What happens next

The person who makes the application or claim is called the applicant.

A person who has a claim made against them is called the respondent.

When the Copyright Tribunal gets the application

We’ll contact the applicant to confirm we’ve received their application. We’ll also let the respondent know an application has been filed against them.

When the chairperson decides the case is ready for a pre-hearing telephone conference, we’ll contact the people involved (the parties) and arrange a time and date for the conference call. Parties or their representatives are required to attend the teleconference.

At the teleconference, the chairperson will set a timetable that puts steps in place to get the case to a hearing. The tribunal will issue a Minute confirming the timetabling orders which may include a date for the hearing.

The hearing

The case will be heard by the chairperson and 2 other members of the tribunal.

The purpose of the hearing is for the tribunal to hear arguments from both sides so it can make a decision.

You’re responsible for making sure you have prepared your case and your witnesses are ready for the hearing. Hearings are formal, held in a courtroom, and are open to the public. A case can also be heard on the papers which means you will not need to appear in a courtroom but requires all parties to agree to this process.


The tribunal can make a decision under Part 8 of the Copyright Act 1994, sections 149 to 155 or 156 to 160. Tribunal decisions are given in writing.

Costs can be awarded

Under section 222 of the Act the tribunal can award costs.

Section 222 of the Act(external link)

The tribunal will usually ask parties to provide written submissions about costs.

Appeal the tribunal’s decisions

You can only appeal the tribunal’s decision if you believe it’s wrong in law. An appeal must be lodged with the High Court within 20 working days of you being told the tribunal’s decision.

If you do appeal to the High Court, you must also send the tribunal a copy of your appeal.

You should seek legal advice before appealing to the High Court.

Withdraw an application

You can withdraw your application at any stage before a decision is made. Fill in and send us this form:

Withdraw your file-sharing application form [PDF, 811 KB]

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