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Director jointly liable for copyright infringement

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

A case in the Scottish Court of Session highlights the importance for directors of not having too close a personal involvement in a company’s activities. The court ruled that S (the sole director and shareholder of a company trading as a licensor of classical music recordings) was jointly liable for infringement of copyright in recordings of classical music issued through that company’s website.

The court held that S was not only acting as a director of the company but also as an individual setting up the website and putting, or causing to be put, infringing material on it for sale. This made him liable as a principal, not only for his own acts but also for those of the company on the basis both of procurement and of acting in concert with the company for a common purpose.

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