The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed a case brought by Max Mosley, the former head of the world motor-racing body the FIA, to force papers to warn people before exposing their private lives.
Speaking before the judgement, Mr Mosley said that once a newspaper publishes a story, the person at the centre of it is left with very few options.
"You can't take it out of the public mind," he told presenter John Humphrys.
"And worse than that, under the English legal system, if you sue - once the thing's out - you recover damages, if you win; you get your costs awarded, again if you win.
"But the costs and the damages are less than the bill from your solicitor, so you get the whole publicity repeated again in open court, on top of which you get a very large bill."
But Jo Glanville, of the Index on Censorship, said that legislation like that outlined by Mr Mosley would create very serious effects for all newspaper investigations, not just those into people's sex lives.
"Newspapers will be very wary of running stories, of pursuing stories that are going to end up in very costly legal battles," she said. "Because they'll expect, and quite rightly, that any individual who can, will go and get an injunction."
Commenting on the case, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We are pleased with the judgement in this case and believe the court has made the right decision.
"The government recognises the importance of finding the right balance between individual rights to privacy on the one hand with rights to freedom of expression and transparency of official information on the other."
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