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Secondary copyright infringement?

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The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 gives two different groups of infringing acts. They are primary infringement and secondary infringement. For secondary infringement, the defendant needs to have had certain knowledge, or reasonable grounds to have that knowledge, at the time of carrying out the infringement.

The following acts, if carried out without the license of the owner and the knowledge required is shown are secondary infringement:

Doing any of the following concerning an article that is an infringing copy of copyright work:

  • Importing it into the UK, other than for the importers private and domestic use.
  • During business, possessing, distributing, or displaying it in public.
  • Letting for hire, selling, or offering/exposing it for sale/hire.
  • Distributing it, other than during business, to such an extent as to prejudicially affect the copyright owner.

(For the above acts the defendant must have knowledge or reason to believe that the article is an infringing copy)

Doing any of the following acts concerning an article specifically designed or adapted for making copies of a copyright work:

  • Making such article.
  • Importing such article into the UK.
  • Possessing it during business.
  • Letting for hire, selling, or offering/exposing it for sale/hire.

(For the above acts the defendant must have knowledge or reason to believe that the article is to be used to make infringing copies.)

  • Transmitting a copyright work via a telecommunications system, other than by communicating to the public. For example, by fax or email.

(For the above act, the defendant must have knowledge or reason to believe that infringing copies of the work will be made by means of receiving the transmission in the UK or elsewhere.)

  • Giving permission to use a place of public entertainment for a performance which has infringed copyright in a dramatic, literary, or musical work.

(For the above act, the person who gave the permission is liable, unless they reasonably believed that the performance would not infringe copyright when permission was given.)

  • Supplying equipment or a substantial part of such equipment for showing films, playing sound recordings, or receiving visual images or sounds delivered by electronic means which has been used to show, play, or perform a copyright infringement in public.

(For the above act, knowledge, or reason to believe the equipment was likely to be used to infringe copyright, or if normal use of the equipment involves a public performance, showing, or playing, a lack of belief on reasonable grounds that it would not be used to infringe copyright.)

  • As an occupier of a premises, giving permission for such equipment or substantial part to be brought on site, which has then been used to play, show, or perform a copyright infringement.

(For the above act, the occupier must have knowledge or reason to believe that the equipment was likely to be used to infringe copyright.)

  • Supplying a copy of a film or sound recording that has been used with such equipment to show, play, or perform a copyright infringement in public.

(For the above act, knowledge, or reason to believe that the copy of film or sound recording, or a copy made from it, would be used to infringe copyright.)

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