Copyright Dispute

Copyright Dispute

Copyright dispute is producing copyright-protected material without the copyright of owner’s permission. It means the rights are given to the copyright holder, such as exclusive use of work for a specified period and breached by a third party by maintaining uniqueness of the product and avoiding trademark disputes. Both individuals and companies who develop new works register for copyright protection to ensure they can profit from their efforts.

The law of copyright is immensely important in business.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) seeks to protect creative output against intentional or unintentional copying. The Act protects a wide variety of expressions of talent, such as artwork, the written word, music and film.

No formal registration system is involved for the right to exist. Copyright came automatically into existence upon the creation of the work. Experienced legal representation is crucial to deal with enforcement against infringers, or alternatively with assignment or licensing of the right.

Classic copyrights include: literary, dramatic, musical or artistic (LDMA) works.

Entrepreneurial copyrights protect people who invest in creativity. This includes: production companies, broadcasters and publishers. Entrepreneurial copyrights protect films, sound recordings, published editions, broadcasts and cablecasts.

Will Copyright apply to my work?



For copyright to subsist in LDMA works, the work must be original. Originality means the author’s own work, not copied from anything else. In addition, what is required is originality of expression and form, not of idea or content.

For copyright to subsist in LDMA works, the work must be original. Originality means the author’s own work, not copied from anything else. In addition, what is required is originality of expression and form, not of idea or content. The originality can help in preventing domain trademark dispute.

Minimum effort

An original work will not be protected by copyright unless a certain minimum amount of effort has gone into the work. Whilst the threshold is low, it must be substantial enough to constitute a ‘work’. This threshold will vary depending on what particular copyright is sought such as literary or artistic.


Unlike artistic works, literary, dramatic and musical worksmust be recorded for copyright to subsist, in writing or otherwise.


Copyright is owned by the author or co-author, unless the author is an employee and in which case, the employer will be the first owner provided the work was done in the normal course of the employee’s employment. If the work has been commissioned, copyright rests with the author and not with the person commissioning the work.


The typical duration of copyright is the life of the author plus 70 years after the author’s death.


Copyright arises automatically and provides the owner with the right not to be copied. In addition, the owner has the exclusive right to copy, publish, perform, or show in public and/or to adapt the work.

Has my copyright work been infringed?


Copyright in a work is infringed by a person who, without copyright owner license does or authorises another to do so. Any act that has been restricted by the copyright is set out in the CDPA 1988.

Primary infringement

Primary infringers are strictly liable. Primary infringement captures direct copying. It concerns the unauthorised performance of any of the ‘acts restricted by copyright’ (as set out in the CDPA 1988).

Secondary infringement

Secondary infringers are liable only if they knew, or had reason to believe, that they were dealing with an infringing copy. Secondary infringement provides copyright owners with protection against those who deal with or facilitate the manufacture of infringing copies.

Relevant factors

Copying means reproducing the work in any material form. The whole work does not need to be copied. It is sufficient that a substantial part is copied. What is substantial is considered qualitatively, not quantitatively.

There will be an inference of copying if there was an opportunity to copy and the work is so similar to the original.

Are there defences to copyright?


The use of a copyright work can be allowed without the permission of the owner in certain circumstances. The following statutory purposes are examples of some the main exceptions which a person may seek to rely on:

  • Fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study
  • Fair dealing for criticism and review purpose
  • Fair dealing for reporting latest events

Notwithstanding these exceptions, there must be a sufficient acknowledgement to the owner.

What remedies are available?


In an action for infringement, the following relief may be sought:

  • Compensatory damages for the loss incurred due to the infringement and the sum that would have been paid for a notional licence. Additional damages can also be awarded depending on the flagrancy of the infringement
  • Injunction to prohibit further infringement
  • Profit account made by infringer
  • Order for delivery up by the infringer infringing articles
  • Order to seize infringing articles

Contact Us

Your intellectual property is an incredibly important asset. If you need advice about a copyright issue, please contact Taylor Hampton today to find out how our copyright dispute solicitors can help you.


If you would like to speak to one of our experienced commercial litigation solicitors in relation to your matter, please call us on +44207 427 5970 or email us at [email protected]