Schapelle Corby’s family wins copyright case

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The family of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has been awarded $50,000 in damages for a copyright infringement stemming from photographs published in the book Sins of the Father.  The book, published in 2011 by Allen & Urwin and written by investigative journalist Eamonn Duff, is described as the “explosive untold story of Schapelle Corby and how she took the rap for her father’s drug syndicate”.

While the family was clearly unhappy with the content of the book’s claims, for which they filed a separate defamation action, they also sued for copyright infringement in the Federal Court over the use of family photographs.  The book contained five photographs, including of Schapelle at the airport before boarding the flight to Bali and family photographs of Schapelle as a child, taken by various members of the Corby family and reproduced in the book without their consent as owners of the copyright in the photos.

Justice Buchanan found that Allen & Unwin knowingly released the book without attempting to determine who the copyright owner of the photos was or seek permission from the copyright owner.  He then awarded $50,000 in damages and additional damages, with a costs hearing set for June.

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