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back to article Sunday Times avoids punitive damages over unauthorised Hendrix CD

When an edition of the Sunday Times newspaper included a free CD of a Jimi Hendrix concert without the permission of Hendrix's estate it deprived the estate and two film-makers of potential profits for a year, the High Court has found. The paper believed it had permission from the concert's rights holder to distribute the CD but …

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

It is a sad day ...

... when someone has to explain who Jimi Hendrix was.

everyone, fire up Spotify, select Purple Haze, set volume to 11 and open your windows ... NOW!!!

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Grenade

allofmp3.com

Then by that count - all my music is legal as I bought it from the russians believing it was legal.

One rule for murdoch and the rich , another for everyone else.....

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Silver badge

As long as...

Once you find out it's illegal -- I'm telling you now -- you do everything you can to delete it. Go on then.

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FAIL

of course, if you were to actually read the judgement

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2010/1986.html

you'd discover a bit more about the conduct of both sides...

I'm pleased to say I own a copy of the CD and it's close to last time I ever bought the paper

I'm really pleased about what happened to Experience Hendrix, so sensitive to the memory of the man they allowed a "Jimi Hendrix" endorsement of red wine

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Boffin

Re: allofmp3.com

No, all it means is that you only have to pay the normal licensing fee if you reasonably believed that allofmp3.com was legal (ie no punitive damages).

But you can't claim to have reasonably believed that - allofmp3.com made clear when you signed up that you needed to check out the law in your own country, but it was legal in Russia. If you had done reasonable due diligence, you'd have found that the license that allofmp3.com held was not recognised outside Russia.

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Thumb Down

CD vs film???

How did an audio-only CD spoil the commercial viability of a film?

And yes, I agree, it's sad that you felt you had to tell the story of who JH was.

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So when is it released?

So when is the film released? I would go and see it :)

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WTF?

Delay the film?

Surely, the CD would serve to promote the film.

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright

Here we have an ancient live recording (ie virtually free,as the gig was happening anyway) by a guy who has been dead for forty years.

And his estate are still looking to make millions from it after all these years? He didn't have any dependents, the estate are members of his extended family. They seem to have spent so long arguing about who gets the money that they haven't finished his gravesite yet.

Fair enough that someone should have the right to make a buck from their own creativity for a reasonable period, and perhaps pass it on to their children if they die within that time. But surely Hendrix's work should be public domain by now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Copyright

Normally, I'd agree almost completely with what you're saying about the age of the work - Cliff Richard is probably on ultra-red alert right now trying to shore up perpetual revenues from his tedious works - but the film-makers haven't exactly put zero effort into this activity and have presumably yet to see any kind of reward, although whether everyone deserves multi-million dollar amounts for their trouble is an open question.

What is more alarming about this case is the way that a commercial enterprise can wilfully disregard the ownership of a work and get, in terms of the Murdoch empire's wealth, a slap on the wrist, whereas an individual uploading some tracks somewhere gets taken to the cleaners. I guess that just shows how serious law makers and enforcers are about commercial infringement despite all the rhetoric about increasingly draconian laws being used to target only "teh BIG p1rat3z" and not individuals.

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@the film-makers haven't exactly put zero effort into this activity

not exactly rushed it out either. Any contract they had with hendrix's management would likely have expired by now anyhow. is it on rapidshare?

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Silver badge
FAIL

RTFA

"...commercial enterprise can wilfully disregard the ownership of a work..."

The point was that it wasn't wilful.

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Flame

Re: RTFA

I read the fucking article. It stated that upon finding out that they didn't have a licence to redistribute the works, they'd already slipped the CD into the packaging for a number of copies and decided to go ahead anyway. In other words, they decided that the inevitable financial slap on the wrist was going to be less than any costs incurred from having to repackage the papers.

Phrased as "[the] process... was too advanced to reverse" it sounds as if they were landing something on the moon, or something where a force of nature prevented them from undoing their mistake, but the act of distribution was done with intent whether a judge says otherwise with respect to a legal judgement.

