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£2851.42 just for one photograph !


News has just come out of showing the sort of damages awarded by the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in cases of Copyright Infringement.

£2851.42 for one photograph is the amount awarded by the High Court in total damages for the infringement of one photograph which normally sells for £195 GBP for use with attribution.

Of especially important note is that this total amount included  £759.70 "Litigant's in person costs" ( ie payment for his time ) awarded to the photographer-claimant because the defendant largely ignored the claim, which is the advice usually given to defendants on here. It seems following that advice cost the defendant £759.70. The reason is that Civil Procedere Rules expect parties to communicate with each other and make reasonable attempts to settle out of court. Parties that do not talk to each other can be found to have behaved unreasonably and the court may award additional costs under CPR part 27.14 (2)(g).

The rest of the award is damages for the infringement, court costs and the claimants travel costs to London. As with most cases before the IPEC small claims track, damages awarded were much higher than the normal value of the work in order to be "dissuasive" as set out in the EU Enforcement Directive.

More info, including a link to the judgement is on the Editorial Photographs UK (EPUK) website :-

In cases of copyright infringement, my advice remains the same, check that the claim is genuine and if it is seek an out of court settlement. In most cases that will cost rather less than £2851.42.

Thanks for this information; I was unware of this judgement, which serves as a usefull case precedent to motivate people towards negotiating a settlement.

Yes, small claims track judgements are not usually published. I believe it took a lot of effort by the claimant in this case to get a transcript with permission to publish.

There are moves to have small claims track judgements published perhaps on bailii or perhaps on an official court website. This would benefit both claimants and defendants to see what actually happens when cases come before the court. I believe the IPEC judges are in favour of publication and currently the matter is with the Lord Chancellors office. If you have an interest in Copyright Law, then it may be worth you sending him a letter on the Subject. If you are in his constituency, South West Hertfordshire, you can write direct but otherwise, protocol is that one should write to ones own MP. I know a number of photographer-claimants have written. It would be nice if some defendants wrote as well. The current situation of justice in the dark is in Nobody's interest.


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