Showing posts with label Lawsuits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lawsuits. Show all posts

Friday, June 8, 2018

Beatles break-up papers, with handwritten notes from John Lennon, up for auction


Info from Christie's. Are those blood stains on the document?!! Or maybe just cigarette burns.

Details:

The Beginning of the End: Paul McCartney's 1970 affidavit initiating his lawsuit to break up the Beatles, with John Lennon's handwritten annotations throughout countering McCartney's allegations. A historic and remarkable document that marks the official action to dissolve the partnership that had dominated popular music since 1964. On New Year's Eve 1970, McCartney took the fateful step after years of acrimony and creative differences--many of which are outlined in a series of 25 points in the present affidavit that confronted Lennon at the close of the year.

McCartney lists several main reasons that he had been "driven" to apply for formal dissolution. Firstly the Beatles had "long since ceased to perform as a group". Additionally, he deeply objected to the other three Beatles’ preference to retain the services of manager Allen Klein, whom McCartney deeply distrusted. He also contended that remaining within the Beatles was a threat to his creative freedom. Finally, he charged that no accounts had ever been prepared for the partnership since its inception.

McCartney then offers detail to support his claims, with quite a few provoking comments by Lennon in the margins. McCartney lamented the band's decision to cease touring: “Whilst we had been touring the relationship between us was very close." To this Lennon counters: "many fights on tour about leadership." As the Beatles settled into life as a studio band, they began to drift apart creatively. "Musical differences became more marked," and by the time the band recorded Abbey Road " Lennon was no longer interested "in the performance of songs which he had not written himself." Lennon countered in the left margin: "Paul was guilty of this for years". When, according to McCartney, Lennon finally expressed his wish for "a divorce", he explained, according to McCartney, that "in effect" the band had come full circle, because the band photograph to be used in Get Back so closely resembled their first album. "Never happened" exclaimed Lennon.

One of the final straws for McCartney was the issue of the timing of the release of his solo album, McCartney. Apple had sought to delay the release, an action that McCartney viewed as a threat to his creative freedom. To this charge, Lennon responded that the band "resented the high handed way in which his record 'suddenly' appeared, and demanding release dates with no consideration whatever for other Apple Products." McCartney also disliked Phil Spector's work on Let it Be, and claimed he was not consulted--something that "had never happened before". Lennon countered that it "used to happen in [the] early days". And above all, McCartney deeply distrusted Alan Klein, whom he had attempted to give "the benefit of the considerable doubt I had about him, whilst making it clear that I did not want him as a manager." But as events unfolded, he became increasingly distrustful of Klein, especially "his tendency to sow discord between us individually, by playing one of the other; his untruthfulness; and his unscrupulous efforts to hold himself out as my manager".

Between April and August there were no meetings of the band. In the latter month, McCartney wrote to Lennon "suggesting that we should 'let each other out of the trap'." According to McCartney, Lennon replied by enclosing a photograph of himself and Yoko Ono with a balloon caption asking "'How and Why?'." McCartney responded, "'How by signing a paper with says we hereby dissolve our partnership. Why because there is no partnership'." According to McCartney, Lennon's sent a card in reply, saying that if McCartney could secure the assent of the others, he would consider it. Beside the paragraph Lennon quipped: "I expect something[?] a little less 'poetic' considering his advisors had been explaining it to him for 2 yrs." McCartney then accused Lennon of making agreements pertaining to their joint publishing venture without his consent, to which Lennon countered, "no one can even get in touch with him [McCartney]."

McCartney's suit, which asked the court dissolve the partnership, "to order that partnership accounts be taken and to appoint a receiver in the interim." That "interim" would continue until 1975 as extended litigation was needed to unwind their official association. An important document marking the end of the short, yet prolific career of the most influential group in the history of popular music. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Paul, Sony/ATV reach settlement on copyright fight

Paul McCartney and Sony/ATV have reached a confidential settlement regarding publishing copyrights over his share of The Beatles' catalog.
... McCartney sued in January, asking the court for a declaration that he could soon reclaim his copyright ownership share to the iconic group's catalog of songs. The Copyright Act of 1976 lengthened the term of copyright protection, but it also created for owners of works who signed over their rights on or before Jan. 1, 1978, the non-waivable right to reclaim them after a certain period of time.




