ECPA Resolves Copyright Infringement Case
(Press Release) Phoenix, Arizona, November 1, 2010—Last week, the High Court of Justice in London issued a Consent Order under which Andrew (Amue) Ansell admitted to infringing a large quantity of Christian theological works by displaying them on his websites, including biblecentre.net, and agreed not to post any copyrighted material in the future. This resolves a nearly seven-year legal battle that ECPA and its publisher coalition, represented by US attorney Brian Flagler and UK attorney Martyn Bailey, have fought in the UK judicial system.
In addition, Amue/Ansell submitted a written apology for his actions, acknowledging that he was in violation of the law and Christian principles. Copyrighted works have been deleted from his servers and ECPA has submitted to him a letter informing him of future steps that would be taken should he infringe other materials published by any ECPA member.
In 2003, ECPA became aware of Mr. Amue's site at www.biblecentre.net, which featured a collection of the full texts of hundreds of copyrighted Christian theological works displayed without permission. ECPA organized a coalition of its member publishers, comprised of Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Baker Publishing Group, Tyndale, Moody, Logos Software, and IVP UK, to address the infringement.
Mr. Amue first offered free access to the texts, then started charging a subscription fee and expanded the offerings on new websites at www.evanglibrary.info and www.evanglibrary.com. ECPA repeatedly asked Mr. Amue to cease infringing copyright in the works in numerous letters and emails over a period of over four years during which legal counsel was secured in 2006. Mr. Amue continually refused to either secure the necessary licenses or to permanently remove the works from his websites. In May of this year, the High Court in London issued a Bench Warrant for Andrew Amue's arrest, for failing to appear at the hearing to enforce a March 2008 Order. Since recently, Mr. Amue had hid from authorities, and eventually changed his name to Andrew Ansell.
ECPA President/CEO Mark Kuyper states, "I want to thank the ECPA Publisher Coalition for their steadfast participation and contribution to this effort. It has been frustrating at times, but ultimately fruitful. As difficult as this has been, it was made infinitely more tolerable by the expertise and wisdom of our legal experts Brian Flagler and Martyn Bailey. It has been a privilege to work with them and I believe we have honored God with the intent behind this effort and the integrity with which it was executed."
After the hearing last week, Brian Flagler shared, "The participating publishers went to great lengths to ensure that their authors' copyrights would be respected online. This effort first involved addressing infringement in the UK, then China, Panama, the United States, the Netherlands, and finally back in the courts in London. I was continually impressed with the publishers' unwavering resolve to stand together on principle over a significant period of years, and am pleased that the matter ended with the infringer taking responsibility for his actions. This case serves as a precedent and strong statement that ECPA publishers will not allow infringement of their works anywhere in the world."
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non-profit trade organization, comprised of nearly 150 member companies worldwide, representing a combined revenue of nearly two billion dollars. Founded in 1974, ECPA is dedicated to serving the Christian publishing industry through equipping its members through cutting-edge technology, meaningful data, dynamic educational opportunity and unprecedented access to markets. Contact ECPA at 480-966-3998, 9633 South 48th Street, Suite 140, Phoenix, Arizona 85044, email@example.com or visit the website at www.ecpa.org