Plagiarism of Blog Articles

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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AndyJ
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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AndyJ » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:40 pm

Hi Ann,

Yes, Section 77 of the Data Protection Act 2018 says, in effect, that personal data should not be transferred to a third party unless this is 'strictly necessary' for one of the defined purposes. Although Section 76(4) speaks about a transfer being "necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings) relating to any of the law enforcement purposes", the law enforcement purposes are narrowly defined as:
For the purposes of this Part, “the law enforcement purposes” are the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security.
Section 33
and so you can see it doesn't apply to civil cases.
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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:17 pm

That's very helpful, thank you so much Andy.

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:53 pm

I'm due in court soon and I would be very grateful for any pointers on preparing for and getting through the hearing. I've been to court before, but not in an IP court. I've realised I don't even know how to address a Judge these days - is it still 'Madam'? Any final thoughts or tips would be appreciated.

The bit I'm not looking forward to is seeing the defendant (if he attends). He has caused me a lot of aggravation and countless business hours wasted dealing with all the various aspects of the case. I have asked the court to consider awarding costs for my time, since I believe the defendant has no case (Webb vs Cardiff Steal).

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AndyJ » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi Ann,

I assume that you will be appearing in the Small Claims court which is in the Thomas Moore building. You get to the TMB through the main entrance on the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. It's a bit of a trek through the RCJ to the TMB. Be aware that the Thomas Moore building is served by two lifts which only hold about 5-6 people at a time and quite often one is out of action, so be prepared to queue! There aren't any public stairs to all the floors. Only the court staff have normal access to the fire escape stairs! The Small Claims suite is on the fourth floor and is quite compact and modern. The actual court rooms (there are 2 of them) are fairly small and not at all imposing. The judge sits at the same level as the parties and is only about 6 feet away. The procedure is very informal. Evidence is given while seated and not taken on oath. The judge takes an active role in keeping things moving and prevents the argument from straying off the point. Yes, you call the judge Madam (unless of course he's a man, but I'm not aware on any male district judges currently sitting in the Small Claims courts). The proceedings are recorded automatically and you can, if you want, pay for a transcription to be made of the proceedings, but this can be quite expensive. You can make your own written notes, but you need the judge's permission to use a tape recorder etc. Phones should be off or in aircraft mode.

There's no usher in court (or anyone else* apart from the judge and the parties) and so if any thing like an exhibit needs to be handed to the judge, this is done by the party concerned.

Assuming that your written claim is fairly clear and covers all the points you wish the court to be aware of, you may only need to summarise your claim verbally, especially if the defendant doesn't show up, as the judge will have read all the papers beforehand. The judge will obviously test any aspects of your claim which need clarification, as will the defendant if he is present. The worst case will be if the defendant turns up with an advocate (probably a solicitor). Clearly if this occurs, your claim will be subjected to more opposition, and no doubt some elaborate defence will be put forward. Should this happen and it involves a good deal of 'new' (to you) law or legal submissions, you can ask the court to explain anything which you don't understand, especially if you have been ambushed (ie this is the first time you have heard this 'defence'). The court is well used to litigants in person and will expect to guide you through such things.

If you get a default judgment, I would expect the judge to give this verbally (ex tempore in legal jargon) on the day, possibly following a short adjourment. However if there is some heavy duty legal submissions from the other side, the judge may well reserve judgment to a later date. This judgement will be written and give the judge's summary of the issues, outline the relevant law and provide a full assessment of how she reached her decision. Following judgment, assuming that you win, there will be an assessment of damages and costs, which will be followed with a written order. If either party seeks to appeal the judgment or the defendant seeks to appeal the amount of the damages, the first opportunity to raise this will be at the end of the proceedings when a losing party can ask the judge for permission to appeal, which requires an outline of the grounds for appeal. If the trial judge refuses permission, an appeal application can still be made to the IPEC or the High Court within 14 days of the judgment being handed down.

By way of preparation, I suggest that you also download and take along a copy of Part 63 of the Civil Procedure Rules, and Practice Direction 63 (both obtainable from the justice.gov.uk web site). Note that only some of the PDs apply to the Small Claims track (see para 63.28 of Part 63). There are other parts of the CPR which may be mentioned in court, but I don't think you need to worry about them as the judge will explain what they mean as necessary.

It won't be nearly as nerve wracking as you anticipate. Good luck, and don't forget to let us know how you get on.

*Technically speaking the public are allowed to attend, but this is most unlikely.
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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:44 am

Hi Andy, thank you so very much for the most helpful response. Yes, it is indeed the Small Claims Court in the Thomas More building.

I would be quite angry if any defence put forward contains anything new. In the Directions which the court sent to myself and the defendant a few weeks ago it was made clear that was our final opportunity to submit any last evidence or anything we wished the judge to take into account. The Directions also made it clear that the information requested by the court should be copied to all parties. I of course did that but I note that once again I have not received copies from the defendant (even though he was asked in the Directions to send in some further documentation). This defendant has an unbroken pattern of failing to copy me in on aspects of the case I am supposed to have sight of. So I will object if anything new arises on the day.

I’m printing out Part 63 as we speak – thank you. It’s reassuring that I can ask the judge directly for clarification of anything I don’t understand.

