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

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

204 Reviews

Anonymous

Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 1 month ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Posted 3 months ago

submit

I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 3 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 3 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago

Marie D

very good service all digitalised

Posted 3 months ago