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Friday, 1 August 2003

CUBAN COPYRIGHT LAW INAPPLICABLE IN UNITED KINGDOM

Last Wednesday the Court of Appeal affirmed December 2002 decision of Neuberger J in Peer International v Termidor [2003] ECDR 221. In that decision the judge refused to give legal effect in the United Kingdom to a Cuban law which purported to invalidate an earlier copyright assignment made by two Cuban composers, Ignacio Pineiro and Antonio Fernandez (a.k.a Nico Saquito), to Peer International, a Los Angeles-based publishing house. After that law was passed in Cuba, the copyright was vested in a state entity which purported to grant an exclusive licence to the defendants, a German company.

The Court could see no public policy grounds for allowing the application of a law which was in effect confiscatory, retrospectively depriving assignors of their intellectual property rights without compensation. This was one decision that was never going to go the other way, either at first instance or on appeal.

Listen to the music of Ignacio Pineiro and Nico Saquito
Dance the salsa here
Facts about Cuba here




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