Article: THE DOCTRINE OF RESTRAINT OF TRADE
Articles / March 2003

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) The Doctrine of Restraint of Trade in Relation to Music Industry Agreements Andrew Evans MA, Solicitor March 2003 In this article Andrew looks at the decisions of the UK courts which have, over the last thirty years, developed a body of law under the doctrine of restraint of trade which will, in certain circumstances, allow artists to ask courts to hold their excusive recording contracts and exclusive music publishing contracts unenforceablewhere the provisions of such contracts are unreasonable. All covenants in restraint of trade are prima facie unenforceable at common law and are enforceable only if they are reasonable with reference to the interests of the parties concerned and of the public. Unless the unreasonable part can be severed by the removal of either part or the whole of the covenant in question, its inclusion renders the covenant or the entire contract unenforceable. With the case of┬áNordenfelt v Nordenfelt, it was decided as a matter of policy that although general restraints were prima facie void, such restraints may be considered valid provided that the party alleging its validity could prove it reasonable as between the parties and in the…