Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

As we saw in a previous post, the copying of original works is one of the most common types of copyright infringement that occurs. Copying an original work is unlawful under s.17 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. We will now take a look at how an original work can be copied and what remedies the owner of an original work has if their copyright has been infringed.

A person infringes the copyright of another if they reproduce a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in any material form. A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work can range from the plot of a novel to the choreography of a specific scene. Reproduction simply involves the copying of a work – the production of a new work from a previous original work (with at least one new copy being made each time the work is copied).

So, how much of the work actually needs to be copied for an infringement to occur? The first thing to note is that whether copyright in a work has been infringed depends on the quality of the copying, not the quantity. This is a question of fact. In each case the specific originality that allowed the copyrighted work to gain copyright in the first place must be examined and the question asked: “has the essence of the copyrighted work been taken?”. The similarities – and differences – of both the ‘original’ and ‘offending’ work must be scrutinized. Whether the essence of a work has been copied can be an extremely difficult issue to resolve. The second issue is that the copying doesn’t need to be exact, so copying the plot is enough to infringe copyright. Again, this goes to the heart of the matter: has the essence, the distinctive quality, of the first work been reproduced?

As above, with literary works it is enough, for example, that the plot has been copied without the contents of the work being copied in full. However, there is a fine and grey line to be drawn here – whether the copying of a plot (for example) infringes copyright depends on whether the new work has a core element of originality itself. If the “offending” work is found to be original (and therefore qualifies for copyright itself) then it would seem difficult to argue that an essentially original work copied another. Infringement of artistic works can occur if, for example, a copy of a 2d work is made in 3d and vice versa. Copyright subsisting in a film or broadcast can be infringed if a photograph of the whole or any substantial part of any image forming part of the film or broadcast is reproduced. Again, the quality of the reproduction matters, not simply the quantity, and it’s important to note that infringement can occur without knowledge – the “offender” need not have the intention to or knowledge of infringing copyright.

What remedies do owners of copyright have if their work is infringed? The civil remedies that the owner of copyright may be able to gain includes:

  • the gaining of interim relief (such as an interim injunction, declaration, freezing injunction, search and seize order, or disclosure order); and/or
  • the gaining of final relief, such as
    • the ordering up for delivery (to the owner or another person) of all copies of the infringing work; and/or
    • the seizure of infringing works under the CPDA; and/or
    • Forfeiture under the CPDA (where the works are seized and destroyed or delivered to the copyright owner); and/or
    • A declaration of infringement; and/or
    • The right to elect for damages or account for profits

Future articles will examine the nature of the civil (and criminal) remedies that can be pursued against infringers of copyright.

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    330 Reviews

    Arabella B

    I am so grateful to Caroline Lewis at Redmans Solicitor’s for helping me with my Unfair Dismissal Case. I was seriously impressed how easy Redmans made the whole case, and am very happy with my Settlement. I have recommended your firm to at least 5 people in the last 3 months.. Thank you Caroline and everyone at Redmans. You are Brilliant .

    Posted 7 hours ago

    Anonymous

    Highly professional and efficient service.

    Posted 12 hours ago

    Tanya T

    I had the pleasure of Chris and Sacha’s experience with a work matter. They made me feel at ease with the process and explained everything thoroughly. Would happily recommend Redmans especially Chris and use them if needed I’m the future. Thank you!

    Posted 13 hours ago

    Anonymous

    I used the services of Redmans solicitors and was a quick outstanding service I engaged them in a settlement agreement after been made redundant extremely professional at all that was done and would definetly use them again

    Posted 14 hours ago

    Adrian A

    Spot on support, enough to get the matter at hand sorted. No beating around the bush, no nonsense - got the job done and we all moved on.

    Posted 14 hours ago

    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Ade A

    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Malcolm P

    they were there when others were not

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 1 month ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 3 months ago