Information claim under copyright law - everything you need to know


If your copyrights have been infringed, you are entitled to a number of claims under the Copyright Act. However, in order to make a decision on their investigation, it is necessary to have knowledge about the violation and the scale of its effects, about which you, as an injured party, may not be fully informed.In such a situation, there is an option to use the so-called information claim. So what is an information claim in copyright law? If you want to know more about it, check out the article below!

Information claim - what is it?

A person with a legal interest may submit a request to the court for the obligation of the infringer to provide information and make available the documentation specified by the court that is relevant to copyright claims.

According to the Court of Appeal in Poznań, the purpose of the information claim: “[...] is to enable the entitled person to make a decision on the pursuit of the claims referred to in art. 79 sec. 1 of the Act on Copyright and Related Rights and to define the scope of the demands in the event of bringing an action”(Decision of the Court of Appeal in Poznań - I Civil Division of 30 May 2014, I ACz 835/14).

An information claim under copyright law is intended to obtain information about an infringement from a potential infringer, allowing it to make a decision to bring a claim.

Request directed against entities other than the infringing party

The aggrieved party may also request an obligation other than the infringing party to provide information relevant to his copyright claims, on the origin, distribution networks, quantity and price of goods or services infringing copyrights, if it was found that the entity:

  • owns goods that infringe economic copyrights or
  • uses services that infringe economic copyrights, or
  • provides services used in activities infringing economic copyrights,
  • has been indicated as participating in the production, manufacture or distribution of goods or provision of services infringing economic copyrights,

and the above activities of the third party are intended to obtain, directly or indirectly, profit or other economic benefit, and this does not include the activities of bona fide consumers.

Information claim under copyright law - how to submit an application?

The aggrieved person may file an application to the court having jurisdiction to hear cases of infringement of economic copyrights - ie to the district court. Venue, however, is determined by the place where the perpetrator carries out his activities or where his property is located.

The application may be brought together with a lawsuit related to copyright infringement, in the course of the proceedings, but also before the filing of the action.

The court should consider the application not later than within 3 days from the date of submission to the court.

When will the application be considered?

The main premise that the applicant should prove is his legal interest in obtaining specific information or documents.

According to the judicature: "[...]»a legal interest in granting security "in such cases, if, without the obligation of infringing the proprietary copyright to provide relevant information or disclosure of documents, the party is not able to determine the scope of the infringement of this right, and thus specify the factual basis of the claim, and claims”(Decision of the Court of Appeal in Poznań - I Civil Division of 30 May 2014, I ACz 835/14).

The jurisprudence also indicates an additional prerequisite for the effectiveness of the information application. In the decision of the Court of Appeal in Katowice - I Civil Division of August 13, 2013, I ACz 745/13, we can read: "An information claim is a specific institution, separate from securing evidence. Using it pursuant to art. 80 sec. 1 point 2 of the Act of February 4, 1994 on Copyright and Related Rights (i.e. Journal of Laws of 2006, No. 90, item 631, as amended) requires substantiation that the applicant is an authorized person whose copyright property has been breached. Only in such a case it is possible and necessary to consider the application by the court within 3 days in non-litigious proceedings”.

It is therefore essential for the effectiveness of the information request: "[...] the hypothetical possibility of pursuing a specific claim which, in the light of the circumstances mentioned in the request for information, should be credible, i.e. when it results from the probable fact of infringement of proprietary copyrights”(Decision of the Court of Appeal in Katowice - 5th Civil Division of December 12, 2013, ACz 1217/13). The request for information will be effective if the applicant substantiates the legal interest in obtaining the information, as well as presents circumstances that justify the infringement itself.

What information or documents can you request?

An information claim in copyright law is not intended to obtain evidence, but to obtain information that will allow to make a decision to initiate proceedings and to determine the scope of the claim. Therefore, the information request must be precisely specified and limited to the information necessary to specify the claimant's claim. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Internet Service Providers and the Information Claim

The fulfillment of a request for information from a third party - internet service provider - may not lead to the imposition of an obligation to introduce a filtering system:

  • all electronic communications via its services, in particular using peer-to-peer programs;
  • applicable without distinction to all of its customers;
  • for preventive purposes;
  • at the sole expense of the supplier;
  • no time limit;

identifiable on this provider's network cases of transmission of electronic files containing music, cinematographic or audiovisual works for which the claimant claims intellectual property rights, in order to block the transfer of files, the exchange of which infringes copyright (CJEU judgment of 24 November 2011 in in the case of Scarlet Extended SA v. Société belge des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs SCRL (SABAM) (C-70/10, ECR 2011, pp. I – 11959)).

Refusal to provide information and enforcement

If, as a result of a positive consideration of the application, the court imposes an obligation on a specific entity to provide information, this entity may refuse to disclose it only in cases allowing for a refusal to testify or answer questions in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure.

In the event of an unjustified refusal to provide information or disclosure of documents, this obligation is subject to compulsory enforcement under the terms of the Code of Civil Procedure.