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Too Much Drama Defining Film in UK Copyright Law

Sellors, C Paul



In Norowzian v Arks Ltd. (No.2) the Court of Appeal determined that the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 protects films as dramatic works. What, conceptually and in practice, this means is not clear. This article examines and compares the history of film with the definitions of film in the Berne Convention and UK copyright laws to argue that practical and legal definitions of film were already diverging when the Copyright Act 1911 was enacted. It contends the continuing divergence between film and its legal classification in copyright law develops from the underscoring aesthetic theory on which classifications from the 1911 Act onwards depend. Establishing the classifications in CDPA 1988 on an alternative aesthetic theory could better accommodate filmic expression.


Sellors, C. P. (2020). Too Much Drama Defining Film in UK Copyright Law. Journal of Media Law, 12(2), Article 6.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Oct 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 21, 2022
Print ISSN 1757-7632
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Article Number 6
Keywords Films; Dramatic Works; Copyright; Film History; Berne Convention
Public URL


Too Much Drama Defining Film In UK Copyright Law (accepted version) (344 Kb)

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