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this raises an issue i've been wondering about for some time. in the UK, copyright exists in a 'work'. this stops people from claiming copyright for vague ideas they may have had and requires that these need to be developed into substantive works to attract protection. it seems to me that the type of "work" constituted by a movie is qualitatively different from the individual frames which make up the moving image. so there is an argument then, in my view, that a film company's indisputable copyright in a movie does not extend to each individual frame of that movie. although each frame is a result of work it is never the producer's intention that each frame should be viewed individually or to commercially exploit each frame individually and I cannot see any argument that protection of each and every individual frame is necessary for the protection of the copyright holder's legitimate interests in the entire work.

This is just my opinion and its a long time since i practiced law so maybe there is some case law on this that i don't know about. Any lawyers out there who can help with this?
Mike Chopra-Gant
university of North London

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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
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