The Sun is suing ITV over the Princess Kate-Windsor Farm Store video

On March 22, the Princess of Wales announced that she was undergoing preventative chemotherapy after cancer cells had been found more than a month after her abdominal surgery. That video pretty much ended a weeks-long, shambolic newscycle full of speculation about manipulated photos, weird photo-op set-ups and one truly bonkers Windsor Farm Store video. Just days before Kate allegedly “filmed” the cancer video, The Sun claimed that Kate and William had been seen at the Windsor Farm Store, shopping and walking around unaided. No one really believed the story at the time. Twenty-four hours later, The Sun and TMZ (both Murdoch-owned) published a video (and stills from the video) of “Kate and William” speed-walking out of the Windsor Farm Store. All hell broke loose.

First of all, there was a huge amount of online speculation in real time that the two people in the video were not Kate and William. Then Christopher Bouzy dropped in and basically showed that the “source” of the video lacked credibility and the people in the video were almost certainly not Kate and William. The Sun’s editor also made it sound like the video was somehow organized (or staged) with palace permission. This whole controversy was washed away and forgotten with Kate’s cancer announcement. Until now. The Sun is suing ITV over the farm store video, claiming that the video is their intellectual property:

The publisher of the Sun newspaper has filed a High Court legal action against ITV and ITN over the use of video showing the Princess of Wales at a farm shop in Windsor. The footage, obtained by The Sun, showed Kate and the Prince of Wales in public after her surgery, amid her absence from public life.

A filing to the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court was made by News Group Newspapers Limited against ITV and ITN on Monday. A spokeswoman for the broadcaster and news company said: “ITV and ITN will strongly resist this claim.”

It is understood by the PA news agency that the claim relates to the video, in which Kate is seen at Windsor Farm Shop, close to her home, Adelaide Cottage. The footage from March 18 shows the princess with her hair down, wearing a black jacket and leggings, chatting with William and carrying a large white bag.

[From The Independent]

I don’t know enough about intellectual property law to really speak to what’s going on here. Traditionally, a media outlet will buy the rights – perhaps even the exclusive rights – to photos and videos. It’s more than possible that the Murdoch-owned outlets (TMZ and The Sun) purchased that guy’s video under a very exclusive rights contract in which The Sun now has complete ownership of the video. It’s also possible that The Sun’s lawsuit against ITV just revealed something else entirely about who staged the video and who owned it all along.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images, covers courtesy of the Mail and The Sun.

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51 Responses to “The Sun is suing ITV over the Princess Kate-Windsor Farm Store video”

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  1. TN Democrat says:

    By suing Murdoch is playing with fire. Hopefully, the lawsuit exposes the douche company that f@#$ed the world with tRump, brexit and fox news, deliberately staged the video with lookalikes that don’t really lookalike with royal collusion on royal property and exposes the reason why the Will-not cooperated. Will-not is not the pr genius he thinks he is and whatever he has been protecting by scapegoating his brother needs exposed.

    • Smart&Messy says:

      My theory is that the sun came up with the plan to do the video with lookalikes and KP/courtiers backed it. I don’t think William is cunning enough to come up with it. Why they felt the need to commission this video or to expose it now with this unnecessary lawsuit, I have no idea.

      • Lady Esther says:

        Wasn’t it the Sun that paid William to settle the phone hacking lawsuit? For all we know, that settlement could have included “And whenever KP wants, you will publish whatever KP wants.” Maybe KP asked for the video and demanded that the Sun run it?

    • BeanieBean says:

      I just don’t understand: if this were to come to court, wouldn’t there be actual facts introduced, as to who, what, where, when & most particularly how much money changed hands?

    • Shawna says:

      What if this gets so messy it finishes what Harry, Sienna, Hugh, Elton, et al began?

  2. Dee(2) says:

    Are they starting to cannibalize each other? With no salacious news to report about the Sussexes, people absolutely not trusting them in serious subjects ( nor having staff with the talent to pull off investigative journalism), and the burden of keeping up the invisible contract with the other royals and I’m sure Tory political figures it’s slim pickings. I wonder where the inflection point is going to be, or if they literally will go out of business before just reporting what they know the hell with the consequences.

    • Where'sMyTiara says:

      If this is a sign that they’re all starting to devour each other, Imma need waaaay more popcorn.

  3. Steph says:

    This was obviously staged with body doubles. But kp approving it is just so dumb. Why would they allow a vid like showing “Kate” looking healthy and able bodied Knowing full well they intended to double down on her being too ill to “work?” It’s truly baffling. If this fake out didn’t get so much backlash about it being a fraud it would have gotten backlash for her not working and kp was (and is) too damn stupid to realize that.

    As far as the suit, more and more people are providing credible evidence that this was a staged thing. The sun is sueing to try to save their credibility (ha!) by making sure no one can cover it.

