Full case report

Sony Computer Entertainment v Owen

Reference [2002] EWHC 45 (Ch); [2002] EMLR 34
Court Chancery Division

Judge Jacob J

Date of Judgment 23 Jan 2002


Summary

Intellectual property – Copyright – Infringement – Injunction – Additional Statutory Damages – s.97(2) Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 – Summary Judgment – CPR Part 24


Facts

The Defendant distributed in the UK a “modchip” which enabled the users of the Sony Playstation to play games which were not officially sanctioned by Sony for playing within the UK. Sony sought an injunction to prevent further distribution.


Issue

Whether potential lawful uses of the chip meant it was not caught by CDPA s.296 which outlawed devices specifically designed to circumvent the copy protection.


Held

Potential lawful uses were irrelevant once it was established that the chip circumvented measures employed by Sony to prevent unlawful copying.


Comment

This was the first and also the last case on CDPA s.296 which has now been amended by The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003. (The Federal Court of Australia came to the same conclusion for interestingly different reasons, see Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment v Stevens [2003] FCAFC 157 (30 July 2003)


Instructing Solicitors

Harding Evans for the Defendant


Links

Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment v Stevens