Green v Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand; 22 Sep 1988

References: [1988] NZCA 180, CA40/84, [1988] 2 NZLR 490, (1988) 2 TCLR 701
Links: Nzlii
Coram: Somers, Casey, Gallen JJ
Ratio: (Court of Appeal of New Zealand) The plaintiff had created a hugely sucessful TV programme in the UK, called Opportunity Knocks. He now appealed against rejection of his claim in copyright alleging that the defendant had copied the format, and also in passing off.
Held: Courts have a discretion whether or not to order a new trial where fresh evidence is sought to be introduced and, in exercise of that discretion, they should apply the tests in Ladd v Marshall
Ongley J considered the claim to copyright in the words ‘Opportunity Knocks’ and held that copyright did not subsist in the title. His Honour noted that it is a difficult but not an impossible task to establish copyright in a title. He referred to the Privy Council decision in Francis
This case cites:

  • Applied – Ladd v Marshall CA ([1954] 1 WLR 1489, [1954] 3 All ER 745, Bailii, [1954] EWCA Civ 1)
    At the trial, the wife of the appellant’s opponent said she had forgotten certain events. After the trial she began divorce proceedings, and informed the appellant that she now remembered. He sought either to appeal admitting fresh evidence or for a . .
  • Cited – Francis Day & Hunter Limited v 20th Century Fox Corporation Limited PC ([1940] AC 112, Bailii, [1939] UKPC 68, [1939] 4 All ER 192)
    (Ontario) Copyright protection was asserted on in connection with the title to a film (‘The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’).
    Held: It was not a literary work capable of attracting copyright protection. As a rule, such titles do not . .

(This list may be incomplete)
This case is cited by:

  • Appeal from – Green v Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand PC ([1989] RPC 700, Bailii, [1989] UKPC 26)
    Court of Appeal of New Zealand – The plaintiff had developed the program ‘Opportunity Knocks’ on British television. He claimed copyright in the general structure or format of a similar television programme in New Zealand. By ‘dramatic format’ the . .

(This list may be incomplete)

Last Update: 29-Jul-16
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