Tuesday, 26 May 2009

From "Blackstone's guide to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988"

By Gerald Dworkin, Richard D. Taylor.

In Cummins v Bond [1927] 1 Ch 167 a medium was held to be the author of a work which she claimed merely to have written down in a seance at the dictation of "some being no longer inhabiting this world, and who has been out of it for a length of time sufficient to justify the hope that he has no reasons for wishing to return to it". Eve J was clearly aware of a jurisdictional problem if he were to decide that the real author was the person "already domiciled on the other side of the inevitable river" but in any case he found that the medium had exercised sufficient skill, labour and effort to justify being treated as author. Her activities "obviously involved a great deal more than mere repetition" and encompassed the "gift of extremely rapid writing coupled with a peculiar ability to reproduce in archaic English matter communicated to her in some unknow tongue".

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