Chaplin v Leslie Frewin (Publishers) Ltd: 1966

It had been agreed that the defendant publishers should during the legal term of the copyright have the exclusive right of producing, publishing and selling a work in volume form in any language throughout the world. The author warranted that he was the owner of the copyright. Application was made to set aside an interlocutory judgment.
Held: The words used were an ‘ample and effective to constitute an assignment’, though Danwerts LJ also thought they might constitute an exclusive licence. Winn LJ unequivocally thought the words ‘should . . be regarded as, and given the effect of, an assignment of copyright’.
Lord Denning (dissenting) thought that the agreement . . was an assignment of copyright; . . or at any rate it was the grant of an interest in the copyright’ and ‘The law of this country for centuries has been that if anyone under the age of 21 makes, or agrees to make, a disposition of his property by a deed or document in writing, he may avoid it at any time before he comes of full age or within a reasonable time thereafter.’
References: [1966] Ch 71
Judges: Denning LJ, Dankwerts LJ
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Fisher v Brooker and Others HL 30-Jul-2009
    The claimant sought a share in the royalties from the song ‘A whiter shade of pale’ but had delayed his claim for 38 years. He had contributed the organ solo which had contributed significantly to the song’s success. He now sought a share of future . .
    (, [2009] UKHL 41, Times 12-Aug-09, [2009] 1 WLR 1764, [2009] FSR 25, [2009] Bus LR 1334, [2009] 4 All ER 789, [2009] ECDR 17, [2010] EMLR 2)
  • Cited – B4U Network (Europe) Ltd v Performing Right Society Ltd CA 16-Oct-2013
    Composers had entered an agreement with the respondent, assigning all copyrights in their works to the respondent. The respondent asserted also an equitable assignment of all future works. The appellant asserted that the rights in the particular . .
    (, [2013] EWCA Civ 1236, [2014] FSR 17, [2014] BUS LR 207, [2013] WLR(D) 385, [2014] ECC 3, )

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 27 November 2020; Ref: scu.373856