Copyright Litigation

Copyright Disputes

Internet Related Copyright Litigation

    The firm specialises in internet related copyright litigation. Our niche expertise lies within copyright litigation related to digital assets including the infringement of digital related copyright works such as:- photographs; text; code; mobile apps; ebooks; online video; digital music files; digital films and digital TV.
    Whilst it is well-known that literal copying of photographs (electronic images are included within the definition of photographs in s4(2) of the Act), text, design notes, graphics, databases, music files, audio/visual files, code are all copyright protected. When it comes to digital media copyright there are lots of “live” issues including those set out below. Choosing our firm to represent you in your digital related copyright dispute will give you the advantage over non-digital litigation specialists.
    Website Design and layout
    1. The issue of whether there is a separate work in the design of the layout of the website is still “live”. The question arises as to whether the design of the layout of a website is a separate work or just part of the coding. There is some case law (not UK case law) on the subject to suggest that it might be a separate work.
    Non-literal copying
    2. Another “live” issue is non-literal copying. It is very straightforward when you can show an excerpt of the code from a digital media platform and compare it with the code from the media platform of another business and there are substantial amounts of the code that are identical. Naturally, it is preferable to have a straightforward situation of literal reproduction that can be easily proven but what if the business copying you has copied your code but built their own code on the top of it? Not all cases will come in a perfect package. There may be cases where some work has to be done to prove copyright infringement and it might mean creating or helping to evolve the law.
    S17(2) of the Act says that copying means reproduction in any material form. This goes beyond a straightforward literal copying and can include copying the structure. This type of non-literal copying focuses on whether there was copying of those elements of the original that were capable of copyright protection.

    An adaptation of the digital code making up the media
    3. There is also the adaptation of digital coding. An adaptation with reference to software, database and computer code is found in:
    S21(3) (ab) as “an arrangement or altered version of the program or a translation of it”.
    S21(3) (ac) as “in relation to a database, means an arrangement or altered version of the database or a translation of it”
    S21(4) as “In relation to a computer program a “translation” includes a version of the program in which it is converted into or out of a computer language or code or into a different computer language or code”.
    It is not clear why these should not apply to digital code in digital related copyright infringement cases. Software is nothing more than coding stored in a fixed form that runs on hardware. Website coding runs on the Web and, in my opinion, there is no material difference.
    Apart from digital copyright litigation we also assist with copyright infringement cases relating to:

  • Theatre productions
  • Buildings and architecture
  • Fashion designs (copyright & design rights)
  • Fine Art


“His work has been remarkable…knowledge and experience of copyright and trademark law defeated the best efforts of four different large well-resourced law firms over a two-year period (since the beginning of 2017) that did their best to run defences and counterclaims to thwart our resolve…I highly recommend Peter Adediran at PAIL Solicitors….it is money very well spent.

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