Q&As

In circumstances where a licensor has granted an exclusive licence of the copyright in a work to a licensee, can the licensor rely on the fair dealing exemption pursuant to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as an exclusion from infringement if it uses the work itself?

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Published on LexisPSL on 20/06/2019

The following IP Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In circumstances where a licensor has granted an exclusive licence of the copyright in a work to a licensee, can the licensor rely on the fair dealing exemption pursuant to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as an exclusion from infringement if it uses the work itself?

A licence is permission to do an otherwise unlawful act. A licence can be exclusive, sole or non-exclusive. It need not be in writing unless it is an exclusive licence, see Practice Note: Copyright assignment and licensing.

There are a number of specific exceptions to copyright infringement, the majority of which are laid down by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988). These are known as permitted acts. CDPA 1988 provides for exceptions to copyright protection in respect of fair dealing with copyright works when they are used for certain stated purposes, such as private study and research, for quotation purposes or for criticism and review. For details of the various permitted acts that come under the banner of ‘fair dealing’, see Practice Note: Copyright—permitted acts and defences.

When it comes to applying the ‘fair dealing’ defence, fairne

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