Media & Entertainment
With an insider’s knowledge of the media, entertainment and sports sector, we offer cutting-edge expertise in the industries and legal developments that affect them. We are recognised experts and know the media and entertainment industries inside out.
We act for both publishers and high profile individuals and have advised on both sides in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. We are also in the forefront of ground breaking media and telecoms law.
Media is in our blood at Hamlins. We are true industry experts and value our strong relationships with many of the most influential people in the sector. We act for publishers and production companies, professional bodies and high-profile individuals, as well as other clients requiring sector specialist advice. The breath of our client base and our relationships with key players in the sector puts our clients at an advantage when any legal issues arise.
This has included advising clients on both sides in the on-going phone hacking litigation, as well as working closely with collecting societies like PPL and PRS. The team is also at the forefront of developments in the new media arena, recently winning a ground-breaking High Court victory against a major TV channel in relation to streaming TV signals – click here to read more.
Our clients include a huge range of household names such as Hello! Magazine, McDonald’s and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name just a few.
Last year we achieved a major success for our client, TVCatchup Limited, winning a landmark victory on copyright in broadcast and live streaming over the internet. The case examined all current EU law applying to broadcasters, including copyright and communicating broadcasts and films, and was the first UK decision on EU case law in relation to copies of films and broadcasts held in buffers on computers and internet-enabled devices during live streaming of various tv channels.
Laurence Gilmore acted for TVCatchup Limited in relation against the broadcasters who instructed Olswang. Following the landmark court case it was decided our client was a cable company NOT a broadcast company and that TVC had a defence under the Copyright Act. The broadcasters have appealed against the Court of Appeal victory in relation to TVC being a cable company and not a broadcaster.
TVC has launched a separate appeal to the Court of Appeal that the exception under S.73 of the Act applied not only to transmission through the internet but also to receipt to those transmissions by WiFi. Value to the broadcasters estimated to be in excess of £1.5 billion.
Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL)
In the recent case of Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) vs John Nash we successfully represented PPL in an application to grant summary relief and secure an injunction against a music bar and nightclub owner for persistent copyright infringement.
PPL sued John Nash for playing or authorising the playing of music at the venue without being licensed to do so. Nash knew that PPL held the public performance rights in the recordings and so PPL pursued an injunction to stop Nash from continually infringing its copyright.
Nash resisted the application for summary judgment, arguing that he was a mere employee of a company that operated the venue, he didn’t trade from the premises on his own account and that he wasn’t the ‘controlling mind’ of any company operating from the venue.
But Judge Pelling QC agreed with PPL, claiming that it was clear that Nash was not ‘only an employee’ and there was evidence of his continuing role as the responsible office holder under the licensing legislation. The Judge further ruled that even if the court did accept that Nash was only an employee, this was no defence to copyright infringement and Nash wouldn’t be able to avoid any personal liability on that basis.
This is an important ruling confirming that being an employee is no defence to an action for copyright infringement, and that the courts will support copyright holders’ attempts to stop this behaviour. It also means that employers will also be vicariously liable for these wrongs committed by their employees. The employers will also be liable for any licence fees or damages for infringement of copyright.