Guidance for photographers who want to claim damages over copyright infringement, using the small claims track process, has been supplied to Amateur Photographer (AP) by a media law firm.

As we reported last week, intellectual property disputes can now be resolved using the small claims track in the Patents County Court (PCC), following a Government announcement of a ‘simpler and easier’ system last month.

Photographers can pursue damages for breach of copyright, for up to £5,000, without even appointing a lawyer.

However, there are a few bureaucratic hoops photographers will need to jump through when making a claim.

AP asked media law firm Swan Turton to spell out the process that copyright claimants should follow.

Step One

‘Before issuing a claim, the photographer should comply with the Practice Direction-Pre-Action Conduct which can be found HERE

‘Annex A gives guidance on the protocol to follow in these cases.’

Step Two

‘If the matter can’t be settled, then the correct form to issue a claim is the N1 which can be downloaded as a PDF.

‘The form should be completed and either handed in or posted to the Rolls Building (see address below) with the appropriate court fee, based on the value of the claim.’

Swan Turton adds: ‘Please note that the photographer must state in the Particulars of Claim that he/she would like the claim to be allocated to the small claims track.’

Step three: Where to post form

The completed N1 claim form should be sent to:

PCC Small Claims Track, The Patents County Court, The Rolls Building, 7 Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL.

However, adds Swan Turton, photographers should be aware that, while the court administration is run from the Rolls Building, hearings for the small claims track are a held at the Thomas More Building, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL.

• General guidance for those wanting to make a claim using the small claims track can be viewed HERE

  • Jerome Yeats

    There is no National Mediation helpline number 0845 603 0809 anymore. No number exists.

    I would be very reluctant to use a mediation service as opposed to the courts in any event

  • Dan

    I am in the USA.
    Is there an equivalent procedure in the USA??

  • Adam

    What a TERRIBLE ‘guide’ . Without being rude to the author, the Pre-Action Protocol should’ve, and could’ve easily be written down, in laymans terms. Simply by stating what the small claims track requires for a case to be heard simply is not enough to be labelled as a ‘guide’. This information is accessible with one brain cell on the directgov website.

    Why have you not given the requirements for a work to have implied copyright? Why have you not included the rights of copyright works owners? Why have you not mentioned the perfectly plausible defences available? Why have you not mentioned permissions?

    I’m shocked

  • Eric Hatch

    Looks like you folks in Britain have the edge over us Yanks in sanity and simplicity of defending copyright. Our Supreme Court is taking on the issue this year and are likely to make things even more weird than they already are.