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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33950
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am the centrepiece/star of a short news film made (certainly

Resolved Question:

I am the centrepiece/star of a short news film made (certainly without my own permission and that of the other participants, but possibly with permission of Eton College) and issued publicly by Pathe Pictorial 60 years ago. It was used by the Labour party as election propaganda at the last general election to illustrate a song entltled "Jolly Voting Weather." It can still be seen by "Googling" that title. Have I any grounds for seeking any damages from that party, either for using the film without looking for me and asking my permission or for the potential damage to my reputation . The film was of a team of scholarship boys at Eton, i.e. those who gained entry to the school not as full fee paying pupils but under the Foundation by King Henry VI for educating 70 POOR scholars free of charge to them or their families?
G. Robertson
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now how did they come to film this?

Customer:

In those days a short newsy film clip often preceded a main film in the cinema. Pathe Pictorial had a series "This Colourful World" of which this clip was an example. The occasion was the annual "Wall Game" on St. Andrew's Day between teams of "Collegers" (King's Scholars) and "Oppidans" (i.e. town-dwellers) who were the rest of the school. The Wall game is an occasional news item for its peculiarity and the rarity of a goal being scored. I've no idea how the Labour Party got hold of this ancient film a few years ago but they would probably have paid Pathe something to use it. I had to pay something when I discovered the original news film a few years ago..

Alex Watts :

I still do not understand. This was filmed years ago without your permissiom?

Alex Watts :

Did you know filming was going on?

Customer:

I don't see how I can be any clearer. I had no idea filming was going on - I was doubtless totally focused on the upcoming game. Yes it was filmed years ago without my permission. (In those saner days it would never have occurred to a news cameraman to ask individuals' permission to film a newsworthy event.) Pathe were no doubt paid something by cinema owners or chains for their short news items. However my point is whether I have any recourse against a political party who chose to use this old clip without its original soundtrack for (negative) advertising purposes without making any effort to find me and clear it with me. Have you Googled and watched it. I suggest anyhow that you read my messages more carefully. So far I am not at all impressed.

Alex Watts :

How much do you want to sue for?

Customer:

I didn't say anything yet about deciding what action to take. My questions was, and remains, have I any grounds in law for seeking damages ? If the answer is yes, I would seek specialist advice on how t set about it and what damages if any might result .

Alex Watts :

How many years ago did it take place? You said many years ago

Alex Watts :

When did you become aware of it?

Customer:

The use of the film by the Labour party was at the last general election. Do you want me to look up the date for you ? You seem to be focusing on the original filming, which is surely beside the point? (The date of that was November 30, 1955.)

Alex Watts :

So you knew about this 5 years ago or thereabouts?

Customer:

No, it was drawn to my attention by an old schoolfriend within recent months.

Alex Watts :

So it was filmed in 1955, used in the last election but you became aware a few months ago, is that right?

Customer:

Yes.

Alex Watts :

This is going to be a difficult one. Under the Limitation Act 1980 you have 6 years to bring a claim from date of breach.

Alex Watts :

It really depends on how the Court views it.

Alex Watts :

Was the breach when they filmed it in 1955 or when it was used at the last election?

Alex Watts :

My view sadly is that the breach took place was when it was filmed, rather than when it was used.

Alex Watts :

If it was filmed in 1955 then it would appear it is out of time.

Alex Watts :

However a Court may take the view is that the breach was when it was actually used.

Alex Watts :

If this is the case then you are in time for a claim.

Alex Watts :

I can outline how you bring a claim, even if it is out of time, depends on what the value it, it would be a small claim even if you lose if the value is £10,000 or less

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a compensation within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

Alex Watts :

If they do not then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

Alex Watts :

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.



If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.



Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I'm afraid you have not really helped at all. The timing of filming and therefore any statutory limitation is in this case completely irrelevant. The Labour party did not make the film, and nobody in their right mind would bring a claim now against Pathe for something which has been in the public domain for more than half a century. As I believe should have been crystal clear from all I have told you, I had no objection then to being filmed and have none now. My objection is to being used for political propaganda purposes and I asked you if I had any legal grounds for redress, although also any grounds for seeking damages for material being USED (rather than filmed) without my permission. Your opinion does not address the first point at all and the second only by inference in that you appear to consider that filming without permission might be grounds for legal action. You also do not even cover what might have been "breached."

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

please continue to look. thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
Unfortunately the news is not good.
As you point out it is highly likely that the school agreed to this filming (technically on your behalf although at that time the concept of parental permission being needed would have been seen as laughable)
It was them published and became part of the public domain and available to all.
On that basis the Labour Party was entitled to use it and you have no recourse to law - even if you could claim that being shown to have been a scholarship boy at Eton in some way brings you into disrepute
However in terms of actual morality it could be argued that the Labour Party SHOULD have identified you and informed you that they intended to use it even if they did not seek your permission - so a formal complaint is certainly justified
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33950
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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