A copyright case – involving dictionaries

Jun 18, 2015 | 2015, News

Media24 has filed their application for leave to appeal following judgment by Gamble J in Media24 Books (Pty) Ltd v Oxford University Press Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Media24 applied for a final interdict against Oxford University Press, requesting an order prohibiting further infringement of its rights under the Copyright Act 98 of 1976. Media24 alleged that Oxford University Press had plagiarised a number of their example sentences from their Afrikaans/English school dictionary. Judge Gamble found in favour of Oxford University Press and dismissed the application brought by Media24, due to their failure to show “sufficient objective similarity”, and its actual harm suffered. Gamble focussed on the “quality” of the work alleged to be plagiarised “and not quantity” .

Gamble noted in his judgment – “I am accordingly not persuaded that Media 24 has discharged the onus of establishing the requisite right, or the breach thereof, sufficient to entitle it to final relief at this stage”

“ the OUP [Oxford University Press]work has been in the public domain for more than 4 years now and to terminate the right to publish now when its denials are likely be fully ventilated at trial, will be highly detrimental to OUP. I would therefore be inclined to exercise that discretion in favour of OUP.”