Ludlow Music Inc v Williams and others: ChD 2 Oct 2000

The claimant sought damages for copyright infringement in respect of two works which parodied a song to which they owned the rights.
Held: The amount copied, being as much as a quarter of the original work, meant that the claim was indefensible. When considering the grant of an injunction ‘the right approach is to start with a strong bias in favour of granting an injunction, to be dispelled only if the circumstances of the case clearly make it unjust to do so.’ This was such an exceptional case. There had been acquiescence, and the claimants were interested only in the financial and not the artistic values. An injunction was refused and an enquiry as to damages ordered.


N Strauss QC


[2000] EWHC 456 (Ch), [2001] EMLR 7, [2001] FSR 19




England and Wales


CitedLeco Investments (UK) Ltd v Land Pyrometers CA 1982
The defendant appealed against a striking out of his defence on a claim for copyright infringement.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Leave should have been given. Whether copying was substantial depended in part on quality, which was a matter of . .
CitedChappell and Co Ltd v DC Thomson and Co ChD 1928
In a claim for copyright infringement, the lack of artistic value in a work was irrelevant. . .
CitedShelfer v City of London Electric Lighting Company, Meux’s Brewery Co v Same CA 1895
The plaintiff sought damages and an injunction for nuisance by noise and vibration which was causing structural injury to a public house.
Held: The court set out the rules for when a court should not grant an injunction for an infringement of . .
CitedMCA Records Inc and Another v Charly Records Ltd and others ChD 22-Mar-2000
A licence to record is a one-off event authorising recording for the period of the licence. . .
CitedBanks v EMI Songs Ltd (No.2) ChD 1996
Jacob J referred to the judgment of AL Smith LJ in Shelfer, and granted an injunction, even though he was not able to say that a small sum of money would be adequate compensation. The ‘checklist’ in that judgment was not an exhaustive statement and . .
CitedMacMillan v Thomas Reed PatC 1993
(Patents County Court) Both parties published almanacs for yachtsmen. The plaintiff claimed copyright infringement and an injunction.
Held: An injunction was granted. Enough had been done by the plaintiff to show that in creating the work at . .
CitedPhonographic Performance Limited v Maitra and Others CA 3-Feb-1998
An injunction without time limit should normally be granted immediately where there was clear infringement and a threat of continued infringement. Copyrights can sometimes typically be identified only by reference to the trade marks under which the . .
CitedJaggard v Sawyer and Another CA 18-Jul-1994
Recovery of damages after Refusal of Injunction
The plaintiff appealed against the award of damages instead of an injunction aftter the County court had found the defendant to have trespassed on his land by a new building making use of a private right of way.
Held: The appeal failed.
CitedHogg v Kirby 15-Mar-1803
Injunction to restrain publishing a Magazine as a continuation of the Plaintiff’s Magazine in numbers, and as to communications from correspondents, received by the Defendant while publishing for the Plaintiff ; not preventing the publication of an . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromLudlow Music Inc v Williams and others (No 2) ChD 14-Feb-2002
Practice for calculation of damages after finding of copyright infringement. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 09 February 2022; Ref: scu.261945