.
3. Whenever the public interest is invoked, the PCC will require editors to demonstrate fully that they reasonably believed that publication, or journalistic activity undertaken with a view to publication, would be in the public interest and how, and with whom, that was established at the time.
4. The PCC will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain, or will become so.
5. In cases involving children under 16, editors must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interest of the child.
Bearing all this in mind, and bringing into consideration the PCC editors codes of practice, I was told that there was " Public interest" in my crime, and that the newspaper has "freedom of expression", and this was "enshrined" in UK law.
In the old days, todays newspaper was tomorrows fish and chip wrapper or even toilet paper
but in this digital age, my name, street address and details of my crime and conviction, are laser etched onto the world wide web it now seems for eternity.
As long as we have freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the press using powers that are enshrined in law, what chance have we all of changing the situation ?.
I am a normal bloke in a normal street trying to get on with my life, and I have certainly not got thousands of pounds to take a large multi million pound newspaper company to court.
I welcome ANY information back on ALL legal issues regarding this forum posting.
There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.
Post Edited (Spiritus) : 24/05/2013 18:23:39 (GMT+1)