ITV Broadcasting Limited v TVCatchup Limited

[2011] FSR 16

25th November 2010

Chancery Division


The claimants were well-known broadcasters. They alleged that the defendant had infringed the copyright in their broadcasts under s.20 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 by communicating those broadcasts to the public by electronic transmission. The defendant operated a website at which allowed members of the public to watch live UK television, including the claimants’ channels, on their computers, iPhones and games consoles. Any member of the public wishing to access the service had to become a member. He could then select one of over 50 channels by pressing on the appropriate icon; and was taken to a new screen on which the defendant provided a stream of the programme being broadcast on that channel. The defendant obtained revenue through advertising.

Kitchin J.


The defendant’s argument confused the protected work with the restricted act. They were different. The protected work, the broadcast, was the transmission of visual images, sounds and other information for reception by or presentation to members of the public. The restricted act was the communication to the public by electronic transmission of all of those images, sounds and other information.

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