Copyright & Databases

Chambers has been at the forefront of copyright law for well over half a century. Members of chambers are the authors of the leading international copyright textbook “the Modern Law of Copyright and Designs” and have been for over 50 years.

We regularly appear across all UK courts, from the Copyright Tribunal to the Supreme Court, and have experience in acting in related disputes regarding rights of jurisdiction and extra-territoriality.  Members have regularly appeared in the CJEU on copyright and related matters.

Members of chambers regularly act for rights holders and defendants in disputes regarding the unauthorised use of music, film and television and sports broadcasts.

We have a long history of dealing with high profile copyright cases. Members have acted for various musicians in disputes over joint authorship, copying of songs and licencing, including the well-known case of Fisher v Brooker (about the song “Whiter Shade of Pale”).  Chambers also works with film makers, writers and television and film production companies; recently members acted in ITV v TV Catchup (liability in relation to online streaming of free-to-air tv broadcasts).

We have a longstanding expertise in literary and publishing cases, having worked, for example, on Baigent v Random House Group (the Da Vinci Code case) and Allen v Bloomsbury and JK Rowling (relating to copyright in the Harry Potter books).

Our experience in artistic copyright covers the entire range of fine and applied arts, from the fashion and textile industries to works of architecture and designs for video games. We frequently act for high street and online retailers including Marks & Spencer, French Connection and ASOS.

Further, we frequently act in cases involving copyright in computer software and online infringements of copyright; members were involved in the seminal SAS v World Programming case relating to the protectability of the functionality of software).

All of our barristers have experience of advising on the applicability of the Database Rights Directive over the whole range of industrial and commercial activity and four members were involved in the lead case in this area: British Horseracing Board v William Hill.