It may surprise you, or it may not, but copyright has been a contentious issue for many years and in many situations. In Part 2 of this series, we explored a couple of famous cases that are ongoing to this very day (and the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple will seemingly never die down).
So, what are some more copyright cases that have had us asking; who is right?
Dyson vs. Hoover
Presumably, you clean your home with a vacuum cleaner quite regularly. They all seem to be relatively the same thing; turn it on and it will suck up all of the dust that you didn’t even know was there. But, has it ever occurred to you that that similarity would cause a legal battle or two in its time?
Hoover and Dyson are the two sides of the most notorious side to this battle. More specifically, the use of the bag-less vacuum cleaner design, equipped with two cyclones to pick up both small and large particles in the cleaning process. It was this patent that Hoover took notes from and caused unrest between the two companies in court as a result.
It was claimed by Hoover that the design was just typical industry knowledge and not something that could be patented, to begin with. However, this was completely dismissed by the High Court. They also stated that their product was very different from Dyson’s design, but this too was dismissed. This was a clear-cut case of copyright infringement.
For those old enough to remember, Napster was a file sharing site that people used primarily to share music from 1999 onwards. However, many record companies found this to be a gross infringement of copyright and so filed a joint lawsuit against the company. Free distribution of their music had severely cut prophets and so they were searching for compensation for said losses.
Napster was forced to close down, issue a public apology and pay almost £30 million in damages. Though the site actively did not source or share the music, they had done nothing to stop it and had actually financially benefitted from the format in the long run. It was all of this combined that spelt doom for the website.
Copyright is obviously not something you need to worry about when your work is completely original. You can contact our friendly team on 0208 963 3555, where we will always be eager to help meet your individual requirements.