Joint Authorship of Films in the Absence of Express Terms (Slater V Wimmer [2012] Ewpcc, Judge Birss Qc, 16 February 2012)

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The Patents County Court in Slater v Wimmer decided a case regarding a dispute as to ownership of copyright in a film. The Court reaffirmed that under Section 10(1A) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 the producer and principal director are considered joint authors of the copyright in a film if they are different persons, and that consequently under Section 11(1) they are first joint owners of the copyright therein. It then held that in the absence of express contractual terms it is unnecessary to imply terms to the contrary. It followed that they require permission from the co-owner to exploit the work.

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