Copyright criminal offences
Copyright criminal offences

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Copyright criminal offences
  • Offences under section 107
  • Technological measures and decoders
  • Other offences
  • Seizure
  • Conviction
  • Enforcement

The Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA 2017) received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. DEA 2017 implementation is underway with the publication of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/765 (the Regulations). The Regulations bring into force specified provisions of DEA 2017. The dates of commencement of certain other provisions are set out in section 118. In the Regulations, provisions are listed which came into force on 31 July 2017 and 1 October 2017. See LNB News 20/07/2017 101.

For offences that have more of a public policy angle such as those involving counterfeit goods and piracy, it is possible to bring criminal as well as civil proceedings. The majority of infringements that are dealt with by criminal offences are those with commercial purposes. However, even then, copyright owners are usually more likely to choose to bring civil than criminal proceedings, not least because the standard of proof is more of a hurdle for the prosecution in criminal cases (but note that if a permitted act is relied on as a defence, the balance of probabilities burden prevails on the defendant). A copyright owner must also prove knowledge or reason to believe in criminal claims even for primary infringements. It is for the copyright owner to decide which proceedings to bring and the court cannot re-allocate the claim after proceedings