Sunday, April 20, 2008

Exterminate! Exterminate the copyright suit.

IPKat has a great summary of the recent Dalek copyright lawsuit in the UK High Court.
"In 2002, the BBC published The Dalek Survival Guide, which referred to text used in the earlier works. JHP, as the exclusive licensee of the right to publish the earlier works, sued the BBC for copyright infringement, seeking damages. The BBC maintained that it had acquired a licence by estoppel from Nation's estate to use the material featured in the earlier books in its new books.

Norris J dismissed JHP's action. In his view, on the true construction of the agreements, JHP was the exclusive licensee of the right to publish material found in the earlier books. The BBC however acted in the belief that it had the permission of the estate to use material derived from the earlier works in which the estate held the copyright, acting on that belief in paying writers to prepare text in publishing and marketing the new book in which the text in issue had been referenced. The BBC therefore had a complete defence to the claim, even if it had infringed the rights of the exclusive licensee."

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