Pushing legal boundaries....almost... 8 second clips and Copyright
Written by Michael Coyle on 22 March 2016« Return to Reading Room
Question is can the unauthorised reproduction and making available of clips of cricket matches lasting up to 8 seconds amount to an infringement of copyright....the answer was yes. However it was not a slam dunk decision
His Lordship Arnold found that:-
i) The reproduction and communication to the public of clips from the Claimants' broadcasts and films via versions of the App was not protected by the defence of fair dealing for the purpose of reporting currents. The use was not for the purpose of reporting currents events; and even if it was, it did not amount to fair dealing. Accordingly, the Defendants infringed the Claimants' copyrights in those works.
ii) In some cases the use of the clips would have infringed in any event because of the lack of sufficient acknowledgement.
iii) The changes made to the App in subsequent versions do not alter the availability of the defence of fair dealing for the purpose of reporting current events.
iv) The reproduction and communication to the public of some of the clips via the Website and Social Media Accounts also infringed the Claimants' copyrights.
v) The Defendants' infringements were not flagrant.
The latter was point is important as "The Claimants seek a finding that the Defendants' infringements committed via the versions of the App up to version 8.3, and via the Website and the Social Media Accounts, were flagrant, with a view to claiming additional damages upon an inquiry as to damages. In my view, however, the Defendants' infringements were not flagrant. The Defendants were, as I have noted above, knowingly "pushing legal boundaries", but nevertheless I consider that they were seeking to act lawfully. Moreover, they have made a series of modifications to the App which attempted to address points raised by the Claimants even if I have concluded that they were not ultimately successful."
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