Time Warner v Channel 4 Television

Reference: [1994] EMLR 1

Court: Court of Appeal

Judge: Neill, Farquharson and Henry LJJ

Date of judgment: 22 Oct 1993

Summary: Intellectual property - Copyright - film - whether use of clips for television programme an infringement or fair dealing - interim injunction

Appearances: Patrick Milmo KC - Leading Counsel (Claimant) 

Instructing Solicitors: Denton Hall & Burgin for the Claimant


Time Warner, the owners of the copyright in the film A Clockwork Orange, objected to the showing of clips from the film totalling just over 12 minutes in the context of a television programme about the film. The judge at first instance granted an interim injunction preventing the use of the clips in the proposed programme.


Whether there was a serious issue to be tried as to whether this was infringement of copyright or fair dealing under s.30(1) of the Copyright Act 1988.


The ‘fair dealing’ defence under s.30(1) of the Copyright Act 1988 (‘fair dealing…for the purpose of criticism or review) was prima facie available to the Defendants and there was no serious issue to be tried otherwise. The injunction was therefore discharged.


The ambit of the ‘fair dealing’ defence in the context of criticism or review was analysed and explained.