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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I work as an expert witness. I opposed another expert in a

Resolved Question:

I work as an expert witness. I opposed another expert in a case and then subsequently published four short excerpts from his report in a book. The excerpts are no more than about five or six hundred words, from a fairly lengthy report. My object in quoting from the report was to criticise the method that expert used. I did not mention the expert's name and I did not mention any names from the case.
The expert now claims that I infringed his copyright, and he claims the police force which commissioned him also owns copyright in that report, even though he is the author of it.
So, my questions are:
1. Is this fair use or copyright infringement?
2. Who owns the copyright of his report - him or the police force who commissioned it?
He also claims I breached confidentiality by quoting from his report even though I did not mention any names of any parties. However, all those matters I quoted were also given by him in oral evidence. So my question is:
3. Did I breach confidentiality?
Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with it.

Alex Watts :

Did you credit the expert report with the words used?

Alex Watts :

Was it a passage or passages?

Customer:

Hello.

Customer:

I did not credit the expert by name, I simply referred to 'the expert'. I did not want to mention him by name because I did not want it to be an ad hominem attack. The report was not a published report, it should be mentioned.

Customer:

It was four short passages.

Customer:

I have not received any advice yet - is this expert still online?

Customer:

Hello.

Customer:

hello.....

Alex Watts :

Yes I am considering your responses.

Customer:

ah thank you

Alex Watts :

The system shows me on and offline whilst I look things up

Customer:

the aim was to comment on the academic and scholarly aspects of his report - hence i did not mention him by name; he is not complaining that his name was not mentioned

Alex Watts :

To answer your questions:

Alex Watts :

1. Is this fair use or copyright infringement? - If you are going to use someone else's work, no matter how small you must credit them. So it must be referenced and credited. Otherwise it is a breach of intellectual copyright

Customer:

Ok.

Alex Watts :

2. Who owns the copyright of his report - him or the police force who commissioned it? - The author of the report would generally retain copyright, unless the rights were transferred to the Police, which they are generally not

Customer:

ok

Alex Watts :

I breached confidentiality by quoting from his report even though I did not mention any names of any parties. - If a party can be identified from the passage then you would have, but if you did not mention by name and it was not obvious then it wont be a breach of confidentiality

Customer:

ok

Alex Watts :

However I should say reports for Court are and should only be used for that purpose. They should not generally be disclosed outside of those proceedings

Customer:

ok

Customer:

understood

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

just one thing

Alex Watts :

Of course.

Customer:

the fact that i didn't mention his name

Alex Watts :

ok

Customer:

my aim was purely to talk about the scientific aspects of his evidence

Customer:

which relates to a general theory in my field

Alex Watts :

Yes, but you used his material.

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

That in itself is a breach of intellectual property

Customer:

ok so i should have mentioned his name - i agree

Alex Watts :

I understand it was an honest mitake.

Customer:

it's just that i was not acting in bad faith

Customer:

yes

Customer:

exactly so

Customer:

ok i think that covers it

Customer:

thanks for your help alex

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else today?

Customer:

i will rate this very good, excellent

Customer:

thanks for your help

Alex Watts :

Thank you and if I could invite you to rate and click on one of buttons at the bottom of the page I would be very grateful

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