Copyright Infringement in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • C.B.S. Songs Ltd v Amstrad Consumer Electronics Plc
    • House of Lords
    • 12 May 1988

    My Lords, joint infringers are two or more persons who act in concert with one another pursuant to a common design in the infringement. Amstrad sold a machine and the purchaser or the operator of the machine decided the purpose for which the machine should from time to time be used. The machine was capable of being used for lawful or unlawful purposes.

    My Lords, I accept that a defendant who procures a breach of copyright is liable jointly and severally with the infringer for the damages suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the infringement. The defendant is a joint infringer; he intends and procures and shares a common design that infringement shall take place. A defendant may procure an infringement by inducement, incitement or persuasion.

  • Designer Guild Ltd v Russell Williams (Textiles) Ltd (trading as Washington DC)
    • House of Lords
    • 23 Nov 2000

    The purpose of the examination is not to see whether the overall appearance of the two designs is similar, but to judge whether the particular similarities relied on are sufficiently close, numerous or extensive to be more likely to be the result of copying than of coincidence. It is at this stage that similarities may be disregarded because they are commonplace, unoriginal, or consist of general ideas.

  • Ladbroke (Football) Ltd v William Hill (Football) Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 21 Ene 1964

    The reproduction of a part which by itself has no originality will not normally be a substantial part of the copyright and therefore will not be protected. For that which would not attract copyright except by reason of its collocation will, when robbed of that collocation, not be a substantial part of the copyright and therefore the courts will not hold its reproduction to be an infringement.

  • Hyde Park Residence Ltd v Yelland
    • Court of Appeal
    • 10 Feb 2000

    I have pointed out earlier in this judgment that the basis of the defence of public interest in a breach of confidence action cannot be the same as the basis of such defence to an action for infringement of copyright. In an action for breach of confidence the foundation of the action can fall away if that is required in the public interest, but that can never happen in a copyright action.

  • R and Others v Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Ltd and Others (Interested Parties)
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 20 Abr 2011

    However, penalties may be imposed under section 124L only as a sanction for a breach of an initial obligation, for example, by a failure to notify a subscriber of a CIR, or to provide a copyright owner with a Copyright Infringement List ("CIL"), or for a breach of a technical obligation (a failure to take a technical measure against a relevant subscriber), or for a failure to give Ofcom any assistance that they reasonably require for the purposes of complying with any direction by the Secretary of State.

    The Claimants also argue that the proposed exclusion of small-scale ISPs from the scope of the initial obligations is "discriminatory" under Article 6 of the AD (assuming that the AD applies at all to the contested provisions). However, it appears from the evidence that Ofcom proposed the initial qualifying threshold of 400,000 subscribers as a starting point because it represented a proportionate response.

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