    • sevenblue says:

      I think, at the time, people were sharing a lot of theories about her being death and Will did it. I was surprised it took them that long to get a video out since it is the heir they always protect.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think for some reason (maybe several) William did not want her cancer diagnosis out there. We’ve heard he wasn’t there when the video announcement was filmed, when story said that he didn’t want her to do the video at all because she didn’t owe the public an explanation etc.

        i can see William authorizing the farm stand video because the image of a healthy Kate protects his divorce plans. But the flip side of that is – a healthy Kate can work, and that means William can work, and it’s clear he’s taking advantage of her condition to not work……so….then we’re back to it not making any sense.

      • sevenblue says:

        @Becks1, in a big picture of the events, Kate & Will being lazy is better than Will being a murderer. I also believe, Will didn’t want her to do the cancer video and approved this fake video. This video was necessary to protect the reputation of the heir. They gave the press something to shut the conspiracies about Will, that’s why TMZ got the video since they have a bigger reach.

      • rosa mwemaid says:

        She can’t be dead, might not be impressed with the mother but she would be screaming it from the housetops. There’s nothing she can gain from keeping quiet that would replace her daughter.

    • Sunday says:

      @Steph totally agree that the lawsuit is an attempt to bury the farm video for good.

    • Eurydice says:

      Is it necessary? Are people still talking about the video? It seems to me like the talk had died down – is there some kind of danger?

  4. Tessa says:

    She looks nothing like kate.

    • Miranda says:

      There’s so much wrong with the whole scenario that it seems almost silly to point out that part, but yeah. this “lookalike” could not be less convincing. This woman doesn’t even really resemble any of the Kate lookalikes on IG. It’s like they literally just saw some random thin brunette, said “she’ll do”, and snapped a photo.

    • Smart&Messy says:

      Neither does she walk or dress like Kate.

    • Interested Gawker says:

      Her ears are peculiar and her hair moves in a mass behind her like a mudflap or a waterlogged towel flapping up and down.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I’m far from an IP lawyer, so no clue who has the right claim here – although if the Sun bought the exclusive rights, I’m assuming there was some sort of contract with language to that effect?

    But this part – “It’s also possible that The Sun’s lawsuit against ITV just revealed something else entirely about who staged the video and who owned it all along” is why I’m laughing at this. I wonder what, if anything, will come out during this process that might indicate if it was staged (it definitely was) and if so, by whom, who is actually in the video, etc.

    Verrrry interesting times ahead.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Indeed I suspect KP will want this lawsuit to go away as it will expose that KP was involved in this little setup – am still not convinced its really them. If this lawsuit makes it to court we will find out but its likely it won’t.

      • Harper says:

        One way to bring behind the scenes facts to the surface without breaking the invisible contract is by reporting on what is revealed via a lawsuit. Times are tough for the tabloids and making their own circus is what they do best.

      • Lady Esther says:

        Ahhh you have a great point there. Murdoch gets to take on his rivals in the British press and deprive of them of some cash through a settlement. That’s always been his MO. His British RF friends (William) may not be so pleased unless they settle before discovery (when things can leak), but if the timing is right then everybody’s happy and Murdoch can bury the video forevermore

    • Nic919 says:

      If they get to discovery then a lot more detail will be provided as to when the video was made, who made it and a lot of other details KP might not want revealed .

  6. Hypocrisy says:

    So Murdoch wants complete control of that video to try to scrub it out of existence is where my thoughts go on this subject.

    • Jais says:

      That’s what I was wondering also. They want to limit access so it can’t be scrutinized.

    • Jay says:

      Currently, that’s the only reason I can think of that makes sense to me! It’s basically a variation on “catch and kill”, right? If the Sun enforces exclusive access to this video, they can make sure nobody else uses it or tries to analyze it too closely. Murdoch gets the benefit of a scoop at a time when people were really clamouring for it, but also confers a benefit to the crown by protecting the video and it’s origins.

      Remember, KP vouched for this video’s authenticity, in stark contrast to the earlier TMZ photo ( also Murdoch affiliated) of Kate and her mom, which was widely circulated worldwide but not by the British media.

    • Interested Gawker says:

      “Murdoch wants complete control of that video to try to scrub it out of existence”

      I agree. From the very beginning bots pushing New York Post articles and duplicated pro W&K comments were relentless on SM. The five wheeled car photo seemed to press them into ‘fighting fire with fire’ using TMZ for international push back rather than just within the UK. (Also, TMZ immediately pushed against the idea of the Mothering Sunday pic having Kate’s “Jecca era” face before the kill notice happened and so early in the front end ordinary folk might not have heard the suggestion of the Vogue cover at all, mighty suspicious…) TMZ is no longer owned by Murdoch which makes both their cheerleading of the video in the beginning as a seeming collaborator and then disavowing it make a bit more sense. TMZ wouldn’t continue to defend it after it was clear their viewers rejected it outright and wasn’t in a position to be pressured to tow a party line by a direct higher up.

