OK! magazine’s publishers Northern and Shell have claimed breach of copyright against Heat magazine over its coverage of news that pop singer Britney Spears’ 16-year-old sister is pregnant.
Northern and Shell revealed today that it issued proceedings yesterday against Heat over its coverage of the Jamie Lynn pregnancy story.
Lynn gave an interview to OK!’s North American edition prompting claimed sales of 1.8 million.
According to the Daily Express, which is also owned by Northern and Shell: “When Heat magazine appeared carrying large parts of the text without authorisation and under an ‘exclusive’ banner, Northern and Shell’s lawyers took immediate action.”
Proceedings have been issued against Emap London Lifestyle Limited (which is one of the divisions due to be acquired by Bauer) and against Heat editor-in-chief Mark Frith.
OK! previously sued Hello! magazine over its publication of illicit paparazzi pictures taken at the wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.
OK! has paid for exclusive rights to cover the wedding and after a seven-year legal fight that cost both sides an estimated £8 million before the House of Lords ruled there had been a breach of privacy.
OK! editorial director Paul Ashford said that OK! takes pride in the relationship of trust it builds with celebrities and in the “positive and responsible way” it handles their stories.
“We go to all possible lengths within the law to protect these exclusives and safeguard the interests of celebrities and of our own readers.”