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Cases Media & Entertainment

Jones v Lydon (No.1)

Judgment Date: 22 Aug 2021

The High Court has handed down judgment in a high-profile entertainment case between members of the Sex Pistols. Both sides of the dispute were represented by barristers from Maitland Chambers.

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TuneIn Inc v Warner Music UK Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 441

Judgment Date: 26 Mar 2021

The Court of Appeal (the Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Arnold and Lady Justice Rose) gave judgment on 26 March 2021 in (1) Warner Music UK Limited (2) Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited v TuneIn Inc. The Court dismissed TuneIn’s appeal save in one small respect and upheld the High Court’s ruling that TuneIn infringed Warner and Sony’s copyrights through its operation of the TuneIn online internet radio service.

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Active Media Services Inc v Burmester, Duncker & Joly Gmbh & Co KG and others

Judgment Date: 09 Feb 2021

Mr Justice Calver has dismissed a claim in the Commercial Court worth over US$3 million relating to financing of an animated film. The case raised interesting issues relating to election, waiver and estoppel, and the inferences to be drawn from a party’s deliberate destruction and concealment of evidence.

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European Film Bonds A/S & other v Lotus Holdings LLC & others [2020]

Judgment Date: 11 May 2020

The High Court has given judgment in favour of film completion guarantors (represented by Edmund Cullen QC) who have successfully avoided a potential liability of over €18 million in what is said to have been one of the largest film completion guarantee claims to have been submitted.

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Warner Music & Sony Music v TuneIn (2019)

Judgment Date: 01 Nov 2019

A service enabling users, via a website or app, to access internet music radio stations around the world had communicated copyright works to the public contrary to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s.20 where the radio stations were not licensed in the UK or elsewhere, where they were licensed for a territory other than the UK, or where they were premium stations created exclusively for the service.

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David Mensah (T/A 37 Days 3 Hours 9 Minutes) v Jeremy Darroch & 8 Ors (2014)

Judgment Date: 19 Mar 2014

A claim brought against broadcasting entities that a television show they had launched had been developed using a business proposal submitted to them by the claimant was struck out in its entirety where the claimant had failed to adduce any material facts on which allegations of dishonesty and conspiracy might be based. Accordingly, the claim had no real prospect of success.

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EMI Records Ltd v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd (2013)

Judgment Date: 28 Feb 2013

The court issued a blocking injunction requiring six internet service providers to block customers' access to three peer-to-peer file-sharing websites. The service providers knew that customers were using the services to download copyrighted sound recordings without permission, and a blocking injunction was proportionate in the circumstances.

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Racecourse Media Group Ltd & Amalgamated Racing Ltd v Philip Siers (2012)

Judgment Date: 13 Jul 2012

An ex-employee had acted in breach of the terms of a confidentiality clause in his service contract when he disclosed sensitive commercial information to a third party.

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Dramatico Entertainment Ltd & 8 Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & 5 Ors (2012)

Judgment Date: 20 Feb 2012

The downloading and uploading of music industry sound recordings by the operators and users of a peer-to-peer file-sharing website infringed the copyrights of record companies in the United Kingdom.

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Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd & 6 Ors v Meltwater Holding BV, Meltwater News UK Ltd

Judgment Date: 27 Jul 2011

A web end-user licence was required to lawfully use and receive content in the form of clippings and headlines sourced by media monitoring organisations that trawled a multitude of websites using search terms selected by the end-user. That was because the copies passed on to the end-users were not covered by the web database licences issued to the monitoring organisations. The end-user licence was only needed where the content passed on to the end-user constituted a substantial part of the original work.

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CSC Media Group Ltd v Video Performance Ltd (2011)

Judgment Date: 27 May 2011

Provided that the Copyright Tribunal discharged its statutory duty under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s.126 to determine the terms of a licence that were reasonable in the circumstances by having regard to comparable schemes and licences as well as all other relevant considerations, then the precise way in which it carried out its analysis and the order in which it addressed the material issues in its decision could not undermine the validity of its conclusions.

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MGN Ltd & Ors v Alan Grisbrook (2010)

Judgment Date: 09 Dec 2010

By making copies of newspaper back-issues available to the public on a website a newspaper publisher had infringed the copyright of a photographer whose images had been printed in some of those newspapers as such exploitation by electronic means was different in kind from the exploitation of existing hard copies that had originally been contemplated by the parties.

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Newspaper Licensing Agency & 4 Ors v Meltwater Holding BV & Ors (2010)

Judgment Date: 26 Nov 2010

Companies had infringed newspapers' copyright by using a media monitoring service from a third party which provided them with copies of headlines and extracts from articles on newspaper websites. A web end-user licence was required to lawfully use and receive the third party's service.

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Crosstown Music Company 1 LLC v Rive Droite Music Ltd, Mark Taylor & Paul Barry (2010)

Judgment Date: 02 Nov 2010

A provision in an assignment of copyright allowing automatic reverter of the rights to the assignor on a future event, namely an unremedied material breach of contract by the assignee, was a valid partial assignment within the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s.90(2).

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Universal Studios International BV v Flextech Rights Ltd (2005)

Judgment Date: 18 Jul 2006

A judge should have declined to decide as preliminary issues questions that ultimately involved issues of fact and not law, since his conclusion could only have been reached on the assumption that all the facts alleged and no others were established at trial. The judge had been wrong in principle to determine whether individual episodes of a television series were similar in content to the totality of a previous series and whether the dissimilarity was sufficient to justify dissolution of a licence agreement.

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Racing UK Ltd v (1) Doncaster Racecourse Ltd (2) Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (2004)

Judgment Date: 08 Dec 2004

On the evidence, the chief executive of a racecourse management company had apparent or ostensible authority to sign an agreement with the claimant company granting it television picture rights, which was binding upon the racecourse owner.

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Christopher Gabrin v (1) Universal Music Operations Ltd (2) Jill Jewiss (2003)

Judgment Date: 17 Jun 2003

A photograph taken at a photo shoot had not been commissioned. The photographer owned the copyright in the photograph and was entitled to a remedy regarding the unauthorised use of that photograph by a record company.

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Phomographic Performance Ltd v Candy Rock Recording Ltd (2000)

Judgment Date: 30 Mar 2000

Section 129 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was not limited to a comparison between licences granted by the same person. The fact that narrowcasters were exempt from the site licence fee which commercial dubbers had to pay was a relevant factor for the Copyright Tribunal to consider when deciding on the royalty rate that a dubbing company should pay to Phonographic Performance Ltd. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.

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