Omnibill (Pty) Ltd v Egpsxxx Ltd & Anor [2014] EWHC 3762 (IPEC)

17 November 2014

Henry Ward represented Omnibill (PTY) Ltd in their claim against Egpsxxx Ltd and Mr Robert Carter for copyright infringement. Photos owned by Omnibill appeared on Egps’ website. Copying was admitted. The dispute related to whether there was communication to the UK public and any personal liability of Mr Carter for Egps’ actions.
Birss J, found that the South African sub-domain of the Egps site, which contained the photos, was targeted at the UK public because it had: an international dialling code number and a substantial proportion of visitors from the UK (between 10 and 25%). Further the site, as a whole, had terms and conditions linked to the UK and a structure which gave it a global nature. There was therefore a sufficient communication and infringement.
Mr Carter authorised these infringements as he instructed a web developer to transfer the photos to Egps’ website, whilst being on notice of a potential copyright claim, seemingly to avoid liability in South Africa. Mr Carter was also a joint tortfeasor as he was the only person through whom Egps could act.
Henry Ward was instructed by Stevens & Bolton LLP.

View judgment