From: MACQUEEN Hector <>
To: Jason Neyers <>
Volokh, Eugene <>
Date: 04/11/2015 12:46:13 UTC
Subject: Re: Projecting message onto side of another's building: trespass, nuisance, something else?
Attachments: Edinburgh University charitable status

In Scots law, whatever the liabilities in delict or nuisance may be in this kind of case, there would perhaps be an enrichment liability on the projector if making the projection for purposes of gain, e.g. to advertise the availability of products or services.  There are a number of cases where unauthorised use of another's property in circumstances where ordinarily such use would have to be paid for has been held to entail liability based on what the user would otherwise have had to pay (see MacQueen, Unjustified Enrichment 3rd edn, pp 11-13, for short summaries of the main cases).  But none of these cases involves the projector doing it simply in order to annoy the victim, or have a laugh at the victim's expense, or intrude on the victim's privacy.  I wonder if these would be instances for the actio iniuriam in Scotland, i.e. delictual and based upon the wrong of affront or insult.

Hector L MacQueen FBA FRSE

Professor of Private Law

University of Edinburgh Law School

Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh EH8 9 YL


Currently working at the Scottish Law Commission tel (0)131-662-5222

From: Jason Neyers <>
Sent: 04 November 2015 11:42
To: Volokh, Eugene;
Subject: Re: Projecting message onto side of another's building: trespass, nuisance, something else?
Dear Colleagues:
What a wonderful discussion!
It would seem to me that there is an important difference between using your rights/land in a way that has collateral effects on the land of others (the drive-in movie case) and a situation of using the land of others (the projection case). This distinction is usually captured by the law with its divide between the harm torts and those actionable per se but it appears given technical limitations trespass is unavailable. My guess, following on what Neil suggests, is that the Commonwealth courts would treat this type of nuisance as similar to the tree branch cases and would not focus very closely on the harm or its significance but rather would treat the use of the claimant's property as a substantial interference in and of itself.
On 11/03/15, "Volokh, Eugene" <> wrote:
Jason Neyers
Professor of Law
Faculty of Law
Western University
N6A 3K7
(519) 661-2111 x. 88435