      The tension between what is considered news in relation to the BRF and what is considered privacy on the palaces’ behalf is becoming a minefield. There are certain governmental responsibilities of the crown that make some events newsworthy beyond gossip and frilly hats. William and his henchmen want their propaganda about ‘Kate being fine’ in these traditional news outlets but want to limit scrutiny of it too. Why, if she was that hale and hearty did she AND William skip the Irish Guards? If she was cancer ridden and ill sitting on her won’t bench, who was the woman in the farm shop? If The Sun wants to claim that video is their intellectual property is it only money changing hands that makes their claim legitimate? Will The Sun be made to prove that the people in that clip they trumpeted to the world as being so nice to see Kate back were actually W&K. If ITN and ITV reported that it was The Sun’s scoop isn’t that credit enough?

  7. Jks says:

    My knowledge in IP is very rusty – was an IP specialist many years ago and am too lazy to look up recent case laws- but I would imagine that this falls under “fair dealing” exemption from copyright infringement. It’s news reporting, it’s in the public interest, and I am guessing they did properly report that the footage was from the Sun? So I don’t see a problem here, even if they showed the video in its entirety. I’m guessing there are other factors at play and that it’s not really about copyright infringement?

    • kat says:

      That’s what I was thinking too. Here in Canada, it would be allowed, especially if ITV was reporting on how the video itself was full of double and where the hell is Kate? They’re allowed to use copyrighted material to report the news under fair dealing.

    • Jais says:

      I feel like I saw the vid on abc news tonight and they referenced it coming from TMZ. How is that different than what itv did? Did they not reference where the vid came from? I’m confused how what abc did is any different than what itv did?

    • BeanieBean says:

      Sounds reasonable. And I’m sure they have decent lawyers, so–why? What is their end goal with this?

  8. Eurydice says:

    I’m going to make an ARO jam sandwich and watch the show.

  9. death by bacon says:

    Can somebody talk about the fact that the man in that image looks like William.

    So my question is did william participate in that photograph?Knowing that that wasn’t Kate.

    How come nobody’s asking that question period

    • Sarah says:

      Good question!

    • Proud Mary says:

      I’ve always thought it was William. I agree with the theory that he wanted the image of a healthy-looking Kate out there to justify a divorce. I think he had nothing to do with the picture of her in the car with her mother, or with the cancer announcement video. I’m not saying that those are actual representations of Kate, I’m just thinking that the idea of her in the minds of the public as a very sick person, is something he sought to control. But I also agree that the message is mixed — he also wants to use her illness to get out of work???

    • Julianna says:

      I wonder the same exact thing…

    • Smart&Messy says:

      That man resembles William much more than the woman resembles Kate. A more convincing double maybe? Even if he was in on the making of this decoy video, I can’t see him personally making an effort. Unless he is truly truly desperate, which sounds ominous and scary.

      • K-Peace says:

        I would definitely say that yes, William is truly desperate. He/KP made (or was involved in the making of) this fake farmstand video, and every other photo/video of Kate that they’ve released since Christmastime has been FAKE. Why are they going to the lengths of actually hiring body double(s) to make a fake video?? Why can’t the real Kate be photographed/videoed? Even the cancer announcement video was fake—it was made by A.I.; Kate had nothing to do with it. Where the hell is Kate? William/KP has been truly desperate for a while now, and yes, it’s VERY ominous & scary. I’ve been like a broken record here on this website in the comments saying: There’s something very bad going on.

      • Underhill says:

        K-Peace: you are not alone. I am trying to think of any other explanation for such strangeness. Maybe if she “went on strike” etc. and they were divorcing…but no. She would still be seen somewhere, coming and going. Thing is: only a few people know the whole story. The next ring out, the family, close friends, know a sanitized version of a part of the truth, and then crumbs fall off the table from that. But watching what goes on, one can only draw one conclusion.

    • Shawna says:

      It’ll be best for William if it “turns out” to be a William impersonator, that’s for sure.

    • Interested Gawker says:


      I’m dying to know if The Sun used photo manipulation to make William’s double look more like him or if William himself really did walk with another woman pretending she was Kate. Conducted on a ‘closed set’, royal property they could control, doing either is perfectly plausible. If William was actually there that would be an incendiary level of fraud.

      • Interested Gawker says:

        “I’ve been like a broken record here on this website in the comments saying: There’s something very bad going on”

        All we can do is point out what’s happening until there is some resolution to this business. If the emperor has no clothes and Soylent Green is people there must be someone to pick up the cudgels and make those comments. Should Kate return to public life as if nothing is amiss I will be greatly relieved. Until KP starts making sense or produces proof of life for the POW, pointing out the ongoing weirdness is necessary.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    If this lawsuit reveals collusion with KP. I’m hear for it.

