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Copyright: Minder Records and Another v Sharples

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S.10 (1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 defines a work of joint authorship as "a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of each author is not distinct from that of the other author or authors." However, it was held by Hazel Williamson QC sitting as a judge of the High Court in Bamgboye v Reed [2002] EWHC 2922 (QB), [2002] EWHC 2922, [2004] EMLR 5 and implied by the Court of Appeal in Brooker and Another v Fischer [2008] Bus LR 1123, [2008] FSR 26, [2008] EWCA Civ 287, [2008] EMLR 13 that joint ownership is not necessarily the same as equal ownership. Where two or more collaborators claim to have contributed to a copyright work the task of the judge is to discern the nature and extent of each party's contribution in order to determine his or her share of the copyright.

This issue came before Miss Recorder Michaels in Minder Music Ltd and Another v Sharples [2015] EWHC 1454 (IPEC). The claimants, Minder Music an…