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Dramatic Musical And Artistic Works Notes

Law Notes > Intellectual Property 1 (Copyright) Notes

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Dramatic, Musical and Artistic Works Dramatic Works S 10(1) provides: 'dramatic work' includes (a) A choreographic show or other dumb show; and (b) A scenario or script for a cinematograph film but does not include a cinematograph film as distinct from the scenario or script for a cinematograph film Green v Broadcasting Corp of NZ [1989] RPC 700 Lord Bridge of Harwich noted that the dispute essentially involved the broadcast of a show which was similar to an earlier show broadcast for some 22 years in England ('Opportunity Knocks'). The show was a talent quest of sorts. Two elements of copyright were alleged to be infringed - the scripts and the dramatic format

The scripts
? There were a number of issues that existed regarding the evidence as to the nature of the scripts - there was some evidence in EIC concerning stock-phrases and in XE starting the beginning and end of the show called 'make your mind up time'
? His Lordship agreed with the TJ that this evidence didn't do more than express a general idea or concept for a talent quest and thus were not the subject of CR

Dramatic Format These features were alleged to be the title, catchphrases, the use of a device called a 'clapometer' to measure audience reaction to competitors' performance and the use of sponsors to introduce competitors
? It is stretching the word 'format' to use to describe the features of a TV talent show presented in a particular way, with repeated but unconnected use of set phrases with the aid of particular accessories
? Alternative terms like 'structure' or 'package' were used in argument - the difficulty in finding a label for the 'work' in which the CR subsists reflects the difficulty of the concept that these features can be isolated from the changing material presented in each separate performance of the show, and thereby identified as a 'dramatic work'


The protection that CR gives creates a monopoly and there must be certainty in

the s.m. of such monopoly in order to avoid injustice to the rest of the world
? The s.m. claimed for the 'dramatic format' of 'Opportunity Knocks is conspicuously lacking in certainty

? Further, a dramatic work has to have sufficient unity to be capable of performance - here what was described as the 'format', being unrelated to each other except as accessories used in presentation of a different dramatic work, lack that characteristic

Appeal dismissed

Nine Films & Television Pty Ltd v Ninox Television [2005] FCA 1404 Facts: Dream Home was a successful NZ reality program - an interest in exploiting it overseas led to grants for exploitation being made in favour of Nine and the broadcast of AU Dream Home. Later, Nine made and produced two series of a TV show called The Block which Ninox alleged reproduced a substantial part of the dramatic work of Dream Home in a material form, without their license, thereby infringing CR. The essential elements of each work were set out on pp 112 and 113. Nine alleged certain key differences between the two works, in particular, differences in:


Structure and elements


The rules of the program


The overall tone, quality, sound and appearance and their distinctive 'look and feel; and most importantly


The degree and form of the dramas and tensions which develop in the block

Tamberlin J: Principles His honour cited Zeccola v Universal


Facts: That case involved an allegation of infringement by the appellants' film (Great White) of the respondent's CR in a novel/screenplay/film called Jaws.


Lockhart and Fitzgerald JJ said: o

In general there is no CR in a central idea/theme of a story or play, however original



CR subsists in the combinations of situations, events and scenes which constitute the particular expression of the idea or theme. If these are totally different, the taking of the idea/theme doesn't constitute CRI

Necessarily, events, incidents or characters are found in many books/playsOriginality when dealing with incidents/characters familiar in life/fiction lies in association, grouping and arrangement of those incidents and characters in such a manner that presents a new concept or novel arrangement of themWhere a story is based on various incidents which are commonplace, CR must be confined closely to the story that has been composed by the author


An author who materially varies the incidents/characters and materially changes the story will not be a CRI

If a literary or dramatic work isn't wholly original, there is no CR in the unoriginal part

The two questions involved in resolving the major issue are: the degree of objective similarity between the works and whether copying is establishedThe latter question involves considering the inspiration for, and derivation of, the format and production of the alleged infringing film/dramatic work

And also cited Tate v Fullbrook



Vaughan Wiliams LJ: o

One ought to take the words of the first pieces as presented with all its dramatic surroundings and compare them with the words of the alleged pirated piece


You don't take the words of the pirated piece by themselves but with the stage situations and scenic effects by which they were accompanied - and then ask oneself, taking the whole of each piece together, whether there is such a similarity between the two works as a whole that there is an infringement in the proprietary right of representation in the first

Also, CR in a written story gives protection not just to the words but can take into account the expression of themes and ideas embedded in the production if they are sufficiently substantial

Reproduction of a substantial part
? The mere fact that the events and dialogue of each episode are largely unscripted and unanticipated by the markers of each series means there cannot be a substantial reproduction
? [Objective Similarity] Further, looking at the overall content of each show, the characteristics of The Block are in sharp contrast to that of Dream Home - having regard to the technique, context, character of contestants, mood, music, image, style and basic theme content the two productions are a long way apart
? An important point of contrast between the two is that DH can be described as a 'DIY infotainment program' whereas The Block focusses on dramatic conflicts, glamour/trendiness of the couples etc. The objectives and interests of the audience watching the two would be completely different.
? His Honour was not persuaded there was any substantial reproduction or similarity

Musical Works The interpretation section of the CRA provides no statutory definition of 'musical work' CBS Records Australia v Gross (1989) 15 IPR 385 Facts: In the 70s Anita Ward released a song called 'Ring My Bell' - CBS had CR in this work. In 1988, Collette, an aspiring singer, contacted Guy (experienced in writing/composition) to collaborate with her on songs. They recorded songs, including a cover of 'Ring My Bell' for which Collette sang the vocals and Guy produced the instrumental parts with a synthesiser. Subsequently, Colette made available to CBS a copy of a tape (the Trackdown Tape) including a version of Ring My Bell. CBS offered her a contract to sing a version of Ring My Bell and she accepted it.

