Copyright cases against owner Leo Sherlock adjourned

Website owner being sued by Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd and CCC Nuacht Teoranta

A case against Leo Sherlock, owner of the website, for alleged breaches of copyright against two news publishers has been adjourned for a month.

Ardee District Court heard on Monday that Mr Sherlock of Glenvar, Ardee Road, Collon, Co Louth, is being sued in two separate civil actions by Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd and CCC Nuacht Teoranta.

The case is being defended by Mr Sherlock.

Independent Newspapers alleges multiple breaches of the newspaper group’s copyright, including the wrongful alteration and reproduction of a photograph used on a September 1st, 2016 article about the death of a young boy after he was hit by a car while cycling to school.


A number of other instances where the defendant allegedly breached the newspaper group’s copyright by using photographs are also claimed.

CCC Nuacht, represented by PG McMahon Solicitors, alleges four instances of alleged breach of copyright, including one on July 15th, 2015 when allegedly published its article about a Romanian national sentenced for fraudulently claiming welfare payments.


Both plaintiffs are seeking aggravated and exemplary damages under the provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and their costs.

Solicitor Paul Meagher of Meagher Solicitors for Independent Newspapers told Judge Marie Keane the defendant had entered a defence since a previous appearance in February.

Mr Meagher asked that an earlier motion for judgment in default therefore be struck out and his application for costs was granted.

Solicitor Malachy Steenson of Canning Landy & Co for Mr Sherlock asked that a stay be placed on the costs until the hearing date.

Asked by Judge Keane how long the matter was likely to take, Mr Meagher said it could take two hours. He asked for liberty to amend the pleadings to take into account further alleged copyright breaches since the action was filed.

Mr Meagher said said some of the matters may be deposed under affidavit in relation to the ownership and assignment of copyright on behalf of Independent Newspapers.

He said both plaintiffs were making “the exact same case” in relation to breach of copyright. He had three witnesses on behalf of the newspaper group and this could be truncated with the aid of affidavit evidence, he said.

Judge Keane adjourned the matter, along with the case by CCC Nuacht, to April 10th next when a date is expected to be sought for hearing.

Mr Sherlock was not in court.

When he appeared in court last month, Mr Sherlock was asked by Judge Gráinne Malone why he had not filed papers.

Mr Sherlock said he had been in very bad health and had been in and out of hospital. It had been a complete oversight, he said.

He said he had written to Independent Newspapers and explained the situation before Christmas, but unfortunately had not accepted it.

Judge Malone directed that Mr Sherlock file the required papers. He indicated he would give evidence in the case.