F1 media agency takes legal action against Parr
16 January, 2013
GMM supplies daily Formula 1 news to websites and other publications. On page 70 of Mr Parr’s book ‘The Art of War – Five Years in Formula One’, the GMM article formally entitled ‘Wolff should step up at Williams – Ecclestone’ (February 8, 2012) was reproduced word by word by Mr Parr.
Mr Parr did not seek permission to reproduce the 169 words of the original 182-word GMM article (ie. all but the unrelated final sentence), nor did he respect GMM’s right to paternity (to be identified as the author).
The necessity for legal action has arisen following almost six weeks of email and telephone negotiations, during which Mr Parr consistently refused to offer by way of settlement more than what he unilaterally determined was a ‘market rate’ for a single GMM article.
Andrew Maitland, editor and director – “In 12 years of supplying daily F1 news to GMM’s faithful clients – literally tens of thousands of headlines – not a single formal copyright claim has ever been filed against us. In Mr Parr’s first ever act of publishing, he has committed a breach that is as simple to
prove as it is for anyone to flick to page 70 and recognise that the person who wrote those words did not give Mr Parr permission to reproduce them.”
“I have attempted to resolve this matter with Mr Parr privately and completely confidentially for almost 6 weeks, but he has made it abundantly clear that his subjective calculation of a ‘market rate’ for a single GMM article constitutes his first and final offer of settlement. Having disregarded my entrepreneurial right to negotiate in advance the value of my work and either grant or refuse permission, he also ignores that he sold scores of books that should have identified GMM or myself as the author. Mr Parr, a trained and practiced barrister, seems also to be overlooking the criminal
seriousness of violating copyright law so fundamentally.”
“Notwithstanding all of that, the actual damages I am now seeking through the courts is demonstrably less than what a top client of GMM can faithfully pay per month to access the service legitimately. And my final offer to settle privately was even lower than that. This is not about money, this is about Mr
Parr simply accepting responsibility and endeavouring respectfully to put it right. But having breached my rights so fundamentally, Mr Parr now compels me to commit even more of my time, and money in legal fees, simply to enforce what any vendor of written material is minimally entitled.” (GMM)