Well, not really. While the style of cause catches the eye (Forstater v Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd, [2013] EWHC 1873) the judgment itself doesn't tell us anything particularly interesting about the law. It does, however, shed a few sidelights on the people who brought us the Flying Circus and its progeny. It is the progeny that were at issue in the case: Mark Forstater, the producer of the film version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (there had been an earlier book), claimed a larger share of the income stream generated by the success of the film, including the profits of Spamalot (the hugely successful musical based on the Grail) and a smaller share of the associated expenses.

Norris J of the Chancery court spends most of his time sifting through the evidence of the parties, much of it recollections of what had been agreed (or not) nearly 40 years ago. In the process, we learn that Forstater was presumptuous in claiming to be a '7th Python', given that the members of the troupe 'are and were very jealous of the "brand" and very protective of their creative genius'; the Pythons were 'a soft lot and not at all business-like', by their own admission; Michael Palin was 'a balanced and trustworthy witness'; Eric Idle 'frank enough to acknowledge that he now disliked Mr Forstater' and thought him 'ungrateful'; and John Cleese having 'a way of making it sound like a headmaster being crossed by a junior pupil rather than equal partners in a business disagreeing'. Palin had at one point intended to limit Fortstater's entitlements, remarking: 'it would be in the finest traditions of Python irrationality if we gave Mark an extra ₤1,000 and a silver tray with some cut glass sherry glasses and told him to stop writing to us for more money. Beyond that, even I am not prepared to go. Oh, all right, some cheese straws to go with the sherry glasses.' Nevertheless, Justice Norris found for Forstater, who stands to receive some ₤200,000 in royalties (the precise figure to be worked out at future hearings).