Rickless v United Artists Corporation: CA 1987

The Act created a private right to performers. Although it might appear to provide criminal sanctions only, performers had the right to give or withhold consent to the use of their performances and to enforce that right by action in the civil courts. This statutory right was not purely personal, but survived the death of the performer and vested in his or her personal representatives, so that in the absence of consent of a performer or his or her personal representatives, there was an actionable breach. A feature film (Trail of the Pink Panther – ‘Trail’) starring the late Peter Sellers had been made by use of cutting floor clips from previous films made with his consent. In two films, The Pink Panther Strikes Again and Revenge of the Pink Panther his consent extended to the use in this way of the cutting floor clips, and ordered the producer companies to account for percentages of the gross receipts of Trail as sums derived from Strikes and Revenge. In the case of three films where there had been no consent, damages were awarded for breach, or inducing breach, of contract in the sum of $1,000,000.
Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson V-C observed that, while not decisive, it was generally easier to spell out civil liability where Parliament had expressly stated that an act was unlawful rather than merely classifying it as a criminal offence.


Hobhouse J, Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson V-C, Bingham LJ


[1988] QB 40, [1987] 1 All ER 679, [1987] 2 WLR 945


Dramatic and Musical Performers Protection Act 1958 1


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedExperience Hendrix LLC v PPX Enterprises Inc and Another CA 20-Mar-2003
The claimant had obtained an interim injunction against the defendant for copyright infringement, though it could show no losses. It now sought additionally damages. The defendant argued that it could not have both.
Held: The case arose form . .
CitedCampbell v Gordon SC 6-Jul-2016
The employee was injured at work, but in a way excluded from the employers insurance cover. He now sought to make the sole company director liable, hoping in term to take action against the director’s insurance brokers for negligence, the director . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Intellectual Property, Media

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.180883