Ex-Formula One Boss To Expand Legal Action Over Access To Pictures Of His Sadomasochistic Orgy

220px-Blame_Mosley_bannerWe previously discussed the case of Max Mosley, the ex-Formula One boss, who became infamous on the Internet after the posting of a video showing him in a sadomasochistic orgy. The story broke in the now defunct News of the World tabloid and reported the scene as a five-hour orgy with five prostitutes dressed as Nazi guards — a particularly embarrassing performance given the fact that Mosley’s father, Oswald, was the pre-war leader of Britain’s fascist “blackshirts” and even invited Adolf Hitler to his wedding. Mosley, 73, prevailed in a court action in showing that the party did not have a Nazi theme and that his privacy was violated. Now he is continuing what can only be described as a scorched Earth campaign against everyone who has carried the photos and announced a new lawsuit against Google. In a move that raises concerns over the censorship of the Internet, German court ordered the Internet giant to block photos of him at his sadomasochistic orgy.

Mosley has secured rulings in his favor in Germany and France which has starkly different approaches to free speech and media rights on such issues. He is now planning to file in California and Britain. The latter is considered a favorable jurisdiction for such restraints but California will test these claims in the most speech-protective jurisdiction. Ironically, Mosley’s global campaign has only further spread word of the orgy but he is on a tear that seems only to be growing.

Mosley has objected that Google is “arrogant” and “doing whatever it wants.” He is further quoted as saying that “its ‘management is simply immature'”. It is a bit of a neck snapping act of transference for the guy caught in the sadomasochistic orgy with the bevy of prostitutes.

Mosley is upset that Google’s search engines “auto-complete” function that suggests strings such as “Mosley prostitute video” when his name is entered. That is hardly going to be helped by his global filing of lawsuit over the Mosely prostitute video.

The courts hammering Google has dismissed that fact that Mosley is a public figure and Google cannot stop people from continually reposting the video. The privacy governing an orgy with a group of prostitutes presents an interesting issue under American law. Under the Second Restatement, citizens may sue for violations of the intrusion upon seclusion:

652B Intrusion Upon Seclusion
One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

Notably, unlike other privacy torts like Publication of Embarrassing Private Facts, intrusion upon seclusion does not include exceptions for newsworthy stories. Is an orgy with a group of prostitutes a “private affair or concern.” The answer is probably yes, particularly in countries where such sex for hire is decriminalized.

He could add a defamation claim but it would seem only to involve the description of the orgy as Nazi themed, which he denies. That is not much of a difference for the purposes of defamation since a sadomasochistic orgy is pretty damaging to most reputations.

The Hamburg court ordered the company to prevent any pictures, links or even thumbnails images from the orgy to show up on the google.de site. Google’s attorney Daphne Keller objects that “while about a single person and particular content, sets a disturbing precedent that could require Internet services to monitor every bit of content they transmit or store for their users.”

The implications of the case are enormous for Internet users and free speech. There is a full court press on Internet speech from countries trying to block access to new laws and rulings imposing liability for content. Mosley’s little orgy could prove a costly tryst for hundreds of millions of users in the long run.

17 thoughts on “Ex-Formula One Boss To Expand Legal Action Over Access To Pictures Of His Sadomasochistic Orgy

  1. My apologies for being off-topic, but I wanted to focus some attention to the latest GOP shenanigans to control and stifle voting. The Arizona GOP has sued the independent commission, which was formed in response to a 1998 voter-approved initiative, charged with redistricting legislative districts. Gov. Jan Brewer made her own attempt to dismiss the commission chairperson when she (Brewer) didn’t like the new map. The AZ Supreme Court demanded she (the chairperson) be reinstated, so the new effort involves the GOP declaring that only the legislature has the authority to redraw their own voting districts. The AZ Supreme Court has asked the plaintiffs to show where in the AZ Constitution such authority is outlined. There is no such provision.

    Here again we see the GOP admitting that if they can’t win unless they cheat. It’s hard to understand how any American who isn’t extremely wealthy (the ONLY constituency they care about) could identify with that anti-democracy, anti-consumer, anti-women, anti-work and anti-worker, anti-minority cabal called the Republican Party.

  2. The issue is that Mosley is obviously in the right, and has the money to pursue the issue. The courts have ruled that there is no public interest in publishing these pictures and videos. Also, BTW, the original trial proved that the women were not prostitutes. They were not paid and were participating voluntarily. You’ve picked that up from the libelous tabloids.

    Mosley isn’t a public figure. He never courted special publicity nor made any showing of his morality or sexuality.

    Mosley will win every case. In order to avoid setting dangerous precedents, the internet companies should treat this as a special case and take the utmost effort to remove the material and limit access. Perhaps even putting it into their TOS that these materials cannot be stored, uploaded or transferred. Better to make this a special case then limit total online speech.

  3. Mosley isn’t a public figure.
    Dan

    I think you might be wrong, F-1 is watched by 300 million fans around the world and I’m sure 100 million would know who he was with no problem.

    German law is very different as is England laws and mad max is a very good lawyer so he will win I think and that’s to bad.

  4. “I think you might be wrong, F-1 is watched by 300 million fans around the world and I’m sure 100 million would know who he was with no problem.”

    That’s not at issue. He doesn’t trade on his public image. He doesn’t seek publicity. He isn’t running for public office. He isn’t a celebrity.

    He ran the FIA and so many people knew who we was. He was subject to an egregious violation of his privacy that had no discernible public interest motivation. That’s what the courts have held. I think the facts are so much in Mosley’s favor that he will win any case, even in the US.

