Warner Music settles lawsuit with rock band The Jesus And Mary Chain over rights dispute

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Warner Music and Scottish rock band The Jesus And Mary Chain have ended a copyright lawsuit filed within the US over the band’s try and win again the rights to their recordings.


The band’s members, brothers James and William Reid sued Warner Music Group within the US Central District Courtroom of California in June 2021 because the music label allegedly refused to simply accept their termination notices filed in relation to their 1985 debut album Psychocandy and different recordings.

The Jesus and Mary Chain cited the Part 203 of the Copyright Act, generally referred to as the 35-year legislation, which permits artists to terminate the project of rights to their recordings and music compositions to 3rd events 35 years after the publication of their work. 

The legislation is relevant to works launched after 1977.

It was the identical legislation that Lacking You (1984) singer John Waite cited in his lawsuit in opposition to Common Music Group. Waite is simply amongst quite a few artists which have proposed class actions in opposition to UMG and Sony Music Leisure lately over the labels’ alleged refusal to permit them to reclaim possession of their copyrights.

However the request to file a category motion in opposition to UMG was lately rejected by a court docket in New York, that means a whole lot of artists won’t be able to sue the label in a single case.

The Part 203 legislation is a successor to the Part 304(c) legislation that solely covers musical works and never sound recordings that had been registered earlier than 1978. The legislation permits artists to recuperate their copyrights 56 years after the publication date. 

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Paul McCartney in 2017 sued Sony/ATV Music Publishing over the rights to claw again some Beatles songs.

The Jesus and Mary Chain, of their 2021 lawsuit, claimed that Warner Music “stubbornly and willfully refused to conform” with the band’s discover of termination served pursuant to the 35-year legislation.

The Reid brothers filed their discover of termination with Warner Music in January 2019, and in December 2020, they obtained an announcement from a Warner Music consultant, saying the label “is the proprietor of the copyrights all through the world in every of the sound recordings” comprising the Psychocandy album.

Warner Music added that JMC’s case needs to be determined underneath UK legislation as Part 203 solely covers rights within the US, which Warner Music claims to personal.

“Your try and terminate WMG’s rights in and to the [Psycochandy album] is with out impact and could have no impression on WMG’s continued possession and exploitation of the [album] within the US pursuant to its rights,” Warner Music was cited by JMC’s authorized staff as saying in its 2020 letter to the band.

As defined by Full Music Replace, many labels argue that Part 203 doesn’t apply on the recordings facet as report offers within the US are sometimes work-for-hire agreements, making the label the default proprietor of any recording copyrights.

Within the UK, labels that manage recording periods for artists are additionally the default proprietor of the recording copyrights. CMU famous that WMG’s take care of JMC was signed within the UK, giving the label one other argument for the case.

Most lately on March 2, the Reid brothers and Warner Music dismissed the case filed by the previous after reaching an out-of-court settlement.

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“Plaintiffs James Reid and William Reid [doing business as] The Jesus and Mary Chain and defendant Warner Music Group Corp., by means of their respective counsel of report, stipulate to dismissal with prejudice of this motion in its entirety, with every social gathering to bear its personal prices, bills, and attorneys’ charges,” based on a court docket submitting.

The main points of the settlement weren’t disclosed, however Neema Amini, a lawyer for the band, informed Reuters that the dispute “had been “amicably resolved,” with out offering additional particulars.

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