Lapdancer protects morals

TWO IMPORTANT principles of journalism look set to be strengthened by a route so unexpected that it could only occur in, er, journalism. One is: don't make quotes up. The other is: authors need bylines - and they need the right byline.

In the beginning, back in July, Janine Marshall gave an interview to the News of the World about the time several years ago when she was working as a lapdancer and encountered as a customer one Dannii Minogue - at the time the less-famous popular entertainer of her family, and now apparently considerably famous as a TV presenter, Your Honour. So far so good and nicely timed as publicity for Janine's current dance teaching enterprise.

But two weeks later Nuts magazine published what purported to be an interview with Janine, under the sub-heading "Lap dancer Janine tells Nuts how the X Factor judge got down and dirty with her".

She told Sarah Limbrick for the Press Gazette that the quotations in the story were largely lifted from News of the World, with other parts invented.

Janine is suing publisher IPC, to enforce her right under section 84 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 not to have words falsely attributed to her.

This "moral right" is the stronger flipside of the loophole-ridden right of authors (including photographers) to be credited (section 77).

Janine's solicitor, Graham Atkins, told the Freelance that he has previously handled a false attribution case over what was falsely claimed to be an exclusive interview with an actor - which was settled out of court for "decent damages and a lot of costs".

Though the Freelance wishes Janine all the best for a pain-free resolution, we can't help hankering after a case going all the way through the courts to establish proper precedents.

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