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I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.
may I clarify what kind of works these are please? For example a novel?
thank you. the defence the broadcaster has raised is a curious one because it is not one that is recognised by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which instead imposes strict liability in respect of copyright infringement.
In other words, it is not a defence to claim that you accidentally by pure coincidence copied somebody else's idea even if it is completely true. Providing the original author of the work can prove that they created it first then the person that created it second, even as above, to the extent this was a genuine creation on their part with no knowledge of your work whatsoever ( though it seems rather too coincidental that someone at the broadcaster with whom you shared your idea happened upon the same idea themselves) this would still amount to a breach of copyright and the person or broadcaster if they created the idea in the context of an employee of the broadcaster, be liable to you for damages for breach of copyright which would as a starting point be commensurate with royalties you would have been due had the broadcaster paid for the rights under a commercial agreement
Do you have any estimate on the amount of royalties you may have been able to negotiate for the rights in ballpark terms?
It may be publicly available but you can ask that it is locked by dropping customer services online asking to lock the thread for privacy:
s17 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 sets out when the infringement takes place and no knowledge of prior work is necessary for such infringement to take place
Not to my knowledge. If you consider the position it would offer a party a simple defence so as to make the law largely unworkable in many cases if this were not so
It is necessary to separate the criminal offences and civil liability under CDPA. Strict liability offences relate to criminal liability not civil damages.
In respect to innocent reproduction and s97 CDPA, this defence only applies where the defendant can reasonably show that they did not know of any copyright subsisting at the time having done appropriate due diligence. If they can establish that then this can operate as a defence to damages for infringement itself, but not for profits the defendant makes from the infringement and not for flagrancy damages in the event the reproduction is flagrant in nature.
Accordingly even where the defence can be established, it only protects potentially against one element of a potential claim and will not protect the defendant from profits or flagrancy damages.
In any event, as you say, injunctive relief can be sought to prevent use of works even to the extent that section 97 defence is available to the defendant.
There is a helpful summary here:
It seems to me that you may need to consider appointing representation to protect your interests.
"flagrancy" relates to how egregious the breach is. Intentionally or grossly negligently using copyrighted work can give rise to such claims. They are the exception rather than the rule.
On a practical level they can, but if they do so they will be liable to pay you damages for on account of profits (remembering that this is not protected under a s97 defence even if they are successful in such a defence) and also potentially (though less likely) flagrancy damages which there is a potential ground for if they proceed with use of a reproduced work when they know it is copyrighted. I would also question whether a s97 defence could succeed if they go ahead with broadcast if you can prove you have made them aware of the copyright. The defence only holds to the extent it does at all up to the point they can claim not to have been aware. It seems to me you can consider either negotiating for a fair settlement for royalties or advise them that you will be seeking injunctive relief to prevent the broadcast proceeding or allow the broadcast to proceed and claim damages as against their profits.
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