The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (“CDPA”) provides protection against copyright infringement. To rely on the CDPA 1988 your work must be of the nature in which copyright can subsist. For example, literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works attract copyright protection.
Secondly, you have to prove that you are the owner of the work. In some instances even if you have created a piece of work you may not be the owner of the copyright. For example, an employee creating a piece of work for his employer.
Once it is established that copyright subsists in your work and you are the owner, you must determine how someone has infringed your copyright. Infringement occurs when someone carries out or authorises someone else to carry out the following restricted acts:
- Copying a copyright work.
- Issuing copies of the copyright work to the public.
- Renting or lending the work to the public.
- Performing, showing or playing a copyright work in public.
- Communicating the work to the public.
- Making an adaptation of a copyright work or doing any of the acts listed above in relation to an adaptation.
If you find that someone is carrying out one of the restricted acts above (whether intentionally or unintentionally), then it is your duty to give them notice that you are the owner of the work and that they are infringing the copyright by carrying out one of the restricted acts. You may also require them to sign undertakings to deter them from carrying out another restricted act.
If proceedings become necessary, remedies available to you may include an injunction (pending trial), delivery up or destruction of all infringing copies, damages or an account of profits, legal cost and interest.