Intellectual Property News

Author:Mr Charles Alexander
Profession:Minter Ellison



Microsoft wins software infringement dispute in Federal Magistrates Court

The Federal Magistrates Court has found in favour of software publisher Microsoft Corporation ('Microsoft') in a copyright dispute against Rodney Mayhew. Identifying himself as one of the "Official Microsoft Windows Vista Beta Testers", Mr Mayhew offered and sold unlicensed copies of Microsoft software programs to the consumer public loaded onto a computer hard drive and supplied on CD-ROM. The Court held that the 'mere sale or offer for sale of the PC loaded with the unauthorised copies of the Microsoft Software' constituted a contravention of s 38(1) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Microsoft was therefore found to be entitled to compensatory damages for lost license fees under s 115(2) of the Act, and was awarded $1,126.35 in this respect. Additional damages totalling $12,000 were also awarded for the 'deliberate infringement of copyright for gain' tantamount to deliberate and flagrant conduct, and for Mr Mayhew's conduct in dealing with the claim and proceedings which ultimately frustrated the Court system.

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Full Federal court finds in favour of Foxtel in copyright infringement appeal

The Full Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by Fouad Haddad against the Federal Court's finding of copyright infringement by Mr Haddad. Mr Haddad was found to have been 'involved in the commission of flagrant breaches of Part VAA of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) by unauthorised use of Foxtel smartcards', and appealed against his conviction on the grounds that Foxtel did not make an 'encoded broadcast' as within the meaning of s 135AN of the Act. It was argued by Mr Haddad that the provision by Foxtel of its broadcasting service free of charge to a select number of persons contradicted s 16 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) which requires the provision of these services to the general public only on payment of subscription fees. However, the Court held that the parties that were offered free of charge broadcast services by Foxtel had a 'rational connection or relationship with Foxtel' and were selected for specific commercial and philanthropic reasons, and therefore did not fall within the definition of the 'general public' as required by Mr Haddad's grounds for appeal.

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European Commissioner announces intention to extend copyright protection

The European Internal Market...

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