Intellectual Property

Copyright in something is infringed if it is reproduced in any material form. Therefore, you risk infringing copyright if you reproduce someone else’s website content on your website without permission. Similarly, your copyright might be infringed if someone else reproduces your materials on their website without permission.

Copyright protection does not grant the owner a monopoly in something, it only prevents copying. It is not copyright infringement if, for example, two people design exactly the same logo completely independently without copying the logo of the other person. Both parties will have copyright protection in their own logo. Therefore, to successfully prove copyright infringement you would first have to show that the other party had access to your materials in order to copy them. This is obviously easy to show where it is freely available website content which has been copied.

Whether copyright has been infringed also depends on what has been reproduced. If a work has been copied completely and the infringer cannot prove that he has created the work independently of the copyright work, then infringement will be easy to prove. However, proving copyright infringement becomes more difficult when the work has not been copied completely. In such instances, courts tend to focus on quality rather than quantity, i.e. whether what the alleged infringer has copied is the most valuable, original part of the work.

On the internet, copyright can be infringed in several different ways. Some of these methods are dealt with below.