Copyright Infringement in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Designer Guild Ltd v Russell Williams (Textiles) Ltd (trading as Washington DC)
    • House of Lords
    • 23 November 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 January 1964

    Whether a part is substantial must be decided by its quality rather than its quantity. 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.

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

    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.

  • Hyde Park Residence Ltd v Yelland
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 10 February 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.

  • Sawkins v Hyperion Records Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 May 2005

    The important point is that copyright can be used to prevent copying of a substantial part of the relevant form of expression, but it does not prevent use of the information, thoughts or emotions expressed in the copyright work. It does not prevent another person from coincidentally creating a similar work by his own independent efforts. It is not an intellectual property monopoly in the same sense as a patent or a registered design.

  • Pearce v Ove Arup Partnership Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 January 1999

    We do not find it necessary to decide whether Mr Justice Vinelott was correct to take the view (if he did) that an action for alleged infringement of a foreign copyright by acts done outside the United Kingdom in a state not party to the Brussels Convention, in a case where no question as to the validity or registration of the right was in issue, was not justiciable in an English court.

  • Newspaper Licensing Agency v Marks & Spencer Plc
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 May 2000

    I can see no reason why Parliament should have intended, in the absence of some overriding element of public advantage, to permit one person to deal with copyright work to his own commercial advantage and to the actual or potential commercial disadvantage of the copyright owner; and no reason why what would otherwise be an infringement of the rights of the owner of copyright in typographical arrangement should be permitted simply because the particular commercial advantage to be obtained was a more convenient (or less costly) means of disseminating reports of current events within a commercial organisation by the circulation of facsimile copies of press cuttings.

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Legislation
  • Intellectual Property Act 2014
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2014
    ... ... (1) In section 213(2) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (unregistered design right: meaning of ... (2) In section 51 of that Act (copyright infringement: exception for certain designs) , in subsection (3) , in the definition of ... ...
  • Digital Economy Act 2010
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2010
    ... ... Office of Communications; to make provision about the online infringement of copyright and about penalties for infringement of copyright and ... ...
  • Copyright Act 1911
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1911
    ... ... and architectural works of art shall not be deemed to be publication ... of such works ... Infringement of copyright. 2 Infringement of copyright ... (1) Copyright in a work shall be deemed to be infringed ... by any person who, without the consent ... ...
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1988
    ... ... 2003/2498), reg. 6(2) (with regs. 31-40) ... 17: Infringement of copyright by copying ... (1) The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in every description of copyright work; and ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Early warning of risks of copyright infringement in digital library based on extension theory
    • No. 34-2, April 2016
    • The Electronic Library
    • 250-264
    Purpose: – The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential risks of copyright infringement in digital library based on the extension theory. Design/methodology/approach: – At first, the ana...
  • Computer Programs and Copyright: More Exceptions to Infringement
    • No. 56-4, July 1993
    • The Modern Law Review
  • Copyright in a networked world: ethics and infringement
    • No. 22-1, March 2004
    • Library Hi Tech
    • 106-110
    The statutes themselves are not the only basis for deciding whether an intellectual property rights infringement has occurred. Ethical judgments can also influence judicial rulings. This column loo...
  • New on the net
    • No. 16-6, June 1998
    • The Electronic Library
    • 410-411
    Cyberliability: generic term coined in the late 1990s for various types of legal liability arising from business use of the Internet and e‐mail including cyber‐libel, copyright infringement, breach...
    ... ... busi-ness use of the Internet and e-mail including cyber-libel, copyright infringement, breach of confidence, negligent virus transmission, ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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