Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 07/07/2011

The Daily refuses to take down BP CEO Tony Hayward’s deposition video, despite judge’s order


Despite a court order to take down a video of the deposition of former BP CEO Tony Hayward off its iPad app and Web site, the Daily refuses.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned, New York-based daily iPad news app put up a video Saturday leaked to it showing Hayward giving three days of deposition to London attorneys. The deposition was part of a federal lawsuit filed by several states and hundreds of plaintiffs against BP for damages in last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In one exchange on the video, an attorney for Transocean, the Swiss-based company that owned the rig BP was leasing, asks Hayward about the 11 men who died in the explosion. Hayward confesses that he cannot remember the names of all the victims and can only correctly name one.

Judge Sally Shushan said the release of the video may be in violation of a pretrial order stating that no “part of the video or audio record of a video deposition shall be released or made available to any member of the public unless authorized by the court.”

But it now seems like Hayward may have had a case of the Streisand effect, in which an attempt to remove a piece of information has the unintended effect of publicizing it more widely. Videos of Hayward testifying before Congress on the same topic are now available on YouTube, posted by the Daily and others, and there are reports that the deposition video is available elsewhere.

In a statement, the Daily said:

The Daily firmly believes it has the legal right to publish the video clips of former BP CEO Tony Hayward’s deposition that are the subject of Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan’s order.  It is our contention that the order is an extraordinary example of prior restraint.
As such, we have not removed the clips from either The Daily app or our website and have no intention of doing so until we’ve had the opportunity to present our case to the Court.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster is one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history and there is tremendous public interest in the complete disclosure of all of the surrounding facts.

By and  |  12:46 PM ET, 07/07/2011

 
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