Statement from Jim Sullivan
Back in 2019 we issued legal proceedings against a business putting on an unlicensed ‘Only Fools’ dining show.
We are so very pleased with the court ruling today which makes it clear that copyright does actually mean something.
This case was about protecting John Sullivan’s legacy and the integrity of his work.
Only Fools and Horses did not just magically appear out of thin air overnight. It took my Dad decades of personal experience, skill and hard graft to create and develop an imaginary world rich in memorable characters, dialogue, jokes, plots and history. Growing up I saw first-hand how hard he fought to make Only Fools work, and we are immensely proud and protective of the joy it brought, and still brings, to so many people.
The Court held today that the other side’s show is unlawful and constitutes copyright infringement and passing-off. This legal action has taken a long time and has not for one moment been pleasant for me or my family. That said, some things are worth fighting for, and this will always be one of them.
We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Deputy Judge John Kimbell QC for his patience and expertise; Carl Steele and Liam Tolen (of Ashfords LLP) who represented Shazam; our counsel Jonathan Hill, and last but not least, Steve Clark.
You can read the full judgement here: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/IPEC/2022/1379.html
Published: June 8, 2022