Cala Homes (South) Ltd and others v Alfred McAlpine Homes East Ltd: ChD 6 Jul 1995

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had copied its house designs after a senior employee involved in creating the designs left and eventually came to work for the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that the copying was flagrant allowing additional damages.
Held: Though some work had been outsourced, the employee remained the author, and his employer retained the copyright as his employer, and therefore infringement had occurred: ‘to have regard merely to who pushed the pen is too narrow a view of authorship. What is protected by copyright in a drawing or a literary work is more than just the skill of making marks on paper or some other medium. It is both the words or lines and the skill and effort involved in creating, selecting or gathering together the detailed concepts, data or emotions which those words or lines have fixed in some tangible form which is protected. It is wrong to think that only the person who carries out the mechanical act of fixation is an author. There may well be skill and expertise in drawing clearly and well but that does not mean that it is only that skill and expertise which is relevant. As Mr Howe has said, where two or more people collaborate in the creation of a work and each contributes a significant part of the skill and labour protected by the copyright, then they are joint authors.’
‘Furthermore it is relevant to bear in mind that there may be considerable skill and expertise involved in attending a public lecture and taking down moderately accurately a speech. Anyone who has attended a trial and has read the daily transcript will marvel at how much clearer the transcript seems to be than what was said in court. This impression is confirmed by comparing the transcript with a tape recording of the proceedings. People frequently speak in half sentences. A good reporter or shorthand writer does more than act as a mere scribe. ‘
Laddie J
[1995] EWHC 7 (Ch), [1995] FSR 818
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 97(2)
England and Wales
CitedNational Justice Compania Naviera S A v Prudential Assurance Company Ltd (‘The Ikarian Reefer’) 1993
Cresswell J spoke of the nature of the duty owed by expert witnesses: ‘The duties and responsibilities of expert witnesses in civil cases include the following:

1. Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the . .
CitedWalter v Lane HL 6-Aug-1900
Reporter of Public Speech Owns Copyright I
A reporter attended a speech by Lord Rosebery. His report of the speech was republished in the Times after another journalist who had not been present published a verbatim copy. He claimed a copyright in the work he produced.
Held: The first . .
CitedInterlego AG v Tyco Industries Inc PC 5-May-1988
How much new material for new copyright
(Hong Kong) Toy building bricks were manufactured by Lego in accordance with engineering drawings made for that purpose. One issue was whether new drawings made since 1972, altering the original drawings in various minor respects but added new . .
CitedKing Features Syndicate Inc v O and M Kleeman Ltd ChD 1940
The plaintiff alleging copyright infringement, had relied on fifty five drawings of the Popeye character out of the many thousands of such drawings in the cartoon series. The defendant might have copied from any one of those thousands.
Held: . .
MentionedPrior v Lansdowne Press Pty Ltd 1977
In relation to rights of co-owners of copyright the Court cannot add ‘substantial’ before the word ‘copy’ for adjudging infringement of a cinematography film. . .
MentionedMurray v King 1983
A receiver had been appointed by the Court to effect a sale of the partnership business. The receiver disposed of assets of the partnership. Sheppard Morling and Spender JJ stated that sale of the copyright by the Receiver pursuant to the terms of . .
CitedNichols Advanced Vehicle Systems Inc v Rees 1979
The court considered how to decide whether to award additional damages for flagrancy in copyright breach cases.
Held: Such awards should not be limited to where a defendant was aware of copyright law, but should look to the circumstances of . .
CitedPolivitte Ltd v Commercial Union Assurance Co Plc 1987
An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the Court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise . .
CitedRe J 1990
Federal Court of Australia – An expert witness should state the facts or assumption upon which his opinion is based. He should not omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion – If an expert’s opinion is not . .

Cited by:
CitedAnglo Group Plc, Winther Brown and Co Ltd v Winter Brown and Co Ltd, BML (Office Computers) Ltd, Anglo Group Plc, BML (Office Computers) Ltd TCC 8-Mar-2000
Contract – Contract for provision of computer services – purchaser contract with finance company – duty of co-operation to be implied in computer contracts – practice – responsibilities of expert witnesses generally – whether computer company liable . .
See AlsoCala Homes (South) Ltd and Others v Alfred Mcalpine Homes East Ltd (No 2) ChD 30-Oct-1995
A plaintiff may claim damages under section 97(2) in addition to claiming an account of profits, as his primary remedy. A person claiming joint rights in the copyright as author must contribute to the ‘production’ of the work and create something . .
CitedMartin and Another v Kogan and Others IPEC 22-Nov-2017
The parties disputed whether joint authorship of the screenplay for a film, ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’. The claimant now sought a declaration of sole authorship of film screenplay, and the defendant cross-claimed for a declaration of joint . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 September 2021; Ref: scu.241586