The Copyright Tribunal—purpose and procedure
Produced in partnership with Bird & Bird LLP
The Copyright Tribunal—purpose and procedure

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Bird & Bird LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Copyright Tribunal—purpose and procedure
  • The purpose of the Copyright Tribunal
  • The jurisdiction of the Copyright Tribunal
  • Composition of the Copyright Tribunal
  • References in respect of proposed licence schemes
  • References in respect of existing licence schemes
  • Copyright Tribunal procedure
  • General statutory principles applied by the Copyright Tribunal
  • Common law based principles applied by the Copyright Tribunal
  • Costs
  • more

The purpose of the Copyright Tribunal

The Copyright Tribunal is an independent tribunal established by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988). Its role is to determine the terms and conditions of collective copyright licensing schemes promulgated by licensing bodies. It deals with commercial licensing disputes between collecting societies and commercial users of copyright material. It does not deal with copyright infringement, which is dealt with in the civil courts.

A licensing scheme is defined as the classes of case in which the operator of the scheme, or the person on whose behalf they act, is willing to grant copyright licences and the terms on which licences would be granted in those classes of case.

Most collective licensing will fall within the definition of a licensing scheme. Examples of licensing schemes are those operated by Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) and Performing Right Society Ltd (PRS) for the playing of music in shops and bars and those operated by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) for the copying of newspaper content.

PPL, PRS and the NLA are examples of licensing bodies. A licensing body is defined as:

'…a society or other organisation which has as its main object, or one of its main objects, the negotiation or granting, either as owner or prospective owner of copyright or as agent for him, of