Stay Legal UK

What is copyright infringement?

Orange background, blue icon representing copyright

The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 details two types of copyright infringement. They are primary infringement and secondary infringement. Primary infringements are ‘strict liability’ torts, which means no knowledge or intention is needed to be shown by the defendant to establish liability. For secondary infringements, the defendant needs to have had certain knowledge, or reasonable grounds to have that knowledge, at the time of carrying out the infringement.

If a person does any of the following restricted acts in the United Kingdom (UK) without the consent or license of the copyright owner, then they are committing a primary act of copyright infringement:

  • Copying a copyright work.
  • Issuing copies of the copyright work to the public.
  • Lending or renting the copyright work to the public.
  • Showing, playing, or performing the work in public.
  • Communication the work to the public.
  • Making an adaption of a copyright work or doing any of the above acts in relation to the adaption.

It is also an infringement of copyright work to authorise another person to do any of the restricted acts above. Infringement results from one of the restricted acts being carried out in respect of the whole or substantial part of the copyright work, either directly or indirectly.

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)

As a business owner who operates online it is vital that you get the right protection for intellectual property (IP). Your IP is a valuable asset that represents your brand and increases in value with your business. The right protection along with an IP notice on your website can prevent others from infringing your work and if it is still infringed, it will be easier to seek damages and removal.

At Lawdit Stay Legal we can get you the right protection for your IP. Our Stay Legal packages offer something for every business. We can supply you with all the documents you need for your website which will act as legal safeguards to protect your business and keep it on the right side of the law. With our free initial consultation there is no need to delay, so book today!

Stay legal logo large

More From Stay Legal

Share this with your network
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on whatsapp