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Duran Duran lose fight over US song rights

AAP logoAAP 2/12/2016

Members of pop group Duran Duran have lost a UK High Court battle over US rights to some of their most famous songs.

They failed to fight off a bid by major publishers Gloucester Place Music, ultimately owned by US business Sony/ATV, to prevent them terminating copyright agreements related to their first three albums.

A judge ruled English laws of contract barred them from seeking to reclaim rights over their own works.

The ruling is being seen as a test case which could affect many other UK songwriters who might want to end long-standing contracts that allow a music publishing company to exploit their work.

It came as a blow to group members Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor and John Taylor and former member Andrew Taylor.

Gloucester Place Music Ltd argued in court they had breached music publishing agreements by serving notices to terminate the grant to the company of US copyrights in their first three albums - Duran Duran, Rio and Seven And The Ragged Tiger - plus A View to a Kill, the Bond film title track.

The notices were served under US copyright laws that give songwriters "an inalienable right" to call for a reversion of copyright after 35 years.

Gloucester Place lawyers contended the group members' agreements are governed by English laws of contract and prevent them seeking to reclaim copyright.

Mr Justice Arnold agreed.

The case is of wide importance because other UK songwriters have signed similar agreements with the big publishing companies.

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