This site uses cookies to help make it more useful and reliable. Our cookies page explains what they are, which ones we use, and how you can manage or remove them.

Guide to offences

Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988

S107 - Criminal liability for making or dealing with infringing articles etc.

Guide to offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, section 10, criminal liability for making or dealing with infringing articles etc. Read across a row to find the type of offence, the section of the act it relates to, the sentence and the indictment.
Offence Section Sentence Indictment
(a) makes for sale or hire, or

(b) imports into the UK otherwise than for his private and domestic use.
107(1)(a)+(b) 6 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 10 years and/or a fine.
(c) possesses in the course of a business with a view to committing any act infringing the copyright. 107(1)(c) 3 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -
(d) in the course of a business -
     (i) Sells or lets for hire, or
     (ii) Offers or exposes for sale or hire, or
     (iii) Exhibits in public.
107(1)(d)(i)-(iii) 3 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -
(d) in the course of a business -
    (iv) distributes.
107(1)(d)(iv) 6 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 10 years and/or a fine.
(e) distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright. 107(1)(e) 6 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 10 years and/or a fine.
(2) a person commits an offence who -

(a) makes an article specifically  designed or adapted for making  copies of a particular copyright  work, or

(b) has such an article in his  possession.
107(2) 3 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -
(2A) A person who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public -

(a) in the course of a business, or

(b) otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,

commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so, he is infringing copyright in that work.
107(2A) 3 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 2 years and/or a fine.
(3) Where copyright is infringed (otherwise than by reception of communication to the public) -

(a) by the public performance of a literary, dramatic or musical work, or

(b) by the playing or showing in public of a sound recording or film,

Any person who caused the work to be so performed, played or shown is guilty of an offence if he knew or had reason to believe that copyright would be infringed.
107 (3) 3 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -


 
S198 Criminal liability for making, dealing with or using illicit recordings

Guide to offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, section 198, criminal liability for making, dealing with or using illicit recordings. Read across a row to find the type of offence, the section of the act it relates to, the sentence and the indictment.
Offence Section Sentence Indictment
(1) A person commits and offence who without sufficient consent -

(a) makes for sale or hire, or

(b) imports into the United Kingdom otherwise than for his private and domestic use.
198(1)(a)+(b) 6 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 10 years and/or a fine.
(1)(c) possesses in the course of a business with a view to committing any at infringing the rights conferred by this Chapter. 198(1)(c) 6 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -
(1)(d) in the course of a business -
    (i) sells or lets for hire, or
    (ii)offers or exposes for sale or hire.
198(1)(d)(i)+(ii) 6 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -
(1)(d) in the course of a business –
    (iii) distributes, a recording which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe is, an illicit recording.
198(1)(d)(iii) 6 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 10 years and/or a fine.
(1A) A person who infringes a performer’s making available right -

(a) in the course of a business, or

(b) otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the making available right, commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so, he is infringing the making available right in the recording.
198(1A) 6 months and/or a £50,000 fine. 2 years and/or a fine.
(2) a person commits an offence who causes a recording  of a performance made without sufficient consent to be -

(a) shown or played in public, or

(b) communicated to the public, thereby infringing any of the rights conferred by this Chapter, if he knows or has reason to believe that those rights are thereby infringed.
198(2) 6 months and/or a £5,000 fine. -


 
296ZB Devices and services designed to circumvent technological measures

Guide to offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, section 296ZB, devices and services designed to circumvent technological measures. Read across a row to find the type of offence, the section of the act it relates to, the sentence and the indictment.
Offence Section Sentence Indictment
(1) A person commits an offence if he -

(a) manufactures for sale or hire, or

(b) imports otherwise than for his private and domestic use, or

(c) in the course of a business -
     (i) sells or lets for hire, or
     (ii) offers or exposes for sale or hire, or
     (iii) advertises for sale or hire, or
     (iv) possesses, or
     (v) distributes, or

(d) distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,
any device, product or component which is primarily designed, produced, or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures.


(2) A person commits an offence if he provides, promotes, advertises or markets -

(a) in the course of a business, or

(b) otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,
a service the purpose of which is to enable or facilitate the circumvention of effective technological measures.


(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not make unlawful anything done by, or on behalf of, law enforcement agencies or any of the intelligence services -

(a) in the interests of national security; or

(b) for the purpose of the prevention or detection of crime, the investigation of an offence, or the conduct of a prosecution,

and in this subsection "intelligence services" has the meaning given in section 81 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.


(4) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is liable -

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both;

(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.


(5) It is a defence to any prosecution for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that he did not know, and had no reasonable ground for believing, that -

(a) the device, product or component; or

(b) the service,
enabled or facilitated the circumvention of effective technological measures.
296ZB 3 months and/or a £5,000 fine. 2 years and/or a fine.


 
297 Offence of fraudulently receiving programmes

Guide to offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, section 296ZB, devices and services designed to circumvent technological measures. Read across a row to find the type of offence, the section of the act it relates to, the sentence and the indictment.
Offence Section Sentence Indictment
(1) A person who dishonestly receives a programme included in a broadcasting service provided from a place in the United Kingdom with intent to avoid payment of any charge applicable to the reception of the programme commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(2) Where an offence under this section committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body, or a person purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate is guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
In relation to a body corporate whose affairs are managed by its members "director" means a member of the body corporate.
297 £5,000 fine. -


 
297A Unauthorised decoders

Guide to offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, section 297A, unauthorised decoders. Read across a row to find the type of offence, the section of the act it relates to, the sentence and the indictment.
Offence Section Sentence Indictment
(1) A person commits an offence if he – Unauthorised decoders

(a) makes, imports, distributes, sells or lets for hire or offers or exposes for sale or hire any unauthorised decoder;

(b) has in his possession for commercial purposes any unauthorised decoder;

(c) instals, maintains or replaces for commercial purposes any unauthorised decoder; or

(d) advertises any unauthorised decoder for sale or hire or otherwise promotes any unauthorised decoder by means of commercial communications.


(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable -

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to a fine, or to both.


(3) It is a defence to any prosecution for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that he did not know, and had no reasonable ground for believing, that the decoder was an unauthorised decoder.


(4) In this section -
"apparatus" includes any device, component or electronic data (including software);
"conditional access technology" means any technical measure or arrangement whereby access to encrypted transmissions in an intelligible form is made conditional on prior individual authorisation;
"decoder" means any apparatus which is designed or adapted to enable (whether on its own or with any other apparatus) an encrypted transmission to be decoded;
"encrypted" includes subjected to scrambling or the operation of cryptographic envelopes, electronic locks, passwords or any other analogous application;
"transmission" means -

(a) any programme included in a broadcasting service which is provided from a place in the United Kingdom or any other member State; or

(b) an information society service (within the meaning of Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22nd June 1998, as amended by Directive 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20th July 1998) which is provided from a place in the United Kingdom or any other member State; and
"unauthorised", in relation to a decoder, means that the decoder is designed or adapted to enable an encrypted transmission, or any service of which it forms part, to be accessed in an intelligible form without payment of the fee (however imposed) which the person making the transmission, or on whose behalf it is made, charges for accessing the transmission or service (whether by the circumvention of any conditional access technology related to the transmission or service or by any other means).
297A 6 months and/or a £5,000 fine. 10 years and/or a fine.

The Act may stipulate Level 5 fines on the standard scale or a Statutory Maximum fine in relation to summary conviction.  These fines are currently at the same level, i.e. £5,000.