NEXT pay damages for Copyright Infringement

The Facts

The popular clothing retailers NEXT were found guilty of copyright infringement, for the unauthorised use of Allan Pott’s photograph of a motorcyclist. NEXT had adapted the original image by replacing the head of the motorcyclist with the head of a chimpanzee and were using the image on children’s clothing which was sold on-line and in store.

When the photographer discovered the unauthorised use of his image, he swiftly took action and proved that he was the owner of the image by producing a time and date stamped photograph of the image in question. He also produced evidence to show that the image had been taken off the internet.


The Law

Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988

Under s4(1) of the CDPA 1988, a photograph is defined as an Artistic Work, s4(2) specifically defines a photograph as “a recording of light or other radiation on any medium on which an image is produced or from which an image may by any means be produced, and which is not part of a film”.

It follows that images and photographs benefit from copyright protection, the unauthorized use of which, give rise to an action for infringement.


The Outcome

NEXT had no choice but accept the photographers claim and paid out an undisclosed sum of damages. NEXT are reported to have donated the remaining items of clothing bearing the image to Oxfam (for charity work outside the U.K).

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