Last year, Gawker published an article by former DailyMail.com reporter James King about what he called his “Year Ripping off the Web with the Daily Mail Online.” Now, Gawker is closed and its sister publications were sold after the high-profile Hulk Hogan lawsuit and settlement. Nonetheless, Gawker has settled the Daily Mail‘s lawsuit against it for publishing the story.
The Mail sued over the March 2015 article, which claimed the newspaper’s online presence was “ripping off” other news outlets. The Mail said King’s article for Gawker was “replete with blatant, defamatory falsehoods intended to disparage the Mail and harm its reputation by falsely claiming that The Mail‘s business model is based on the systematic misappropriation of intellectual property, plagiarism of other news outlets and publication of false and inaccurate information.”
Univision bought Gawker Media for $135 million in August, but didn’t buy the Gawker.com website, which was closed. In November, Gawker settled Hogan’s invasion of privacy lawsuit for $31 million after a March verdict ordering Gawker to pay $140 million.
The Hollywood Reporter reported about the settlement:
“According to court papers, Gawker has agreed to include an Editor’s Note at the beginning of the King article, replace the illustration in the post with something that doesn’t incorporate the Daily Mail‘s logo, and publish a statement by DailyMail.com in the same story. The agreement also stipulates that the article won’t be moved from its current location on Gawker‘s website.
“The statement from DailyMail.com begins, “We utterly refute James King’s claim that DailyMail.com depends on ‘disonesty, theft of copyright material’, and the publication of material we ‘know to be inaccurate’.”
“It then goes on for nearly 20 paragraphs and includes allegations that King threatened a woman editor with violence and that the Washington Post had rejected King’s piece before it was published by Gawker. It also provides lengthy detail about supposed inaccuracies in King’s piece. All this will be coming to Gawker.com, assuming a judge grants approval.”
King still stands by his story, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and said that Gawker had to settle because of Gawker’s “circumstances.”
CNN noted that “the settlement will not cost Gawker financially.”
iMediaEthics has written to the Mail for comment.