Recent Cases

Real Estate Tool Box Pty Ltd v Campaigntrack Pty Ltd [2023] HCA 38 (06 December 2023) (Gageler CJ; Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Jagot JJ)


Catchwords:


Copyright – Infringement – Authorisation of infringement – Where s 36(1) of Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) relevantly provides copyright is infringed by person who, not being owner of copyright, and without licence of owner of copyright, “authorizes the doing in Australia” of any act comprised in copyright – Where first respondent owner of copyright in cloud-based real estate marketing system “DreamDesk” – Where fifth appellant (“Mr Stoner”) director of second appellant (“Biggin & Scott”) – Where Mr Stoner instructed second respondent (“Mr Semmens”) to build web to print delivery system software that does not breach other companies’ copyright – Where Mr Semmens and others developed “Real Estate Tool Box” software (“Toolbox”) – Where Mr Stoner and sixth appellant (“Ms Bartels”) established first appellant (“Real Estate Tool Box Pty Ltd”) – Where Mr Semmens reproduced “DreamDesk Source Code Works”, “DreamDesk Database and Table Works” and “DreamDesk PDF Works” in creating Toolbox – Where use of Toolbox involved reproduction of DreamDesk Source Code Works – Whether Biggin & Scott, Mr Stoner, Ms Bartels and Real Estate Tool Box Pty Ltd (“Biggin & Scott parties”) infringed copyright in DreamDesk Source Code Works by authorising infringing acts of Mr Semmens and others in developing Toolbox and of users in using Toolbox – Whether Biggin & Scott parties infringed copyright in DreamDesk Database and Table Works by authorising infringing acts of Mr Semmens and of users in using Toolbox.

Copyright – Infringement – Authorisation of infringement – Where Toolbox developed at third appellant’s (“Dream Desk Pty Ltd”) premises – Where fourth appellant (“Mr Meissner”) sole director and shareholder of Dream Desk Pty Ltd – Where Dream Desk Pty Ltd staff assisted Toolbox development – Where DreamDesk Pty Ltd and Mr Meissner (“DDPL parties”) participated in Toolbox development – Whether DDPL parties infringed copyright in DreamDesk Database and Table Works and DreamDesk PDF Works by authorising infringing acts of Mr Semmens.

Words and phrases – “any act comprised in the copyright”, “authorisation”, “duty of control”, “indifference”, “infringement of copyright”, “intellectual property”, “nature of any relationship”, “on notice of copyright infringement”, “permission”, “power to prevent”, “reason to suspect”, “reasonable person”, “reasonable steps to prevent or avoid”, “sanction, approve, countenance”.