Online only, so far

Witch Walks writer wins £19k

AMID THE lobbying against copyright, we come across a reminder of how it's supposed to work.

Witch Walk pamphlet cover

The cover of the Guide

The Prolific North blog reports that in October Ian Thornton-Bryar was awarded damages of £19,187 plus costs against Lancashire County Council. The Council had published extensive extracts from his The Lancashire Witches Walk on a website.

It seems the Council published it on its Forest of Bowland website in 2014. Thornton-Bryar complained and the Council agreed to remove the text, but a year later it put it back online with only some amendments. District Judge Lambert in a Small Claims hearing criticised the Council's "couldn't-care-less attitude" towards Thornton-Bryar's claims for copyright. The award seems to have been for £9000 with £10,000 added in additional damages.

The Small Claims procedure for copyright infringement exists in large part due to campaigning by the NUJ. The UK government accidentally excluded copyright cases from the vanilla Small Claims procedure in 2008. In 2012 a replacement process swung into action.