No win, no returns

The IPKat has just spotted this item on the BBC concerning Aston Barrett's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to secure royalties. Barrett (right), bassist with Bob Marley's band The Wailers, had been seeking £60m in unpaid royalties from a contract signed with Island Records in 1974, plus earnings from songs co-written with Marley.

Mr Justice Lewison dismissed the claim, which was brought against the record company and the Marley family at the High Court in London (full text of judgment from BAILII).

Barrett, who played with The Wailers from 1969 until Marley died in 1981, claimed Marley promised the members of the band equal shares of royalties from hit albums including Babylon by Bus, Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration. The judge, who concluded that Barrett had reconstructed events in his mind according to how he would like them to have been, also ordered Barrett not to commence any further legal action without the permission of the court (Barrett had previously sued the Marley estate in New York in 1986 and in both New York and Jamaica in 1989).

According to the judge, Barrett had the "greatest difficulty" in answering questions about business dealings and his testimony was not reliable. The IPKat is saddened that talented musicians should be put through ordeals such as this when, for a relatively small fee, they could have engaged a creative lawyer at the time before the event and secured their rights. Merpel says, it's also a shame that the same substances that are said to enhance the artistic creativity of the human mind may have the consequence of impairing its other intellectual functions.

Previous IPKat post here

Latest JIPLP

The May 2006 issue of the Oxford University Press monthly Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice has now been published.

This issue contains some exciting stuff, though it was very strongly trade mark-flavoured to coincide with this year's International Trademark Association Meeting in Toronto. Additionally, leading barrister Mary Vitoria sings the praises of mediation in IP disputes and gives some practical examples of cases where it really works; Estelle Derclaye explains how the French courts have concluded that perfumes are copyright-protected and Anna Feros gives an account of some keen litigation over Mod Chips in Australia.

Full contents here; guidance for contributors here; subscription details here.
NO ROYALTY, NO RETURN; LATEST JIPLP NO ROYALTY, NO RETURN; LATEST JIPLP Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, May 15, 2006 Rating: 5

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