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A Norwich Pharmacal order

UK: High Court Chancery Division, 26 March 2012,  Golden Eye (International) Ltd v Telefonica UK Ltd.

Copyright owners (‘owners of the copyrights in pornographic films’) brought a claim for Norwich Pharmacal relief (“If through no fault of his own a person gets mixed up in the tortious acts of others so as to facilitate their wrong-doing he may incur no personal liability but he comes under a duty to assist the person who has been wronged by giving him full information and disclosing the identity of the wrongdoers”) against an internet service provider due to suspicions of peer-to-peer file sharing of their materials by internet users. The object of the claim is to obtain disclosure of [...]

Pass the Dutchie. A case against Musical Youth’s former solicitors

UK: High Court Chancery Division, 23 March 2012, Seaton v Seddon.

The members of the reggae band Musical Youth brought a case against their former solicitors with regards to the royalties due from a hit single: “Pass the Dutchie”. This song was an arrangement of another piece of music, entitled “Pass the Kouchie”. The claim in the present case arose out of an 1984 agreement dividing royalties between the owners of the copyright in the original and the derivative work.

The defendants, who were at the time the claimants’ solicitors, had acted for the owners of the copyright in the original work in the making of that agreement without telling their clients about it. The claimants argued that t [...]

A black and white photograph of a red bus

Patents Court London, 12 January 2012, Temple Island Collections Ltd v New English Teas Ltd & Nicholas John Houghton.

A photograph of a red Routemaster bus travelling across Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament and the bridge shown in gray, which shares visually significant elements with the claimant’s photograph, infringes copyright, despite the fact that it differs at some points in its composition. Claimant’s photograph was published in February 2006 and has been used by the claimant on souvenirs. The defendants produce tea: the company’s best selling packs of tea include tins and cartons bearing images of ‘Icons of England’.

Determining infringement, requires a qualitativ [...]

UK: Films included in a broadcast

High Court Chancery Division, 3 February 2012, Football Association Premier League v QC Leisure. Further to a referral to the ECJ on, inter alia, the meaning of “communication to the public” under art. 3 of the Directive 2001/29 (Case C-403/83), the High Court ruled that the showing of broadcasts (football matches) via television screens and speakers in public houses infringes the right to communicate to the public those broadcasts. However, sec. 72 of the CDPA states unambiguously that the act of showing in public of a broadcast does not infringe the copyrights in the films included in it.

“78. In my judgment s.72(1)(c) means what it says. The showing or playing of a broadcast in a public [...]

UK: The photographs are pictures of drugs

Patents Court London, 19 January 2012, Hoffman v Drug Abuse Resistance Education. A charity infringed copyright in photographs by including them in its website withouth the author’s permission. The fact that the charity was under a good-faith impression that it had permission to use the photographs, as they appeared in a website that was covered by Crown copyright, did not prevent the finding of infringement. Moreover, the innocence defence can apply as a bar to damages only when it can be shown that, at the time of the infringement, the defendant did not know, or had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work (CDPA, sec. 97). However, the defence does not apply when one beli [...]

A list of permanent memory absolute addresses

UK: High Court Chancery Division, 09-11-2011: Forensic Telecommunications Services Ltd v. Chief Constable of West

Copyright does not subsist in a list of permanent memory absolute (“PM Abs”) addresses of mobile phones that are used to extract data from mobile phones in forensic investigations. There may have been an expenditure of skill, labour and judgement but it has not been of the right kind. If copyright did subsist in the list, the defendants would have infringed copyright by substantially reproducing the list. Fair dealing defences would not apply. However, the list is protected by the database right due to the investment made in obtaining the data. By posting the list on the Phone-fo [...]

UK: ITV Broadcasting Ltd v TV Catchup Ltd (live-streaming)

UK: ITV Broadcasting Ltd v TV Catchup Ltd High Court of England and Wales (Patents Court), 18 July 2011

Live-streaming: In a case on internet live-streaming retransmission of TV broadcasts and films, the High Court ruled that the introduction in the UK Copyright Act of a general right of communication to the public with respect to broadcasts was not invalidly enacted. The Court also reached the provisional conclusion that the retransmission of broadcasts and films via live streaming amounts to an act of communication to the public, but referred the question to the European Court of Justice for clarification. In the view of the Court, live streaming retransmission amounts to authorisation of [...]

UK: Future v. Edge (High Court Chancery Division), 13 june 2011

Edge LogoUK: Future Publishing Ltd v. Edge Interactive Media Inc., High Court Chancery Division, 13 June 2011.

Copyright in logo: US companies involved in the business of computer games had infringed copyright in the logo of a computer gaming magazine (“EDGE”), by using it on letterhead, website and games. The Court found the logo sufficiently original to qualify for copyright protection. Defendant’s use amounted to copyright infringement, passing-off and breach of a trading agreement with the publisher of the magazine. (Stavroula Karapapa &  Maurizio Borghi, Brunel University).

For the full text of this case click here.

A summary of this case will be posted on soon.

UK: Lucasfilm Ltd & Ors v Ainsworth & Anor (Supreme Court), 27 july 2011

UK:  Lucasfilm Ltd & Ors v Ainsworth & Anor, Supreme Court, 27 july 2011.

Helmets and harmours created for the characters of the Imperial Stormtrooper in the film Star Wars are not “sculptures”, and therefore are not copyrightable subject matter within the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Nevertheless, a claim for infringement of a US copyright is justiceable in the United Kingdom, provided there is a basis for in personam jurisdiction over the defendant. (Stavroula Karapapa &  Maurizio Borghi, Brunel University).

For the full text of this case click here.

A summary of this case will be posted on soon.

UK: CSC/Video Performance (Court of Appeal), 27 may 2011

CSC Media GroupUK: CSC Media Group Ltd v. Video Performance Ltd, Court of Appeal Civil Division, 27 May 2011.

Collective management: The Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s judgement and reinstated the decision of the Copyright Tribunal in respect of the royalty rate payable by CSC Media Group to Video Performance Limited (VPL) for the use of music videos on its music television channels. The Copyright Tribunal issued a decision and order, that royalty payable by CSC to VPL should be 12.5% of CSC’s gross revenue. The High Court, to which the matter was referred by VPL, ruled that the Copyright Tribunal erred in determining the royalty and remitted the case to a differently constituted tribunal for re [...]

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