  11. Proud Mary says:

    Is this really just an IP issue? I can imagine that the other media outlets can defend on the ground that videotaped images of members of the royal family are newsworthy, and as such, they are allowed to use the footage with proper attribution — that is “fair use.” Now the interesting part is, will the Sun have to prove that the persons filmed are not William and Kate and therefore the video is not subject to fair use doctrine? I honestly don’t know British media law, but I think this would be the line of reasoning under US press law.

  12. The Hench says:

    I’ve got to confess that I have no legal background but I can only come up with one reason as to why The Sun would launch this suit – and unfortunately, it’s pretty boring!

    As others, more knowledgeable, have said here already – news stations are allowed to report the news of the video as long as they credit it appropriately.
    I have always thought it WAS Kate and William in this video – my doubts have been around the timing of when it was actually shot – but, if it isn’t then this lawsuit is crazy. There’s no incentive for The Sun to have this revealed as a fake set up, quite the reverse, so I actually think the suit supports it being really them in the film.
    Those who know media know that this would never have been filmed/put out without the collusion of KP – but I can’t see a reason for The Sun to want that known out there either enough to go to these lengths – although their editor’s interview on it suggests they don’t particularly care if it is known either.
    Launching the suit reignites interest in the video – but they could do that a different, much less expensive and troublesome way via their own media since they own the rights if they wanted to.
    The ONLY thing I can come up with is that the news stations have been making money off views of the video on their various platforms ever since they used it to ‘report’ the news of it and The Sun wants to shut that down and claim their slice of the revenues that ITV etc have made on the video. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

  13. Julianna says:

    Isn’t it ironic the British press berated everyone for not believing the Farm video. We were all conspiracy theorist and entering territory of the “crazed”. And now this has become a complete joke. A lot of people questioned theirselves when this video came out and weren’t completely convinced it wasn’t them or a fake until the fake AI generated cancer video came out. And now suddenly we are all conspiracy theorist again because the royals and others think they can bully, create self doubt and dictate what to believe when what’s before your own eyes is a literal clown show. A clown show based off LIE after LIE after LIE.

    This video is either body double or possibly even AI generated. I saw a clip interview with the guy that supposedly filmed it and his interview was even staged. He kept talking about hiw he noticed throughout the store they (W&K) were just being so friendly and cheerful with one another. He went on about that for a good minute. That was obviously a talking point they dictated for him to say. It was so fake. They get 0 points. KP was 100% part of this farce just like they were complicit in all the other fake photos and videos.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever find out more information because it will settle before going to court. I’m sure this story will get swept under the rug from here on just like the story about kates medical records “allegedly” getting hacked that also miraculously disappeared

    • Interested Gawker says:

      Good points…

    • Underhill says:

      I believe it was staged, maybe by the photographer, maybe by the Sun, maybe KP had something to do with it, who knows. But they used a double. The press interviewed one Kate double, who denied it was her. But they never interviewed this lady:
      and I think that woman in the shop film is her. The more interesting question: why do people keep on believing that there is nothing much going on, maybe a divorce, when they keep putting out fake pictures and films of Kate, and convince themselves each new one is real, until they can’t anymore. We are so attuned to return to normality and safety so that even when something so abnormal as this hits us between the eyes we don’t believe it. That is what fascinates me. He couldn’t have hurt her, even though we know he is violent. She couldnt be dead (come on you guys! she couldn’t!) even though we haven’t seen her since Christmas and they keep putting out fake pictures of her. As a certain columnist used to say in the way back times, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.

      • Interested Gawker says:

        “…and convince themselves each new one is real, until they can’t anymore.”

        And it’s not like William and KP have a stellar reputation after the kill notice.

        The actual conspiracy is KP keeping Kate and whatever is going on with her hidden from the public (and perhaps even BP) and keeping the press at bay with the Murdoch arm of KP’s media tricks at the helm. Privacy serves William not Kate. Their willingness to attribute messages to Kate recently gives me more feelings of nervousness rather than less. We still don’t know if it’s actually her. Kate’s lack of puff piece recuperation in the newspapers was always suspicious, so unlike her.

        If POW returns and all is well and less gothic than I fear it is I don’t mind being derided as a hysteric or a deluded conspiracy theorist. I have wanted proof of life established for her the way I would want it for any woman who suddenly left the public sphere under mysterious circumstances. I won’t care if people say “I told you so.” It would be a good thing to be wrong about how sinister this continues to be.

        Princess Catherine has been missing for four months. Until they prove she’s alright I will continue to point out the discrepancies of this entirely untrustworthy institution and bizarre situation.