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Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law (1st edn)

Stavroula Karapapa and Luke McDonagh
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date: 04 December 2023

p. 734. Infringement of copyrightlocked

p. 734. Infringement of copyrightlocked

  • Stavroula KarapapaStavroula KarapapaProfessor of Intellectual Property and Information Law, University of Reading
  •  and Luke McDonaghLuke McDonaghSenior Lecturer in Law, City, University of London


This chapter focuses on the two types of copyright infringement within the CDPA 1988: primary infringement and secondary infringement. In primary infringement, the defendants are directly involved in copying, performing, and issuing to the public the copyright work, whereas secondary infringement involves people who deal with infringing copies, or facilitate such copying or other activities that are restricted by copyright. Besides this difference that has to do with the scope of rights, there is also difference on the mental element. Unlike primary infringement that does not require knowledge or intention to infringe on the part of the alleged infringer and is hence subject to strict liability, secondary infringement occurs where the defendant knew or had reason to believe that activities in question are wrongful. This is assessed on the basis of an objective test, namely what matters is what a reasonable person would have thought in the relevant circumstances.

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