Peter Mitchell otcbn at
Fri Mar 30 11:45:26 BST 2012

Francis Davey wrote:
> 2012/3/30 Peter Fairbrother <zenadsl6186 at>:
>> "In the High Court ruling, Mr Justice Arnold had determined that Golden Eye,
>> on behalf of Ben Dover Productions, was entitled to the names and addresses
>> held by O2 under the terms of a 'Norwich Pharmacal Order' so as to pursue
>> claims for compensation against individuals who are alleged to have
>> illegally downloaded copyrighted material."
>> Isn't it the people who _upload_ copyright material who do more damage?
> Its just sloppy. 

It is a sloppiness deliberately encouraged by the rights holders, who hope to convince the public not only that downloading is actionable but also a criminal offence. Frequently they are aided and abetted in this project by the authorities.

> What is meant is those offering works via the P2P
> network. In other words people who are making the works available to
> the public, rather than simply copying them - in practice if you don't
> configure your client you may end up doing that by default, but the
> law cares rather less about that.
>> On a slightly different point, I don't know that I have ever downloaded
>> copyright material when I should not have done so.
> I suspect the probability you have approaches 1 if by "should not"
> means "doing so would have infringed copyright".
>> It is often not at all obvious to the downloader both that material which is
>> apparently freely available on the internet is in copyright and that the
>> copyright holder objects to it being downloaded. How am I supposed to know?
> That - as far as the law is concerned - is your problem, just as if
> you buy something you don't know that the seller has title (and
> therefore can sell). If the seller doesn't, you commit a trespass to
> goods and possibly a conversion on purchase. You don't commit a crime
> and damages would be very limited.
> Just so for copyright. Innocent infringement by copying is common.
> There is nothing you can do about it, but damages are likely to be so
> minimal as to make it not worth anyone's while suing you.

Perhaps even less than minimal.

CDA1988 s.97 (1) "Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy."

Peter Mitchell

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