RCA Corporation v Pollard: CA 1982

The illegal activities of bootleggers who had made unauthorised recordings of concerts, diminished the profitability of contracts granting to the plaintiffs the exclusive right to exploit recordings by Elvis Presley.
Held: The defendant’s appeal succeeded. The performer might have had an action, but the Act was directed to his rights, not those of the plaintiff distributor. Oliver LJ discussed the tort of wrongful interference by the practice of a fraud on a third party: ‘It also has to be proved by a plaintiff who seeks to rely on this tort, as Mr Beveridge conceded for Lonrho, that the unlawful act was in some sense directed against the plaintiff or intended to harm the plaintiff. The origin of those phrases is the oft quoted passage in the speech of Lord Watson in Allen v Flood [1898] AC 1,96, which was applied by the majority of this court (Buckley and Kennedy LJJ) in National Phonograph Co. Ltd v Edison-Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co. Ltd [1908] 1 Ch 335. In that case the fraud was clearly directed against the plaintiff. ‘
Oliver and Slade LJJ
[1982] 3 All ER 771, [1983] 1 Ch 135
Dramatic and Musical Performers’ Protection Act 1958 1
England and Wales
Appeal fromRCA v Pollard ChD 1982
The defendant had sold unauthorised recordings made of Elvis Presley at his contacts and was selling them. The plaintiff had the rights to the works of Elvis Presley, and claimed under the 1958 Act. . .
CitedAllen v Flood HL 14-Dec-1898
Tort of Malicicious Inducement not Committed
The defendant, on behalf of a group of ironworkers, persuaded their employers in Milwall to stop employing the plaintiff shipwrights. There was no breach of contract. The plaintiffs alleged that this conduct gave rise to liability in tort on the . .
CitedNational Phonograph Co Ltd v Edison-Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co Ltd CA 1908
The defendant had intentionally caused loss to the plaintiff by fraudulently inducing a third party to act to the plaintiff’s detriment. The court considered the tort of wrongful interference in contractual relations where a fraud had clearly been . .
CitedEmperor of Austria v Day and Kossuth 1861
The defendants had printed banknotes in London. Kossuth intended to use the notes in Hungary after overthrowing the Emperor of Austria by revolution. The Emperor obtained an injunction restraining the defendants from continuing to manufacture them. . .

Cited by:
CitedArsenal Football Club plc and Others v Elte Sports Distribution Ltd ChD 10-Dec-2002
The claimant alleged that the respondent had unlawfully made use of photographs of its footballers in a calendar. The respondent asked the court to strike out the claim as merely speculative, and the claimant sought pre-action disclosure.
CitedOBG Ltd OBG (Plant and Transport Hire) Ltd v Raymond International Ltd; OBG Ltd v Allen CA 9-Feb-2005
The defendants had wrongfully appointed receivers of the claimant, who then came into the business and terminated contracts undertaken by the business. The claimant asserted that their actions amounted to a wrongful interference in their contracts . .
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others (No 3) CA 18-May-2005
The principal claimants sold the rights to take photographs of their wedding to a co-claimant magazine (OK). Persons acting on behalf of the defendants took unauthorised photographs which the defendants published. The claimants had retained joint . .
CitedLonrho plc v Fayed CA 1989
There had been a battle to purchase the share capital of the House of Fraser which owned Harrods. Lonrho alleged that the Fayed brothers had perpetrated a fraud on the Secretary of State, and thereby secured permission to buy the company without a . .
CitedMbasogo, President of the State of Equatorial Guinea and Another v Logo Ltd and others CA 23-Oct-2006
Foreign Public Law Not Enforceable Here
The claimant alleged a conspiracy by the defendants for his overthrow by means of a private coup d’etat. The defendants denied that the court had jurisdiction. The claimants appealed dismissal of their claim to damages.
Held: The claims were . .
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others; similar HL 2-May-2007
In Douglas, the claimants said that the defendants had interfered with their contract to provide exclusive photographs of their wedding to a competing magazine, by arranging for a third party to infiltrate and take and sell unauthorised photographs. . .
CitedTotal Network Sl v Revenue and Customs HL 12-Mar-2008
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations . .
CitedSecretary of State for Health and Another v Servier Laboratories Ltd and Others SC 2-Jul-2021
Economic tort of causing loss by unlawful means
The Court was asked whether the ‘dealing requirement’ is a constituent part of the tort of causing loss by unlawful means; whether a necessary element of the unlawful means tort is that the unlawful means should have affected the third party’s . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 July 2021; Ref: scu.182460