St. Dunstan's House
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B e f o r e :
|(1) MARY WADSWORTH
(2) MAX WADSWORTH
|- and -|
|(1) GRANADA INTERNATIONAL MEDIA LTD.
(2) GRANADA VENTURES LTD.
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MR. HAMER (instructed by Devereaux Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Defendants.
Crown Copyright ©
"The programme owner [in other words, essentially for now the defendants] has at all times been under a duty to those with a beneficial interest in the copyrights aforesaid, including, in particular, the claimant and the publisher (a) to obtain a licence under the copyright in the Space 1999 music in respect of its exploitation thereof, i.e., for every licence granted by it it must obtain a corresponding licence from the publisher; (b) to give the said parties directly or alternatively indirectly through the publisher full particulars of such licences; (c) to collect and account to the publisher for all sums payable to the publisher under the said licence (including the claimant's share)."
"Let me now seek to bring together these various strands so far as is necessary for the purposes of this case: I am not purporting to give any comprehensive statement of this aspect of the law. The law of England does not impose any general duty of care to avoid negligent misstatements or to avoid causing pure economic loss even if economic damage to the plaintiff was foreseeable. However, such a duty of care will arise if there is a special relationship between the parties. Although the categories of cases in which such special relationship can be held to exist are not closed, as yet only two categories have been identified, viz. (1) where there is a fiduciary relationship and (2) where the defendant has voluntarily answered a question or tenders skilled advice or services in circumstances where he knows or ought to know that an identified plaintiff will rely on his answers or advice. In both these categories the special relationship is created by the defendant voluntarily assuming to act in the matter by involving himself in the plaintiff's affairs or by choosing to speak. If he does so assume to act or speak he is said to have assumed responsibility for carrying through the matter he has entered upon. In the words of Lord Reid in Hedley Byrne  AC 465 , 486 he has "accepted a relationship . . . which requires him to exercise such care as the circumstances require," i.e. although the extent of the duty will vary from category to category, some duty of care arises from the special relationship. Such relationship can arise even though the defendant has acted in the plaintiff's affairs pursuant to a contract with a third party.
1. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person who is not a party to a contract (a third party) may on his own right enforce a term of a contract if-
(a) the contract expressly provides that he may, or
(b), subject to subsection (2), the term purports to confer a benefit on him.
(2) Subsection 1(b) does not apply if on a proper construction of the contract it appears that parties did not intend the term to be enforceable by the third party.
(3) The third party must be expressly identified in the contract by name, as a member of a class or as answering a particular description but need not be in existence when the contract was entered into.