Max Mosley has failed in his bid to force media outlets to notify individuals before stories about their personal lives are published.
Dating back to the News of the World's 2008 expose about the former FIA president's allegedly Nazi-themed sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes, the Briton took his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in January.
His opponents argued that Mosley's action could "imperil investigative journalism" and lead to newspapers "folding" if individuals got a chance to argue in court before the stories about them were published.
In a ruling on Tuesday, the court disagreed with Mosley on the grounds of freedom of speech, with the 71-year-old tipped to appeal the decision.
"I'm obviously disappointed," said Mosley. "It's not finished yet."