Saturday 27 May 2017

Private Alexandra College in court after transition year students start t-shirt business

STUDENTS who set up a t-shirt business as part of their transition year project have landed their school in the High Court.

The students at the private Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin, had the bright idea of putting photographs on t-shirts but now the school has been issued with proceedings alleging infringement of copyright.

Photographer and blogger Andrew Nuding has claimed two photographs selected for one group's tee shirt project are his intellectual property.

In the High Courttoday, Mr Justice Kevin Feeney said the matter had many appearances of "a storm in a teacup" and it was a case that should be heard in the District Court.

He remitted the case against the board of management of Alexandra College to the Dublin District Court.

Earlier Mr Nuding's counsel, Conal Ellis, said his client was an accomplished and recognised photographer and a blogger.

A number of students, counsel said, had taken photographs from his blog site, copied them and "emblazoned" them on tee shirts for sale.

Counsel asked the case be remitted to the Circuit Court as Mr Nuding is also seeking certain declarations from the court as well as damages.

Mr Justice Feeney was told the board of management recognised Mr Nuding as the author and holder of all intellectual property rights over each of the original photographic images, but denied that he suffered any loss.

The board of management also denied that the alleged breach of copyright was conducted at the behest or with the consent of the school board.

Mr Ellis said that, in correspondence, Mr Nuding had said €2,500 plus his legal costs would be sufficient to resolve the matter, but he wanted the judge to remit the matter to the Circuit Court.

Counsel for the board of management, Mark Harty SC said the facts were in dispute in the case. He pointed out that the headmaster at the Alexandra College had assured Mr Nuding on the matter that only two tee shirts were printed by the group of five 16 year olds.

Counsel said the students involved had apologised to Mr Nuding and the printed items had been shredded. Counsel said that Nuding was also a full time student as well as a photographer and blogger.

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