Thursday, December 21, 2006

Key ruling in organ court case

In a judgment that could have profound consequences for the music business, the organist on the 1967 Procol Harum record won the right for a share of the song's royalties. Gary Brooker, the band's singer and co-founder who had contested the action, said the decision represented a "darker shade of black" for the music industry.

Matthew Fisher, 60, who played the Hammond organ on the record that has since sold 6m copies, claimed that the distinctive opening bars of the song, which he had provided with some inspiration from JS Bach, should have entitled him to joint authorship, along with Brooker and the lyricist, Keith Reid. Mr Justice Blackburne, who heard six days of evidence from both sides last month, ruled that Mr Fisher's contribution entitled him to 40% of the composing half of the royalties, but back-dated only until May 2005, when he began his legal action.

From today's Guardian - now read how Culture is remix
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