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Norowzian v Arks Ltd (No.2)

[2000] EMLR 67

Case summary last updated at 28/01/2020 16:50 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Norowzian v Arks Ltd (No.2)

C produced a film using editing technique called ‘jump cutting’, whereby film reels were spliced together to make a dancer perform moves that could not in reality follow on from one another. C sent film to D, an advertising agency, who then produced their own film using the same cinematographic technique (although with a different dancer and on substantially different subject matter). This film was used in advertisement by Guinness. C sued D for breach of copyright.
Was held at first instance that a film could not be ‘dramatic work’ as it was not capable of physical performance.This definition rejected by CofA, who held:
·        Dramatic work is any work of action capable of being performed before an audience
Ø  Thus no need for work to be capable of physical performance
·        Therefore a film is capable of being a dramatic work as per CDPA 1988 s.1.
Ø  i.e. provided it is capable of being played in front of an audience
Ø  which will ‘often be the case’
·        Thus on facts:
i)         Dance itselfdid not constitute a ‘dramatic work’
-        i.e. because it was constructed from jump-cutting, was not capable of performance
-        impossible for any dancer to recreate what the dancer in film was doing
ii)       Filmdidconstitute a ‘dramatic work’
·        However on facts, was no infringement.

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