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ITV Broadcasting v TVCatchup Ltd [2011] EWHC 1874 (Pat)

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  18 July 2011


In a copyright action relating to internet streaming, James Mellor QC and Jessie Bowhill acted for the claimant broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) in a trial against TVCatchup Ltd, represented by Martin Howe QC and James Whyte. Charlotte May appeared for the Secretary of State. The defendant operated a service that (despite its name) provided live streams of various television channels over the internet to its users, who were located in the UK and had television licences. The claimants alleged that this constituted a communication to the public of their broadcasts and various film works included in those broadcasts, and also alleged infringement of copyright by transient copying in TVCatchup’s servers and by display on its users’ computer screens. TVCatchup argued that the secondary legislation that had purported to amend s.20 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was invalid in so far as it made it an infringement to communicate broadcasts to the public, that the defendants’ acts did not in any event constitute a communication to the public, that there was a defence to transient copying under s.28A, and that there was a complete defence to streaming of the public service channels by virtue of s.73. The Secretary of State intervened to argue that the amending regulations were properly made. The trial was heard by Floyd J from 13-17 June 2011.

Reported at [2011] FSR 40.