Judgment was recently granted out of the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) in favour of Moneyweb against Fin24 for copyright infringement. The court found that three of the seven articles published by Fin24, were in part original works of Moneyweb and that Moneyweb had shown that one of the articles had in fact infringed Moneyweb’s copyright.
Where the articles fell short of proving a copyright infringement was in terms of Section 12(1) of the Copyright Act, which provides that “Copyright shall not be infringed by any fair dealing with a literary or musical work… for the purpose of reporting current events…in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical…provided that… the source shall be mentioned, as well as the name of the author if it appears on the work.”
Section 12(1) of the Copyright Act, said the Court, only becomes relevant after it is established that there has been a substantial reproduction of the work. Furthermore, despite substantial reproduction, if the party who has reproduced the work can prove that it dealt ‘fairly’ with the work, then that party will not be liable for copyright infringement. The court will take into account certain factors when considering ‘fairness’.
The court found that publishing the article entitled “Amplats:CEO cits JSE rules” constituted an infringement of Moneyweb’s copyright under the Copyright Act, and further declared that Fin24 liable to Moneyweb for damages suffered as a result of the unlawful publication.