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  • Steve Davey

Can I receive additional compensation for flagrant infringement of my copyright?

In APRA v Dion [2016] FCCA 2330, the Federal Circuit Court awarded $34,822 for copyright infringement and $400,000 for flagrant infringement.

APRA is the Australasian Performing Right Association Ltd. It represents musicians and grants licences for performances of the musical works of its members.

In 2014, APRA granted John Dion a licence to hold "Soulfest" brand concerts if the licence fees were paid in advance.

Shortly before the concerts, Dion sent a fake payment receipt to APRA. As the payment was never transferred, the use of the music was not licenced.

In 2015, Dion tried the same trick. However, once again, he failed to make the advance payment.

APRA obtained an injunction to prevent Dion from holding the concert in 2015. As a result, Dion cancelled the concert.

Consequently, the judge deemed that Dion's failure to pay the licence fee was a flagrant infringement of copyright and ordered him to pay additional compensation to APRA as a deterrent for other dishonest would-be infringers.

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