Dylan Thomas copyright holder ordered to pay costs

Welshman Haydn Price, who holds the copyright of a number of Dylan Thomas photographs, has been ordered by a judge to pay the legal costs of four international agencies he sued for allegedly infringing online his copyright.
Dylan Thomas copyright holder ordered to pay costs

Mr Price, a former BBC journalist, of Oak Cottage, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, had failed in the District Court to successfully sue The EW Scripps Company Inc, Cincinnati, Ohio; Tribune Media Services Inc, Illinois; PG Publishing Co Inc, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Fairfax New Zealand Limited in Wellington and Auckland.

He failed to overturn the decision of the District Court and Judge Jacqueline Linnane, hearing the unsuccessful appeals in the Circuit Civil Court, directed that Mr Price separately pay the legal costs of all four defendants for the hearings in upper and lower courts.

Paul Coughlan, who appeared with fellow barristers Jennifer Good and Theo Donnelly for all defendants, told the court the District Court had dismissed the cases on the grounds it did not have jurisdiction to deal with them. Mr Price’s claim in each case was that the defendants had uploaded a copyrighted image of Thomas without his permission or licence to do so.

He claimed he was entitled to take proceedings in Ireland against what Mr Coughlan described as “separate entities at the other end of the earth” who had no online input to Ireland, a contention thrown out by both courts.

Judge Linnane said Mr Price’s company UK registered, Pablo Star Media Ltd, was not a company incorporated in Ireland, although it claimed to have branch addresses here. She said legal authority existed holding that a significant element of the alleged torts must be committed within the Irish jurisdiction for them to have a chance of succeeding.

Mr Price, in actions in the Irish courts has already lost a €75,000 defamation claim against the 92-year-old widow, Gwen Watkins, from whom he bought the copyright of eight pictures of Thomas, and another case in Ireland against the Welsh government over an alleged breach of copyright in relation to photos of Thomas and his wife, Caitlin, used by the Welsh Tourist Board.

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