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Circuit court as well to deny star chiropractor’s action against Katrin Lust

We represented Katrin Lust in connection with making an episode of the TV show Kuuuurija about the activities of Allan Gary Oolo.

The dispute was noteworthy for several reasons. The county court analysed a number of legally complicated matters on 42 pages, and the circuit court in turn confirmed and supplemented the reasoning of the county court. The dispute concerned whether and how Katrin Lust could allege that Allan Gary Oolo is not a “doctor” and how works created by other people, their images, and personal data can be used in the press,” Lust’s lawyers Maarja Pild and Karmen Turk commented on the action.

According to Turk, the courts, in brief, found that the press can have the right to use works protected by copyright without the author’s consent and without paying royalties. “The press has to be careful and attentive here to use only as much as necessary and, at the same time, as little as possible.”

“Secondly, the matter dealt with whether the press has the right to use personal data if the person has previously disclosed the data about themselves. The courts’ answer to this was affirmative. Again – the reporter always has to consider whether using personal data is necessary, whether the requirements arising from the code of ethics are being complied with, and that the subject is not caused excess harm,” the lawyers explained.

The courts also emphasised that the plaintiff cannot rely on what they have interpreted from the context, i.e. put words in the reporter’s mouth. A court action should deal with what has actually been published. “This inference of the courts is more important than it seems at first glance – in recent years, we have had several significant media disputes in Estonia where the dispute is not about the fence (or what the reporter actually said), so to speak, but rather about a hole in the fence (or what the plaintiff chooses to interpret from what was said). This hasn’t been the correct approach, which is why this court judgment is important for the Estonian press.”

The judgment has not entered into force yet.