Posted: Monday, 3 June 2013 @ 12:05
Back in June 2011 I posted a blog on copyright infringement by unauthorised use of photographs.
The explosion in social media and prolific posting of photographs has made it incredibly easy for photos to be downloaded and used by others without consent of the photographer holding the copyright.
A recent case has highlighted the issue, and indicated the sort of compensation which can be ordered.
In Sheldon v Daybrook House Promotions Limited, Sheldon had exclusive backstage rights to a gig to take photos of the US popstar Ke$ha. Daybrook used one of his photos without consent. The judge in the Patents County Court ruled that the compensation should be based on a reasonable royalty, the fee which would have been agreed between a willing licensor and a willing licensee.
The judge said that the reasonable royalty should be based on the particular photo in question. How much would Mr Sheldon have received from a publisher for using the photo? Other important factors in deciding the compensation were the importance and popularity of the subject, here Ke$ha, and any exclusitivity of access to that subject.
Daybrook suggested it should only be a few hundred pounds. The judge rejected that out of hand and awarded Mr Sheldon £5682.37 exclusive of VAT and interest.
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Blog by Nigel Musgrove
Nigel has been providing dispute resolution advice as a solicitor for over 35 years. As well as advising SMEs and business owners on disputes he also offers a specialist licensing law service. View profile
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