Sanctions for copyright infringement

Two recent cases provide warnings to businesses on the sanctions that can be imposed for copyright infringement:

  • In the first case, the High Court passed a 28-day custodial sentence suspended for 12 months on a nightclub owner for copyright infringement. The sentence followed an application by Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for committal of the defendant for breach of a court order prohibiting him from playing or authorising the playing in public of sound recordings within PPL’s repertoire.
  • In the second case, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court ruled on damages involving the use of 21 photographs on the website of a home improvement services company without the photographer’s consent. The court awarded the owner of the copyright in the photographs damages of £300 and a further £6,000 for unfair profits or, alternatively, for the flagrancy of the infringement.