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ECPA Wire: Industry Issues

ECPA Resolves Copyright Infringement Case

Monday, November 01, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: ECPA
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Last week, the High Court of Justice in London issued a Consent Order under which Andrew (Amue) Ansell admitted to infringing a large quantity of Christian theological works by displaying them on his websites, including biblecentre.net, and agreed not to post any copyrighted material in the future. This resolves a nearly seven-year legal battle that ECPA and its publisher coalition, represented by US attorney Brian Flagler and UK attorney Martyn Bailey, have fought in the UK judicial system. In addition, Amue/Ansell submitted a written apology for his actions, acknowledging that he was in violation of the law and Christian principles. Copyrighted works have been deleted from his servers and ECPA has submitted to him a letter informing him of future steps that would be taken should he infringe other materials published by any ECPA member.

ECPA President/CEO Mark Kuyper states, "It has been a privilege to work with the ECPA Publisher Coalition and our legal experts Brian Flagler and Martyn Bailey. I believe we have honored God with the intent behind this effort and the integrity with which it was executed."

In 2003, ECPA publishers became aware of Mr. Amue's site at www.biblecentre.net, which featured a collection of the full texts of hundreds of copyrighted Christian theological works displayed without permission. Mr. Amue first offered free access to the texts, then started charging a subscription fee. ECPA organized a coalition of its member publishers, comprised of Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Baker Publishing Group, Tyndale, Moody, Logos Software, and IVP UK, to address the infringement.

After the hearing last week, Brian Flagler shared, "The participating publishers went to great lengths to ensure that their authors' copyrights would be respected online. This effort first involved addressing infringement in the UK, then China, Panama, the United States, the Netherlands, and finally back in the courts in London. I was continually impressed with the publishers' unwavering resolve to stand together on principle over a significant period of years, and am pleased that the matter ended with the infringer taking responsibility for his actions. This case serves as a precedent and strong statement that ECPA publishers will not allow infringement of their works anywhere in the world."

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