Guy alleged that the Trackdown version was an original work in which CR subsisted and he was the author of, and, that CBS infringed it by taking, copying and performing a substantial part of it. Davies J


For CR in an arrangement to subsist, the differences from the work arranged must be such that a new original work can be identified o

Differences resulting from mere interpretation (e.g. changing a song to suit the qualities of a singer's voice) do not result in the creation of an original work - especially with pop music where the latitude given to a performer is

greater than with classical works


If an arrangement is copied/imitated closely by another performer, a conclusion can be drawn that: there is CR in the new arrangement [since prima facie what is worth copying is worth protecting] and that it has been infringed [since the whole of the arrangement has been taken].

? Here the vocal part of the song was narrowed from a range of 23 semitones to 10 - but given that Collette had a limited vocal range this is generally what would happen. This step by itself would simply be an interpretation of an existing work
? Originality, however, was not claimed in the vocal part of the Trackdown version but instead the instrumental backing which were completely different to the Ward verison o

Reasoning on this argument:The Trackdown version is the product of sufficient original skill/labour to sustain CRIt isn't just a copy - independent judgment applied to its creation and original composition was required for the development of the instrumental backing to reflect principal elements of the Ward version but to match the backing with Collette's singing

? But this isn't a case where a particular feature stands out o

CR doesn't subsist in having a singer of Collette's style perform the song - her song wasn't so unusual to make its mere use an original music work


Nor does it lie in the development of a present day sound rather than Ward's 'funky' ambience as this is generally what modern singers would claim to od


The originality lies in a myriad of differences rather than a specific feature, and therefore in the performance as a whole and not any special feature of it

? CR was claimed in the Trackdown version - but Guy alone didn't work on it. He worked with Collette and a number of others - he was at most a joint proprietor

? CBS didn't infringe CR - the alleged copying doesn't reside in the instrumental backing of the CBS version since they developed their own backing and didn't copy the Trackdown version. Any similarity between the versions came purely from the fact that they were developed for the same vocalist and audience
? Evidence was accepted that CBS didn't like the Trackdown version and they decided to create a very different version, and did so.
? Even though Collette and Guy had CR material on the original demonstration tape - only if CBS chose to copy this would the two have royalties. But they chose not to -

they adopted the idea that Collette should do a version of the song and that was it

Coffey v Warner/Chappell Music Ltd [2005] EWHC 449 (Ch) Facts: Coffey was the author of a song 'Forever After' and claimed that a song co-written by Madonna and Patrick Leonard called 'Nothing Really Matters' infringed her CR. This case is really important for the approach you take to determining CR - that is, that you can't excise parts of the original work and say this is what CR subsists in, then say that they have taken all of this and have thus copied a substantial part.

Blackburne J noted that here CR was claimed in the combination of vocal expression (the timbre), pitch contour (the general shape of the pitches to which the words 'does it really matter' are sung) and the syncopation (the unnatural metric stretch of the words 'does it really matter'). It was alleged the words 'does it really matter' are repeated throughout the song and comprise its lyrical hook and that CR subsists in this work that she owns.

? These three features appear to appertain to interpretation or performance characteristics by the performer - this is not a legitimate subject of CR protection in the case of a musical work (as opposed to a composition, which is)


CR subsists in a work in its entirety - not parts or extract of the work.


If a part of a work is copied, CR in the work in its entirety can be infringed if that part constitutes a substantial part, quantitatively or qualitatively, of the work as a whole. o

The claimant cannot pick and choose elements of the work they rely on to make the Q of w/ a substantial part has been copied likely to be answered in his favourOne must be alert to the danger of being misled by 'similarity by excision' - what the CR work is in any given case isn't governed by what the claimant alleges CRI chooses to say it is. It is instead a matter for objective determination

? Cherry-picking features of Forever After to identify as the material CR work where arguably 'Nothing Really Matters' is the same is precisely what appears to have been done. o


Here the three features alleged to constitute the work do not extend to (important elements such as) the surrounding melody (the notes), their duration and rhythm

Copyright can subsist in a constituent part of a larger work only where the part in

question can fairly be regarded as so separate from the material part from which it is collocated as itself to constitute a CR work o

Here it is obvious that the part could not "by any stretch of the imagination" be said to be sufficiently separable from the remainder of the song as themselves to constitute a musical work

Artistic works S 10(1) CRA provides 'artistic work' means (a) A painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving or photograph, whether the work is of artistic quality or not; (b) A building or a model of a building, whether the building or model is of artistic quality or not; or (c) A work of artistic craftsmanship whether or not mentioned in paragraph (a0 or (b) but does not include a circuit layout w/in the meaning of the Circuit Layouts Act 1989 Paintings and drawings The Act doesn't provide a statutory definition for 'painting. But s 10(1) provides that a 'drawing' includes a diagram, map, chart, or plan.

Eldwood Clothing Pty Ltd v Cotton On Clothing Pty Ltd [2008] FCAFC 197 Facts: The case concerned a T-shirt designed by Elwood clothing and whether or not the designs thereon, consisting of, inter alia, numbers on the shoulders, elliptical titles and a picture of a bull on the font and a number and titles on the back, constituted an artistic and/or literary work.

(1) What were the Designs and were they original artistic works Cotton On argued the Designs were original literary rather than original artistic works (in the sense of being a drawing)


The definition of Literary work suggests an expression in some form of notation or code (for programs) and that the information contained within them will be

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