Image supplied by Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Microfilm) - Photos by UCL Photo Department.
After failing at first instance and on the appeal to the New Zealand Court of Appeal, the famous TV presenter Hughie Green (1920-1997) brought his case before the Privy Council. He was suing the NZ Broadcasting Corporation for both passing off and copyright infringement in his television talent show titled “Opportunity Knocks”. Despite – or precisely because – the evidence relayed to the court was particularly diffuse (e.g. gimmicks, the use of a “clapometer”, etc.) the Privy Council held that there was no sufficient unity or coherence for a dramatic work to exist under copyright law. Neither did it consider the programme to be a literary or a musical work within the meaning of the (New Zealand) Copyright Act 1962. Of the exhibits submitted, here we have included a copy of the cover sheet for a show and specimens of voter coupon information. What was remarkable from the case was its narrow interpretation given by the courts to the categories of copyright subject matter.