Phonographic Performance Ltd v South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

Reference: [2001] 1 WLR 400; [2001] EMLR 446; [2001] RPC 594; [2001] LGR 176

Court: Chancery Division

Judge: Neuberger J

Date of judgment: 23 Nov 2000

Summary: Intellectual property - Copyright - Local Government - Infringement - Exceptions - Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, s.67


Instructing Solicitors: Hamlin Slowe for the Claimant. Christopher G D Bradley (South Shields) for the council.


The Defendant council ran aerobics and keep-fit lessons for the public at its sports facilities. During these lessons, the Claimant’s musical recordings were played. The council claimed that these lessons were “activities of, or for the benefit of, a club, society or other organisation (which was) not established or conducted for profit and (whose) main objects are charitable or are otherwise concerned with the advancement of religion, education or social welfare…” such that its use of the recordings fell within the infringement exception in s.67 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. This hearing was the trial of the preliminary issue of whether the council was entitled to the benefit of s.67.


Whether the council’s aerobics and keep-fit lessons were within the scope of s.67 CDPA.


A local authority was not an organisation whose “main objects are charitable or…otherwise concerned with the advancement of religion, education or social welfare…”, nor could the reference to “other organisation” include it. Further, the Defendant’s functions were not within the scope of the provision, nor were its objects concerned with “social welfare” in the sense in which the provision was properly to be understood.


Section 67 has now been amended by the Copyright etc Regulations 2003.