Book Adaptation Copyright Lawyers
PAIL® Solicitors specialist book adaptation copyright lawyers review the unauthorised adaptation of a copyright protected book to a screenplay
(1) Paul Hodgson (2) Michael Jarvie (Claimants) and (1) Andrew Isaac (2) Notting Hill Studios Ltd (Defendants) before His Honour Judge Birss QC  EWPCC 42.
In the case of (1) Paul Hodgson (2) Michael Jarvie (Claimants) and (1) Andrew Isaac (2) Notting Hill Studios Ltd (Defendants) before His Honour Judge Birss QC  EWPCC 42. The Defendant was a litigant in person. Andrew Isaac represented himself and the other defendant.
In Hodgson v Isaac the case can be summarised as follows. Mr Hodgson wrote his inspiring autobiography titled `Flippers Side` with the assistance of Michael Jarvie who is the 2nd claimant. Mr Hodgson owns the copyright. Mr Hodgson is a disabled and wheelchair bound, as a result of childhood meningitis. Mr Isaac the first defendant wants to turn the book into a film. He wrote a script entitled “Down Among the Dead Men” in about 2008/2009. The 2nd defendant, a company owned by Mr Isaac, owns the copyright. Mr Hodgson has not authorised Mr Isaac to make the film. Mr Hodgson argues that the script is an adaptation of the book.
Mr Isaac denies that saying that the script is based on his own creative input and conversations that he had with Mr Hodgson. He claims to have never read the book.
On considering the evidence as a whole the Judge held that the two works were similar and that the similarities between them were the result of copying. The explanation by the defendant for the similarity was rejected. But just because the book was copied does not necessarily mean that the script was an adaptation for the book. For that to be established there must be substantial copying of the original work. The Judge held that there was enough evidence to prove substantial copying of the original work.
The claimants claim was successful.