US web giant spurns Australian court order to pull leaked Amber Harrison letters

The US owners of hugely popular blogging platform are defying an Australian court and refusing to pull down leaked documents related to Amber Harrison, the sacked former lover of Seven West Media boss Tim Worner.

It was revealed in the Federal Court on Friday that San Francisco-based Automattic Inc had advised Ms Harrison's legal team it would not be removing an anonymously posted blog containing confidential correspondence.

"They have indicated to us that they will not respond unless there is compliance with United States law, which essentially requires my client to take Your Honour's order and authenticate it in the courts of California," a lawyer for Ms Harrison told the court.

The blog post, titled, "BREAKING: Amber Harrison's struggle with greedy lawyers", contains two confidential legal letters addressed to Ms Harrison from June last year.

Justice Tony North made orders last month for the blog site to remove the leaked letters. It is not known who was behind the leak.

Friday's hearing was the latest development in the high-profile and highly public legal stoush between Ms Harrison, 39, and Seven West Media since she went public with the details of her 18-month affair with Mr Worner, the TV network's chief executive.

She has lodged a Fair Work claim, alleging Seven violated her workplace rights.

Justice North on Friday said it was "highly interesting" that the US company was refusing to comply with Australian laws. 

"It means ... Australia is right at the periphery as far as its courts are concerned, and enforcement of its laws," he said.

"I wonder if we have the same attitude towards American laws?" 

The case raises important questions about the power of Australian courts when dealing with digital tech giants who have worldwide reach.

"It's an illustration," Justice North said, "of how the legal world is slowly lurching itself into the digital age."

Ms Harrison remains under a temporary gag order preventing her from speaking publicly about the company or the relationship with Mr Worner.

The case was adjourned until July.