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England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions >> Creation Records Ltd. & Ors v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWHC Ch 370 (25 April 1997)
Cite as: (1997) 16 Tr LR 544,  EMLR 444,  EWHC Ch 370
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Strand London W2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| (1) CREATION RECORDS LIMITED
(2) SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT (UK)
(3) NOEL GALLAGHER
|NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LIMITED
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 180 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2HD Tel: 0171 831 3183
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR GARNETT QC appeared on behalf of the defendant.
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE LLOYD:
"An abstract form of art in which photographs, pieces of paper, newspaper cuttings, string etc are placed in juxtaposition and glued to the pictorial surface; such a work of art".
"A collection of unrelated things".
"However, he was not an invitee and assuming that he saw the signs at the entrance to Shepperton Studios as well as those within the set (I am not convinced that it would be fatal to Shelley's case if he did not - there is in any event an issue that I cannot resolve as to precisely which signs were visible on 18th November 1993), it is impossible for present purposes not to conclude that what he saw and understood from his location might not have fully and sufficiently fixed him with knowledge according to any of the relevant standards that the studio and Shelley considered these signs necessary for some good reason connected with filming and the filming of 'Mrs Shelley's Frankenstein' in particular, which he was not unilaterally at liberty to impart to others.
For present purposes it is necessary only to decide whether there is a serious question whether equity should in all the circumstances of this case impose such an obligation. What then are the relevant circumstances? So far as Shelley is concerned they are, in my judgment, the obvious and stated commercial interest in protecting its substantial investment by, minimally, being able to provide an undisrupted production environment and to control the manner and timing of the release of information about the film which it has endeavoured to achieve by selecting facilities at Shepperton Studios and endeavouring so far as practicable to keep out intruders by reasonable, though not overburdensome entry disciplines and preventing by contractual provisions and restrictions on photographers the dissemination to the public of information unavoidably imparted.
So far as the photographer is concerned there are the circumstances in which he came to be present at Shepperton Studios and to take the photograph within the set - it matters not in my judgment whether he took the photograph from a vantage point within the set or without it yet still within Shepperton Studios - while knowing that photographs within the studio were prohibited, though I am not convinced that the express photography ban is a necessary and essential ingredient. These, coupled with Shelley's assertion that the release of information in this way is deleterious to its commercial interests, are sufficient in my judgment to establish a serious question with respect to the photographer. It is to my mind of minimal significance for present purposes that at least one photograph, namely that in Today, had already been published on 1st October 1993 and that members of the lay public may from time to time have been able to obtain access to view the film set and possibly some shooting. There is no evidence that information that might conceivably be deleterious to Shelley's commercial interests has yet come into the public domain generally or significantly such that its confidential character has already been prejudiced."