    I think, for example, that Google should put in a filter for his search terms on their own initiative before they are ordered to do so by a court thus setting a precedent.

  5. Do the defendants in this case have an argument of “impossibility” that might be in their favor? It clearly is impossible to review every post or submission when they are in the multiple billions. This is equivalent to holding a telephone company liable for the actions of their individual subscribers.

  6. This is typical behavior of the Satanic Elite. Politicians do the same thing in there gated , high security compounds. Just check out the Bohemian Grove video on youtube if you don’t know what I am talking about. That is where all the top politicians and military leaders including presidents meet each year and do Satanic mock sacrifices as caught on tape by Alex Jones on hidden camera.

  7. Alain:

    I can see what you are writing to a point. For some reason public officials seem to get into messes such as this every once in a while. When I was in the police academy I was astounded that at least 15% of the recruits cheated on their wives. Twenty years later when I was field training rookies every one of them had a story about guys in their class doing the same thing. Nothing changes. It went the full range, from that embarrasing sounding deputy on the radio asking for assistence with his car, parked out in the boonies and you roll up on his car and find him locked in the back seat with his girlfriend and can’t get out, all the way up to the two prosecutors a records clerk and an official with the assessor’s office with their weekend partner trading romps.

    I don’t know what the deal is with these guys but it is. Something about the jobs they have that brings out this type of behavior. There are even women out there who become dispatchers so they can be around male cops and they seek out dating them. And there are male cops who date records clerks. I think it is better to date outside this circle, but many still do.

  8. I agree with Dan.

    By the way it’s always goood to get your facts straight when writing a story. Max M was never “the ex=Formula 1 boss”.

    He was President of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) which is motor sports’ peak regulatory body. (Bernie Ecclestone is still the “boss” of F1 – an entirely different business – and has been for many years. Max never held that position or anything like it).

    Ask 100 people in the street who the current president of the FIA is and maybe 1 might know the answer if you are very lucky. The rest would not even know what the FIA was unless they were keen international motor sport fans.

    Max is infamous now only because of the video.

    I do not agree with Max M’s behaviour and the motor sport community generally were very disappointed also because it bought some shame on the sport when that video came to light. However much you may or may not dislike Max, he did nothing illegal, was never charged with any crime as a consequence and is entitled to his privacy – as you are – no matter how distasteful his little party might or might not have been).

    His reputaion has forever been tarnished though.

    I am sure there are plenty of people out there that have done some pretty irresponsible things in their own private spaces. They just did not have videos of their totally private activities plastered all over the globe.

    I am not a Max M fan or apologist but he is just as much entitled to his privacy as you are in your private spaces.

  9. RC Campbell, take your politics and shove it where the sun does not shine. Your views showcase a complete lack of tolerance for anyone who disagrees with socialist Obama. Isn’t that what liberals teach? Tolerance? Perhaps you should look in the mirror and stop judging others.

  10. Rick

    Consider me a reformed Progressive. I have given up on tolerance of the ignorance and non-stop hatred spewed by the right these last thirty years. I have no tolerance for conservatives’ intolerance of American citizens or their incompetence at governance. Calling Obama a socialist is a clear demonstration of your own lack of political insight. Obama is only barely a Democrat, not a particularly Progressive one and most certainly not a socialist. You either have no understanding of socialism or, more likely, your own politics are so extreme, so rigid and have so vacated the middle ground that you can’t even recognize it any longer. That’s precisely the anti-democracy position I unapologetically referred to.

    For example: Obamacare is a 100% Republican plan presented by Bob Dole in 1993 and pushed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney for Mass. One wonders, does that make Obama a “severe conservative” or Romney a Kenyan Muslim communist socialist? If Obama was even a Progressive, we’d have Medicare-for-All instead of this 1992 vintage Heritage Foundation plan developed to counter Bill Clinton’s attempt to fix the healthcare system. If Obama was a Progressive, Bush and Cheney would be in Gitmo, as they deserve, for torture, trampling on the Constitution and war crimes.

    We’ve already seen the collapse and abject failure of the conservative economic model. The failure of conservatism isn’t something theoretical, it’s a fact and we’re still recovering from. Americans have nothing to learn from Conservatives except to make sure they never ever get power again. We can’t afford the incompetence.

    To demonstrate their ongoing contempt for average Americans, conservatives want to punish the poor, the elderly, working people and children to pay for the failures of conservatism while protecting those who benefitted most. Social Security and Medicare and Food Stamps weren’t the reasons Bush stood before the country on 9/15/08 and announced the taxpayers’ bailout of the banksters. It wasn’t those programs that pushed tens of millions out of their jobs, their homes and their businesses, swelled unemployment compensation, welfare and Food Stamps rolls. Conservative policies did that, but yet every day we see conservatives attacking those suffering the most to pay for the benefits of corporations and the wealthiest. Conservatives deserve no better than America’s disgust and disdain. They’ve certainly earned mine.

  11. RCCampbell and Rick,
    Campbell, I’m with you even though I don’t like it when someone veers off topic. Rick’s verbal attack shows me that you touched a sore spot. I don’t know if Rick is new here or not and while I try to be tolerant of many different people, including right-wing people, it’s also true that I am increasingly growing intolerant of right-wingers (made-up word?)who use verbal attacks, threats and other bully-like tactics to try to silence people like RCCampbell. I rather like this blog and there are people of all stripes on it and I enjoy learning about legal issues, history, politics, dogs and cats, science and more. Most followers and commenters are intelligent human beings here and I hope it remains that way.

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