The Court of Appeal also "focused too narrowly" on the fact that details of the celebrity's identity had already been disclosed on the internet, Lord Mance said.
He said the Court of Appeal "did not give due weight to the qualitative difference in intrusiveness and distress likely to be involved in …
A celebrity sex tape is typically an amateur pornographic video recording involving one or more famous people which has, intentionally or unintentionally, been made available publicly.
Such videos have often been released without the consent of their subjects, and have damaged celebrities' careers.
Often it deals with cases which involve difficult or novel points of law, but in this case it was being asked to decide whether the practical reality was that the information about the celebrity had become so widely known that reinstating the injunction would have been futile." "The decision to reinstate it acknowledges that an injunction serves another function, namely to prevent intrusion into an individual’s private life in circumstances where the courts have held that there is no public interest justification in publishing information in which that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Regardless of whether the information is accessible to some degree, the injunction operates to protect further intrusion within the jurisdiction.
The celebrity appealed that decision to the Supreme Court and the interim injunction remained in place while the Court considered the case.
In his leading judgment Lord Mance said that the Court of Appeal had overemphasised the weight to be given to freedom of expression considerations and instead stressed that arguments relating to the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy have to be considered from the starting point that both rights are equal.
The law will continue to grapple with the global nature of information, which is difficult to contain within territorial or jurisdictional boundaries.
It seems highly likely that this type of issue will be back before the courts soon," she said.
"It would involve not merely disclosure of names and generalised description of the nature of the sexual activities involved, but the most intimate details.
This would be likely to add greatly and on a potentially enduring basis to the intrusiveness and distress felt by the [celebrity], his partner and, by way of increased media attention now and/or in the future, their children." The Court of Appeal gave insufficient consideration to the potential impact publication of the story could have on the celebrity's children, Lord Mance said.
A host of British male celebrities including two Olympic medallists are being targeted by criminals who have leaked their sex videos online.