Meghan wins last copyright claim over letter to father

Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, has won her final copyright claim against the publisher of The Mail, a British tabloid, over its publication of letters she sent to her estranged father while living in the United Kingdom as a member of the royal family.

The BBC and Variety reported that a judge granted summary judgement in the duchess’s favor after hearing from legal representatives for the Queen, who rejected the claim from Associated Newspapers arguing that the copyright was owned by the crown, not Meghan, due to having been allegedly drafted by a palace secretary.

At issue are letters Meghan sent to her father that were published by The Mail in 2018, causing an uproar due to the private nature of the conversation. Meghan has accused the British press, particularly its tabloids, of unfair and at times racist coverage of her marriage to Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.

The former secretary in question, Jason Knauf, denied having written the letters in court Wednesday, according to the news outlets, and added that he would have never asserted copyright claims over them.

“Mr Knauf did not draft, and has never claimed to have drafted, any parts of the electronic draft or the letter and would never have asserted copyright over any of their content. In our client’s view, it was the duchess’s letter alone,” his attorneys reportedly said.

Wednesday’s ruling is the latest victory for Meghan after a court handed her a ruling against the same company in March and ordered The Mail to publish a notice of its legal defeat on the paper’s front page for one week.

A judge said Wednesday that the disclosures of Meghan’s letters “were manifestly excessive and hence unlawful,” while adding that the publisher’s assertion of the crown’s ownership of the letters “seem to me to occupy the shadowland between improbability and unreality,” according to the Press Gazette.

Tags Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex

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