Author gives up privacy fight

Author Niema Ash has agreed not to publish further editions of her book about new age singer Loreena McKennit. The book was at the centre of a controversial case which has helped to redefine the privacy laws in England.

McKennitt sought to ban publication of passages in the book, Travels With Loreena McKennitt: My Life As A Friend, because she claimed that they invaded her privacy. McKennitt argued that she had that right as a consequence of the Human Rights Act, which was derived from the European Convention on Human Rights.

McKennitt won in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, and the House of Lords refused to hear a final appeal.

Within days of the Lords' refusal to hear her appeal Ash published plans for a second edition of the book attempting to comply with the court rulings. Ash has now said that she will not publish

McKennitt's barrister Des Browne yesterday read out a statement to the High Court saying that Ash will pay "a substantial contribution" to McKennitt's costs, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The case surrounding the publication of the book has been seen as a landmark in strengthening the rights of celebrities to privacy.

The UK has never had a legal right to privacy, but McKennitt's case, along with cases involving Prince Charles and Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, have used confidentiality laws combined with the Human Rights Act to enforce perceived privacy rights.