Information Technology Law Reports - Volume 17 - Issue 5

This issue of Information Technology Law Reports contains two High Court decisions. The first, R (On the Application of Colin McKenzie) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office, concerned the Serious Fraud Office’s (‘SFO’) procedures for reviewing potentially privileged documents seized in the investigation of suspected crime. Notwithstanding the importance of legal professional privilege as an important right, the court was not prepared to impose on the SFO or any prosecuting authority the same onerous duty as was placed on solicitors in respect of former clients. 

The second case, (1) England and Wales Cricket Board Limited (2) Sky UK Limited v (1) Tixdaq Limited (2) Fanatix Limited, concerned the rights to film and broadcast live sports events. The judgment favoured the rights holders and provided useful guidance on how categories of use exempted from liability can be construed broadlyin light of technological developments and the InfoSoc Directive. Where commercial value is extracted from the copyright content itself rather than using such content to report on events, it will be difficult to satisfy the requirement of fair dealing for the purpose of reporting current events. Interestingly, the defence under section 30(1ZA) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which provides a defence to infringement, was not invoked and remains untested.

Richard Budworth
Editor, Information Technology Law Reports

R (on the application of Colin McKenzie) Director of the Serious Fraud Office
High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division 
Burnett LJ and Irwin J
27 January 2016
[2016] EWHC 102 (Admin)

Legal professional privilege – digital material – use of in-house technical staff ‒ Bribery Act 2010 section 1 – electronic search – Serious Fraud Office Operational  Handbook  –  Attorney  General’s  Supplementary  Guidelines  on Digitally Stored Material (2011) – judicial review refused.

(1) England and Wales Cricket Board Limited(2) Sky UK Limited (1) Tixdaq Limited (2) Fanatix Limited
High Court 
Chancery Division
Arnold J
18 March 2016
[2016] EWJC 575 (Ch)

Media and entertainment – copyright – broadcasting – sport – fair dealing – internet ‒ infringement by uploading, viewing and sharing of clips – mobile applications  –  Copyright,  Designs  and  Patents  Act  1988,  sections  17,  20, 30(1), 30(2) and 178 – European Convention on Human Rights 1950, Article 10 – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2000, Article 11 – Human Rights Act 1998, section 3 ‒ claims allowed.