Sean Sweeney, Graham Edward Camps v Macmillan Publishers Limited, Danis Rose: ChD 22 Nov 2001

The claimants were trustees of the estate of James Joyce, and complained at the publication of unpublished parts of the work Ulysses in a readers edition by the defendants. Published works are protected for fifty years after the author’s death, but unpublished works received protection for fifty years after the work was created. A European Directive had extended the protection to 70 years.
Held: The work was complex, with many amendments and an unsettled form. The defendant had done much preparatory work before publication, and that work had begun before the copyright was revived by the new regulations. Had he acquired his own copyright so that the original Joycean copyright was not revived by the new regulations. The claimants suggested that it was absurd to make a substantial distinction between the work as published by Joyce, and the unpublished texts from which that work was gathered. The regulations protected works where arrangements for publication had been made before the regulations came into effect. The term ‘arrangements for publication’ should be construed not too widely, and the defendant’s editorial activities were not sufficient to give him protection. The defendants sought a compulsory licence under regulation 24. In this case they had given sufficient notice to be entitled to a licence. The claimants sought damages for passing off, claiming that the work was so different from Joyce’s own as to be misleading. The claim was unusual but failed.

Mr Justice Lloyd
[2001] EWHC Ch 460
Directive, 93/98/EEC, Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/3297) 24
England and Wales
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CitedLA Gear Inc v Hi-Tec Sports plc 1992
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A plaintiff may claim damages under section 97(2) in addition to claiming an account of profits, as his primary remedy. A person claiming joint rights in the copyright as author must contribute to the ‘production’ of the work and create something . .
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Contractor and Client Copyrights
The plaintiff had contributed a design for a system of classifying and selecting tracks to be played on a radio station. He did so under a consultancy contract.
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, Media, European

Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.166928