Sawkins v Hyperion Records Limited: ChD 5 Jul 2004

The claimant had edited ancient music scores so as to be ready for performance for the defendant. He asserted a copyright. The defendants argued that the contribution was too little to create a copyright.
Held: To succeed Dr Sawkins had to establish that each of his editions is an original musical work. The argument that he was only making minor embellishments to recreate the original work was not successful. The CD’s used or were derived from the scores prepared by the claimant. The claim largely succeeded. Dr Sawkins also succeded in his claim for infringement of his moral rights.

The Honourable Mr Justice Patten
[2004] EWHC 1530 (Ch), Times 26-Jul-2004, [2005] RPC 47, [2004] 4 All ER 418
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 3
England and Wales
CitedAustin v Columbia Gramophone Company 1917
Infringement of the plaintiff’s copyright in the music of the opera ‘Polly’, written by John Gay as a sequel to ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ was alleged. A volume comprised the opera in prose form, with an appendix including simple airs with an added bass. . .
CitedHadley v Kemp 1999
Three members of the group Spandau Ballet sought to be treated as joint authors of the songs in which copyright was claimed. The songs had been composed at home by another member of the group who was a keyboard player and singer, but then played and . .
CitedGodfrey v Lees 1995
The court described the test for joint authorship in a work of music: ‘What the claimant to joint authorship of a work must establish is that he has made a significant and original contribution to the creation of the work and that he has done so . .
CitedUniversity of London Press Ltd v University Tutorial Press Ltd ChD 1916
In a copyright claim, the test of originality which had to be passed was set out by Peterson J, saying: ‘The word ‘original’ does not in this connection mean that the work must be the expression of original or inventive thought. Copyright Acts are . .
CitedRedwood Music Ltd v Chappell and Co Ltd ChD 1982
It was submitted that an arrangement of an existing musical work only attracted a separate copyright if it involved great skill and labour. After referring to the University of London Press Limited, the court held: ‘That passage was cited with . .
CitedLadbroke (Football) Ltd v William Hill (Football) Ltd HL 1964
What is substantial copying
The plaintiff alleged copying of their football pools coupons and copyright infringement. The issues were as to the extent of copying required to establish infringement, and whether it was proper to look at the several parts of the work separately. . .
CitedMacMillan and Co Ltd v Cooper PC 1923
The purpose of copyright is to protect from misappropriation the skill and labour of the author which is expended on the production of the original work. Anyone can copy the source material. As regards copyright in textbooks containing excerpts from . .
CitedInterlego AG v Tyco Industries Inc PC 5-May-1988
How much new material for new copyright
(Hong Kong) Toy building bricks were manufactured by Lego in accordance with engineering drawings made for that purpose. One issue was whether new drawings made since 1972, altering the original drawings in various minor respects but added new . .
CitedFrancis Day and Hunter Ltd v Bron CA 1963
The test of substantial similarity in copyright infringement cases is an objective one. That assessment is for the court with such assistance from the evidence and parties as it can muster. To be an infringement there must be ‘some causal . .
CitedWalter v Lane HL 6-Aug-1900
Reporter of Public Speech Owns Copyright I
A reporter attended a speech by Lord Rosebery. His report of the speech was republished in the Times after another journalist who had not been present published a verbatim copy. He claimed a copyright in the work he produced.
Held: The first . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromHyperion Records Ltd v Sawkins CA 19-May-2005
The claimant had developed historical musical works for performance. They were published by the defendant, by means of recordings of a performance from the scores he had prepared – so called ‘performance editions’. The many hundreds of hours . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 28 November 2021; Ref: scu.198575