The spanking and the alleged Nazi overtones might be entertaining, but the Max Mosley trial playing out in London could have huge implications for the rights of the media, writes John F. Burns in the New York Times. The Formula 1 chief's lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch's News of the World is a high-stakes gamble aiming to transform privacy law, especially when it comes to "Britain's attack-dog tabloids."
Eloquent and nattily dressed, Mosley has bared every detail of his sex life, which he kept from his wife until it was splashed across the News of the World's front page. Mosley is seeking millions from the Murdoch tabloid for "gross and indefensible intrusion," and he might have found a sympathetic ear: the judge, who has sat stony-faced while learning of canings that drew blood, has ruled against newspapers in several similar cases. (Read more Max Mosley stories.)