I’m a little concerned where you have mentioned the public may not be allowed to sit in. I was thinking of taking a supporter, I haven’t been too well lately and I’m a little calmer if I have somebody who can take me out quickly if need be (I’d rather not mention that to the judge in case it’s interpreted as a ploy to gain sympathy). I am dreading the journey much more than the hearing itself and I am fed up at having to do this. I fear my aggrieved mindset will be evident on the day. :x I had been hoping that this was a case the judge would have dealt with in office rather than by inviting the parties to a hearing.

A half day has been set aside but I am hoping it gets dealt with very much quicker than that!

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by ATMOSBOB » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:46 pm

Dear Ann

You can take any number of supporters with you. Just one would be simpler.

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:03 pm

Yes, I've got one supporter (must admit I had several offers from individuals who fancied a learning experience, so they'll know what to expect if it happens to them. I could have ended up with a mob).

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AndyJ » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi Ann,
Sorry to confuse you with my footnote. What I meant was that unconnected members of the public are unlikely to attend! As ATMOSBOB says you can most certainly take someone to assist you, for instance to take notes or to keep track of your paperwork. In the higher courts such a person would be termed a McKenzie Friend but as I say, things are less formal in the small clams court so you don't need the court's formal permission for someone to sit with you.
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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:33 pm

Thank you Andy and ATMOSBOB for clearing that one up - I got confused between a supporter and the public. Exactly as you say I'm wanting an assistant to listen, make notes, and keep track of the paperwork. The paperwork is surprisingly heavy - an entire ring binder full, for what I see as a very small case. I've given up even trying to remember and understand all the rules and directions. I know I've made a couple of mistakes in the laws and rules I quoted when I sent in my response to the Directions, but I'm past caring now. As you said Andy, the Court is used to dealing with litigants in person so hopefully they'll cut me some slack for not being as sharp as a lawyer! But overall, I think I've done a decent job in my arguments for my fee and damages, I was asked to supply a very detailed breakdown of that (as expected).

As to the final ruling, I have no idea what to expect. The infringement itself has been admitted so I can't see that I would lose the case. Damages are another matter entirely and I have no clue as to whether I'll be allowed what I have asked for.

The cost of the printer ink alone over the last few months has been bad enough, and postage fees. A train ticket for a supporter is another £60 (I don't think I can claim for that). I couldn't afford to use my main office printer so bought a cheap one purely for the casework - the ink alone for the cheap printer totted up to about £65 over the months. Not an allowable expense sadly but I did mention it in my response when I detailed the time element. Again, I doubt I'll be awarded anything for that, which makes me grind my teeth even more. All the while the defendant only had to fill in one form and send a brief defence, which was full of total shy*e. :evil:

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:26 am

I've just received a lengthy final defence argument from the Defendant. It's the same argument - that the infringement was not intentional (no idea what is meant by that) and that if he had known it was copyright protected he would not have taken it. He is also pressing the point that I must allow copying of my work because there are links to my article around the web. He feels I am at fault for mistaking a 'genuine error' with copyright infringement.

The defendant has also tried a tactic of deflection by accusing me of copyright infringement because on my personal Facebook page I linked to a video elsewhere - Facebook generates a small preview of the page one is linking to, as I'm sure the defendant knows. The internet as it exists and notably social media is based on the premise of informing via linking - it is what drives the www.

The defendant has also said that there are personal mitigating factors and that his knowledge of copyright is not as extensive as my own which has placed him at a disadvantage. However the article he stole was on the subject of copyright. Moreover, the defendant had a considerable period of time within which to pay the invoice, there were reminders as well. Not replying to my correspondence has been cited as a reflection of time taken up dealing with personal matters. I empathize, but the defendant nevertheless found time to seek out my content and publish it on his website. Surely paying my invoice would have taken only moments. He has also said his business address is rarely used but his facebook page suggests quite a busy studio.

The Directions said that final submissions must be made to all parties not less than 14 days before the hearing, but the defendant is a few days late on that, once again.

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by ATMOSBOB » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:53 pm

Don't worry. This is normal. Any smokescreen will do when they are in the wrong.

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:09 pm

Thank you ATMOSBOB. I'm starting to feel like I'm the one on trial. I'm being painted as a 'money-motivated', unreasonable figure who is too grandiose and mean spirited to accept an apology.

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AndyJ » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:07 pm

Hi Ann,

ATMOSBOB is absolutely right. Stick your guns and don't be deflected by his posturing. I doubt if the court will want to take any notice of his excuses, and they certainly won't get him off the hook. As you say, if he had wanted to, he could have settled this at a much earlier stage, and saved himself quite a bit of money, and you a lot of extra work and hassle.
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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:22 am

Thank you for the reassurance Andy. I feel he's straying into the realms of defamation now. He had no time to reply to my pre-action communications yet has found the time to put together the most ludicrous defence I've yet seen. He is admitting the plagiarism but insisting he will not pay as according to him I have been unable to prove I have suffered any resulting loss.

This latest 'defence' means I will have to prepare answers just in case he has legal representation - another drain on my time, especially since he has given me less notice than the 14 days stipulated on the Directions.

I'll be back in a few days with the verdict .... I still can't believe this is happening.

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Re: Plagiarism of Blog Articles

Post by AnnH » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:58 pm

I was wondering if somebody would be kind enough to indicate how long I will be given to read out my summary of Claim at the final hearing. I've tried to condense it as far as possible but It's almost two sides of A4 and takes 5 minutes to read out. I've included the pre-action steps I went through and my responses to the defence.

Do I also have to include all the elements of quantum, or can I assume the Judge has read my calculations already supplied via the Directions?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. The hearing has been allocated a half day.

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