Copyright Offences in the UK – A General Resume

UK Copyright

The data given below here comprises the general drift of UK law on Copyright Infringement and its accompanying offences and penalties as at around the time of posting this article. The text in red has been highlighted in red by Anomalist blog and does not show in this format in the actual statutory law published by UK government.

Nor do the footnotes added into the data here show in the actual UK law as officially published and they too have been added by Anomalist blog.

The aim of writing this article has been to offer a taster and so encourage readers of it to go to the official statute law itself which is on view at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/intellectual-property-offences

Infringing Copies

The statutory definition of an “infringing copy” of a copyright work is contained in section 27(2) of the copyright, designs and patents act 1988. This provides that “an article is an infringing copy if its making constituted an infringement of the copyright in the work in question”.

Offences: Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Under section 107(1) a person commits an offence who, without the licence of the copy right owner –

(a) makes for sale or hire, or

(b) imports into the united kingdom otherwise that for his private and domestic use, or

(c) possesses in the course of a business with a view to committing any act infringing the copyright, or

(d) in the course of a business –

sells or lets for hire, or
(ii) offers or exposes for sale or hire, or
(ill) exhibits in public, or
(iv) distributes, or

(e) distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,

An article which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe is, an infringing copy of a copyright work.

Under section 107(2) a person commits an offence who –

(a) makes an article specially designed or adapted for making copies of a particular copyright work, or

(b) has such an article in his possession,

knowing or having a reason to believe that it is to be used to make infringing copies for sale or hire or for use in the course of a business.

Under section 107(3) where copyright is infringed (otherwise than by reception of a broadcast or cable programme) –

(a) by the public performance of a literary, dramatic or musical work, or
(b) by the playing or showing in public of a sound recording or film,

Any person who caused the work to be so performed, played or shown is guilty of an offence if he knew or had reason to believe that copyright would be infringed.

Penalties: Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Section 107(4) provides that the offences under section 107(1)(a),(b),(d)(iv)and (e) are offences tryable either way

On conviction on indictment the maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

On summary conviction the maximum penalty is 6 months imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine.

All of the remaining offences under section 107 are summary offences carrying a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine.

DISCLAIMER: This article in no way aims to be professional legal advice. It is for general cursory consumption only and it is not being recommended or advised or offered here as a work one should or could or can in any way base a legal action upon nor any contemplation of a legal action. The writers of and those associated with having posted this article on public display wholly and absolutely disclaim all and any liability which does and which might arise to any other person or party who has not taken note of or else not heeded this disclaimer.

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