Mail on Sunday must publish front page statement about Meghan's legal win

The Mail On Sunday must publish a front-page statement about the Duchess of Sussex’s victory in her copyright claim. Credit: PA

The Mail on Sunday must publish a front page statement about the Duchess of Sussex's victory in her copyright claim against the newspaper, the High Court has ruled.

The ruling was made after publisher Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), which also owns the Daily Mail, was successfully sued over its publication of Meghan's letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle in August 2018.

On Friday, judge Lord Justice Warby ordered the Mail on Sunday must publish a front page statement on Meghan's legal win.

In the same edition, it must also state on page three that, following a hearing in January, the High Court gave judgment for the duchess on her claim for copyright infringement.

Duchess of Sussex Credit: PA

It will also have to include the following statement: “The court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in The Mail On Sunday and in MailOnline.

“There will be a trial of the remedies to which the duchess is entitled, at which the court will decide whether the duchess is the exclusive owner of copyright in all parts of the letter, or whether any other person owns a share.”

The statement must also run on website MailOnline for a week, with a link to the full ruling on Meghan’s win.

Mr Justice Warby said: “In my judgment, these are measured incursions into the defendant’s freedom to decide what it publishes and does not publish, that are justified in pursuit of the legitimate aim I have identified, and proportionate to that aim.

“They will involve little if any additional expense, and certainly nothing approaching the scale of the expense that has been lavished on this litigation.”

Prince Harry is set to attend without his wife, Meghan Markle. Credit: PA

Mr Justice Warby on February 11 found the publication of the letter infringed the duchess’ copyright, saying its articles “copied a large and important proportion of the work’s original literary content”.

But he said issues of whether Meghan was “the sole author” – or whether Jason Knauf, formerly communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was a “co-author” – should be determined at a trial.

He also ruled in favour of Meghan's privacy claim in the summary judgment, which means the claim did not have to go to trial.

Following the ruling, the 39-year-old duchess said it showed "you cannot take somebody’s privacy and exploit it in a privacy case".

Giving his ruling in February, Mr Justice Warby said Meghan would have had a "reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private".

He said that “the only tenable justification for any such interference was to correct some inaccuracies about the letter”, contained in an article in People magazine which featured an interview with five friends of Meghan.

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But he added: “The inescapable conclusion is that, save to the very limited extent I have identified, the disclosures made were not a necessary or proportionate means of serving that purpose.

“For the most part they did not serve that purpose at all. Taken as a whole the disclosures were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”

On Tuesday, the judge also ruled the newspaper should pay 90% of the costs incurred by the duchess for the Summary Judgement Application in her legal battle. He said the percentage was a rough calculation of the costs incurred "on matters on which she succeeded" in the case.

Meghan and Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey - which will give more detail about why the couple broke away from the Royal Family - will be broadcast in the UK on ITV on Monday 8 March at 9pm. It will also be available on ITV Hub.