020 7405 4321

FAPL v QC Leisure [2012] EWCA Civ 1708

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  20 December 2012


James Mellor QC and Charlotte May acted for the appellant (FAPL) and Martin Howe QC for the respondents in this appeal against the judgment of Kitchin LJ (sitting at first instance) [2012] EWHC 108 (Ch); [2012] FSR 12. FAPL contended that the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 should be interpreted in accordance with the EU law doctrine of "conforming interpretation" so as to conform with the interpretation of "communication to the public" in Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29 adopted by the ECJ in its judgment (Joined Cases C-403/08 & C-429/08), which had held that the showing of works included in a braodcast in a venue such as a pub did amount to a communication to the public within Article 3(1). The Court of Appeal however held that section 72 of the Act was clearly intended by Parliament to give a defence to the free showing in a venue such as a pub of films (such as action replays) which were included in the broadcasts of FAPL's football matches, and that it was beyond the bounds of permissible interpretation to interpret the UK Act so as effectively to negate that defence.