Peer International Corporation Southern Music Publishing Company Inc Peermusic (UK) Limited v Termidor Music Publishers Limited Termidor Musikverlag Gmbh and Co Kg -And-Editoria Musical De Cuba: CA 30 Jul 2003

Peer sought declarations that they were the owners, or licensees, of the UK copyright in musical works composed by Cuban nationals, relying on assignments in writing by the composers and in some instances by their heirs. The defendants claimed under other titles. In Cuba laws had been passed to to recover copyrights assigned abroad.
Held: English law recognises no exceptions to the rule that a foreign law is not recognised to apply to goods situated here. The property right created by the equitable assignment survived the abrogation of the contracts.


Lord Justice Aldous Lord Justice Mance Lord Justice Latham


[2003] EWCA Civ 1156, Times 11-Sep-2003, Gazette 02-Oct-2003, [2004] 2 WLR 849, [2004] Ch 212




England and Wales


CitedKuwait Airways Corporation v Iraqi Airways Company and Others (Nos 4 and 5) HL 16-May-2002
After the invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi government had dissolved Kuwait airlines, and appropriated several airplanes. Four planes were destroyed by Allied bombing, and 6 more were appropriated again by Iran.
Held: The appeal failed. No claim . .
CitedLorentzen v Lydden 1942
The Norwegian Government decreed that all ships registered in Norway were requisitioned. The defendants, a London firm had agreed to charter a Norwegian vessel for the carriage of pulp from Oslo to Grangemouth or Leith. The curator sued for damages, . .
CitedA Schroeder Music Publishing Co Ltd v Macaulay 1974
Assignments of copyright which were manifestly inequitable and oppressive could be void or unenforceable on grounds of public policy. . .
CitedLoucks v Standard Oil Co of New York 1918
An English court will exclude a foreign decree only when it ‘would violate some fundamental principle of justice, some prevalent conception of good morals, some deep-rooted tradition of the common weal’ . .
CitedThe El Condado SCS 1939
Lord Aitchison said: ‘The penal laws of foreign countries are strictly local, and affect nothing more than they can reach and can be seized by virtue of their authority; a fugitive who passes hither, comes with all his transitory rights; he may . .
CitedFrankfurther v W L Exner Ltd 1947
The court refused to give effect to an Austrian decree extending to moveables situated in this country because it was penal in nature. . .
CitedNovello and Co Ltd v Hinrichsen Editions Ltd 1951
The court refused to give credit to a foreign law as it applied to goods here because the law was confiscatory. . .
CitedBank Voor Handel En Scheepvaart NV v Slatford 1951
A Dutch bank deposited a quantity of gold in London before the start of the 1939-1945 war. In May 1940 the Netherlands were invaded and they became an enemy territory for the purposes of the 1939 Act. The Royal Netherlands Government, with the . .
CitedIn the Estate of Fuld, decd (No 3) ChD 1967
The deceased had spent relatively equal periods in two or more countries. The parties disputed his domicile.
Held: A blind adherence to foreign law can not be always expected of an English Court. The legal relationship between a person and the . .
CitedOppenheimer v Cattermole (Inspector of Taxes) HL 5-Feb-1975
HL Income tax, Schedule D – Foreign possessions – Double taxation relief – German government pension for past services – Paid to British subject of German origin – Whether German nationality deemed to be retained . .
Appeal fromPeer International Corporation and Others v Termidor Music Publishers Ktd and Another ChD 11-Dec-2002
The claimant company had acquired the copyrights to the works of several Cuban musicians. A law later passed by Cuba in 1960 had allowed the musicians to re-assign their copyrights.
Held: A title to property which had been given by English law . .

Cited by:

CitedB4U 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 . .
CitedBelhaj and Another v Straw and Others SC 17-Jan-2017
The claimant alleged complicity by the defendant, (now former) Foreign Secretary, in his mistreatment by the US while held in Libya. He also alleged involvement in his unlawful abduction and removal to Libya, from which had had fled for political . .
See AlsoPeer International Corp and others v Termidor Music Publishers Ltd and Another ChD 25-May-2005
The claimants sought declarations as to the ownership of copyrights to music fom Cuba. Many witnesses would be required to give evidence from Cuba. Attempts to take evidence by video link from Cuba had failed. It was suggested that the judge might . .
See AlsoPeer International Corporation and others v Termidor Music Publishers Ltd and others ChD 16-Nov-2006
Claim for English copyright of Cuban musical scores. . .
See AlsoPeer International Corporation and others v Termidor Music Publishers and others CA 23-Nov-2007
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction, Intellectual Property

Updated: 14 June 2022; Ref: scu.185457