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UK Copyright Infringment - Law Change

Simon Jenkins , Nov 20, 2012; 07:14 a.m.

Good news for UK Photographers with a simplified method of pursuing copyright infringement.



Benoit Evans , Nov 20, 2012; 08:33 a.m.

Allowing access to small claims court for copyright infringement in the U.K. Is good news.

In Canada, this is already possible.

In the U.S., there is a proposal for small claims court access now under study. http://www.copyright.gov/docs/smallclaims/

Steve Smith , Nov 20, 2012; 09:16 a.m.

Good idea.

Photographers can pursue damages for breach of copyright, for up to £5,000, without even appointing a solicitor, unlike before where they may have been put off by a potentially long, and expensive, legal fight.

Obviously lawyers are not allowed in small claims but you don't need to use one in any other court.

Starvy Goodfellows , Nov 20, 2012; 10:04 a.m.

One can opt to have a legal representative in small claims court to my knowledge. However, the minor fees usually renders such an arrangement impractical. I would have thought that if the floodgates open in claims being filed, the court services would make a lot of money.

David Haas , Nov 20, 2012; 10:25 a.m.

Use of legal representation in the U.S. for concilitory or small claims court varies from state to state. I believe that there are states that don't allow lawyers, those that do, but they are optional, and those that require representation. Many lawyers will offer a free consultation (or greatly reduced price) for a small claims consult.

As to higher courts, yes, a person can chose to be their own representative, however there's a saying for that: A person with himself / herself as a client indeed, has a fool for a client.

Mathew Hargreaves , Nov 20, 2012; 11:18 p.m.

As I understand it in the U.S., Intellectual Property issues such as Copyright, Trademark, and Patent infringement is strictly the domain of the Federal Courts system. Congress reserved it that way long ago. If the Small Claims Court could handle the cases, would appeals be poosible through the Federal Courts? The body of court cases and decisions lies at that level. Collecting on a Small Claims case win might be dificult.


Steve Smith , Nov 21, 2012; 01:43 a.m.

Collecting on a Small Claims case win might be dificult.

Why would it be any different to collecting from a judgement from any other court?

Steve Smith , Nov 21, 2012; 08:39 a.m.

If the Small Claims Court could handle the cases, would appeals be poosible through the Federal Courts?

From the UK Citizens' Adice Bureau:

You may appeal against a judgment in the small claims track only if the court made a mistake in law or there was a serious irregularity in the proceedings.

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