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Keystone Law wins IP Enterprise Court case against music label

The facts of this case concerned singer-songwriter Jodie Aysha who penned and sang the song “Heartbroken”, which went on to become one of the most successful songs in the last decade.

This month, the IPEC assessed the damages the singer was entitled to, following a previous ruling that record company All Around the World Records (AATW Records) was in breach of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA).

In April 2013, the court ruled that AATW Records was indeed liable to pay damages to Jodie Aysha, having gone ahead ‘at risk’ by making copies of her performance of ‘Heartbroken’ and later issuing the said copies to the public without obtaining the singer’s consent, contrary to sections 182A and 182B of the CDPA. AATW Records had proceeded, having been fully aware that Aysha had not signed a contract with themselves nor with the third party to which the track’s producer ‘T2’ was originally signed. Aysha first performed the track to T2 in 2004, but while T2 was paid £30,000 when AATW Records signed it, Aysha was only offered £1,500 and the song was credited to “T2 featuring Jodie Aysha” upon its release in 2007. Furthermore, Aysha did not receive any royalties from the track and was also not paid for appearing in a promotional video for the track.

The IPEC ruled that Aysha was entitled to damages of £30,000 according to the “user principle” and a further £5,000 under Article 13 (1)(a) of the Enforcement Directive, totalling £35,000.

The outcome can be seen as providing useful guidance on the understanding of the Enforcement Directive and UK Regulations, which up until now has been somewhat limited. It confirms that Article 13 has no effect on the fact that an inquiry, under English law, as to damages and an account of profits are only available as alternatives.

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