Wear the fail label with pride and go point your wagging finger elsewhere.

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WTF?

Different rules

One rule for them and another for rest.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the "Sunday Times" a business out to make a profit. If so why didn't Met and Trading Standards smashed down the door and arest them?

Ow I forgot that sort thing is reserved for only people who make few thousands from piracy. If the business is worth millions nothing will happen.

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Alert

So uh...

Is it still being released? On DVD? When can we buy it? Are they just going to sit on it and sulk cos the didn't make the millions they expected?

Jimi fans demand answers!

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Payback

If they release the film and make millions, arethey going to pay back the damages, since ipso facto the CD did not damage the film income

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That's the point

That was the basis of the judgement - the film would still make the same amount of money, but a year later. That is why they were only awarded the interest.

Of course if the film is released and doesn't make millions then they wold have been awarded interest on a profit which was never there in the first place. Unless you believe that a freeby audio CD in the UK completely destroyed the value of the film worldwide.

But all this happened in 2006 so presumably the film has been released and has made millions?

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Silver badge
Stop

The reality is.......

...if my parents are anything to go by.

That 95% of those Hendrix CDs ended up in the bin or chucked at the back of the cupboard unopened.

I think they are over-estimating Hendrix's popularity with the average Sunday Times reader.

If we are all honest, other than the fantastic core studio albums, most of Hendrix's output is labled 'curiosity value only'.

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Grenade

Meanwhile in another courtroom

"The process of putting the CDs in the polythene bags containing some of the Sunday Times supplements was too advanced to reverse by the time the Sunday Times had discovered that its licence may not be valid, the Court heard, and the CD was distributed with the newspaper."

Leading to...

"The process of loading the money into the getaway vehicle was too advanced to reverse by the time the robbers had discovered that the money was in fact not theirs, the Court heard, and the money was thus taken anyway."

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WTF?

Seriously WTF..

I agree with "AC Copyright" above, seriously this is another great example of where the law and reality do not co-exist:

"it deprived the estate and two film-makers of potential profits for a year"

Hmmm gee somehow I just don't believe it

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Charly?

<Scene: Sunday Times office. A newspaper hack pours white powder onto his desk, shuffles it into a line with a razorblade, and hoovers it up his nose with a £50 note.>

Journo: "A noseful of Charly says... licensing, what licensing?"

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WTF?

Deductions

I hope the publicity value of all this is deducted from whatever the estate gets. The media coverage could well be priceless - ad space is expensive. But that would show common sense so probably not...

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excuse me while i kiss the sky

Had to be done, didn't it?!

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Bronze badge

Honest Belief

If the company called Charly sold them the rights, when it did not actually have them to sell, shouldn't that mean that the Sunday Times will be able to recover what they have paid from this company?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: allofmp3.com

I think you'll find that the allofmp3 licence is perfectly legal as they paid royalties to the Russian equivalent of our PRS and world trade agreements protect our rights to buy products abroad. Not only that but VISA and Mastercard's action of cutting them off was found to be illegal.

It is actually a case of the music industry trying to rewrite law and history to suit their own interests and line their own pockets.

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FAIL

Wait a minute... what about TCP ???

OK, only one person so far has even touched on the most critical part of this story in my mind...

What about TCP ??? THEY are the real culprits here by taking money to license something they don't have the rights to.

Following all the other comments basically implies I could 'sell' the rights to all U2's tracks to the Times without any worry, and let them pay for infringement?

If I went in to a Virgin Mega Store and bought a CD to give to my son and was then sued by the MPAA I would be pretty annoyed !!!

What am I missing here?

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Pirate

Charly

Not the first time Charly has been identified as licensing rights it does not own. I hope the Wapping Massive round up a posse and seize Jean-Luc Young's pension plan. Anyone for Chess?...

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