High court victory for PRS
Written by Claire Welling, a work experience student on 11 April 2012« Return to Reading Room
Mr Kevin Prosser QC (Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) encouraged the parties should "adopt a broad brush approach on this issue", deciding they should agree that "the balance of unpaid royalties amounts to 2,000 GBP, and that damages are payable amounting to 3,000 GBP, making 5,000 GBP in total, plus interest".
Additional damages of 9,000 GBP were also awarded under section 97 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 which states that "The court may in action for infringement of copyright having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular (a) to the flagrancy of the infringement, and (b) any benefit accruing to the defendant by reason of the infringement, award such additional damages as the justice of the case may require".
This he claimed was due to the "flagrant infringement" of Mr Burns, who he believed knew "that the 2006 license had been terminated but" did nothing to stop PRS' copyright being infringed. Moreover, as an experienced solicitor, his lax and uncooperative attitude was totally unacceptable". No additional damages were awarded against William Burn, who he considered was "understandably relying on his father".
The decision highlights the importance in acquiring and maintaining a PRS license for businesses wishing to play copyrighted works in public.
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