The enforcement of copyright is the responsibility of the copyright holder. Copyright is essentially a private right and it is the rightsholder themselves who must take legal action against someone who infringes their rights.
By application to the courts the copyright owner can:
- Stop a person making further infringing use of the material by seeking an injunction, interdict or other order
- Claim damages from those who infringe their copyright
- Require the infringing party to give up or destroy the infringing.
Additional remedies are available for commercial infringement. Deliberate infringement of copyright for a commercial purpose (often called 'piracy') may be a criminal offence.
Music and other file-sharing without permission can be unlawful and student or staff who trade, swap or share music files illegally over the internet open themselves up to the possibility of a civil legal action.
Colleges, universities and other learning providers may be vulnerable to the extent that office holders and those responsible for compliance must not knowingly facilitate the commercial abuse of copyright protected work.
Further information on how copyright law is enforced when somebody uses a work without permission is available on the Intellectual Property Office website.