Hours before the finale of the Bachelorette, the yelps of fans could be heard across the city. Well, in our office at least. The Daily Mail had published spoiler shots showing the loved up Bachelorette and her winning man, kind of ruining the whole thing.
Bachelorette broadcaster, Channel 10, didn’t go down without a fight. The photos were published on Thursday afternoon. The finale was due to be broadcast at 7.30pm. Channel 10’s lawyers rushed to court and by 8pm managed to get an injunction forcing the Daily Mail to remove the photos.
Just in time for the photos to be removed before the big announcement, but not before they’d been widely disseminated on social media. The trouble these days is, once something is out, it's basically impossible to rein it back in. Injunctions are feeling very 2013.
Given that, it is surprising that the court agreed to grant the injunction. Arguably, the harm had already been done. To the extent Channel 10 had suffered loss (which seems hard to believe, given the ratings success of the finale), that could be fixed by damages.
Stranger still is that there wasn't any obvious legal basis for Channel 10 to stop Daily Mail publishing the photos. Corporations don’t have a right to privacy and, as far as we’re aware, the photographer wasn’t trespassing or in breach of any confidentiality agreement. The Press Council may have something to say about their ethics, but that’s about it - which may be why Channel 10 has since dropped the injunction.
At the end of it all, the Bachelorette appears to have found love, Australian businesses have another cautionary tale about operating in the click and share online world, and Channel 10 will probably use more opaque curtains next season.
For what it’s worth, we don’t think you needed the photos to know that Sasha was always going to win...