Copyright for Library and Information Service Professionals

By Paul Pedley | Go to book overview
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9.

Case law

The prospect of organisations which infringe copyright being faced with legal action resulting in substantial costs and damages or even criminal prosecution is a powerful weapon in convincing those organisations not to undertake illegal photocopying in the workplace.

Licensing bodies such as the Copyright Licensing Agency and the Newspaper Licensing Agency are prepared to institute legal proceedings, if necessary, in order to enforce the rights entrusted to them by authors and publishers. The CLA's Copywatch campaign, for example, uses the latest investigative techniques-including employing undercover detectives-to expose copyright theft in local and national government, schools and colleges, as well as business. The anti-copyright theft campaign has a hotline which was set up for those who have confidential information about illegal copying as well as for companies that wish to take out a licence.

The press coverage which follows successful actions is highly embarrassing for the infringers, and often leads businesses and institutions to check that they are complying with copyright law.

The chapter heading of 'case law' is something of a misnomer, because many of the cases either never went to court, or else they were settled out of court and consequently they are unreported and uncited. So, a number of the 'cases' outlined below were legal actions rather than court cases.

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