Friday, January 20, 2017

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Paul McCartney is pursuing a new legal angle in his continuing efforts to recover his ownership of songs he wrote while in the Beatles.
Mr. McCartney’s suit is over what is known as copyright termination: the right of authors — or any creators — to reclaim ownership of their works from publishers after a specific length of time has passed. It was part of the 1976 copyright act and in recent years has become a potent force in the music industry as performers and songwriters have used the law to regain control of their work.
In Mr. McCartney’s suit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for the singer detailed the steps they have taken over the last nine years to reclaim Mr. McCartney’s piece of the copyrights in dozens of Beatles songs he wrote with John Lennon, including “Love Me Do,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “All You Need Is Love.” That process involved filing numerous legal notices, which, the suit says, should be enough to guarantee that Sony/ATV would return the rights to Mr. McCartney, starting in October 2018.
Here's the full complete, if you're into that sort of thing.
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As mentioned last week, Beatles associate "Magic Alex" Mardas died Jan. 13 at age 74. Since then, a number of media outlets have published articles about this controversial figure, including Billboard, Rolling Stone and  Huffington Post.

Mardas was director of Apple Corps' Electronic Division and is described in most accounts as a self-proclaimed "electronics wizard" who promised all sorts of inventions he never delivered on, yet Mardas disputed this characterization. His Wikipedia entry details some of these:
The Independent newspaper apologised on 21 August 2006, writing that on 14 June 2006, the paper had wrongly reported Mardas' involvement with Apple Electronics Ltd. They corrected the earlier piece by writing that Mardas had not been a company employee, but a director and shareholder of Apple Electronics, and was not sacked, but resigned his directorship in May 1971, while still retaining his shareholding, until giving it to Apple Corps some years later. The paper accepted that Mardas “did not claim to have invented electric paint, a flying saucer or a recording studio with a ‘sonic force field’ or cause his employers to waste money on such ideas. We apologise to Mr. Mardas for these errors".[60]
In 2008, Mardas won the right to sue The New York Times in England, in relation to an online article which said he was a charlatan. In a story about the Maharishi, Allan Kozinn had written: "Alexis Mardas, a supposed inventor and charlatan who had become a Beatles’ insider".[63][64]
After an appeal, Mardas won the right to continue his case of defamation against The New York Times in 2009.[65][66][67] After The New York Times produced a witness, Sir Harold Evans, who gave evidence supporting the journalistic responsibility of the paper, Mardas said he would not pursue the case further, on condition that the paper would publicly explain that by labelling him as a charlatan, it did not mean to imply that he was a con man.[68]
On 4 March 2010, The New York Times published an editor's update to the 2008 article, saying: "While expressing skepticism about his work as an inventor during that period, the article did not accuse Mr. Mardas of engaging in fraudulent dealings or criminality... The Times’s reporting on those events was attributed to Paul McCartney and based on widely published accounts from books and magazines".[42]
You can read a statement Mardas made in 2010 after suing the Times here. While it's from Mardas' own side of things, there's some interesting reading here about Apple, the Maharish and more.

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More on Magic Alex: Yoko made this tweet following his passing. I didn't see anything from Paul, Ringo or other "Beatles Family" members.


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The Liverpool Echo posted a new video interview with Quarryman Rod Davis.

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A Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster owned and barely driven by John Lennon is up for auction.


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Artist Peter Blake has created another artwork based his Sgt. Pepper LP cover. This time its a giant collage adorning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London.
The star-studded line-up will include the likes of Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley.

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Meet the Beatles For Real posted a couple of fun issues from Ringo's days as a model for Japan's Simple Life clothing line. Dreamy!


And, from the same blog, further proof that the Beatles started everything: George's man bun:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly News Roundup

A draft letter John Lennon sent Queen Elizabeth II when returning his M.B.E. medal in 1969 has been valued at £60,000 at a Beatles memorabilia fair in Liverpool.
The letter was discovered tucked away inside the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection of 45s, which was picked up for £10 at a car boot sale 20 years ago. It was recently discovered in the owner’s attic who wishes to remain anonymous.

Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions who led the day at the Beatles Story said: “We’ll be doing some further research but this could be the Beatles find of the year. There is no doubt that the handwriting is definitely that of John Lennon.

“You can quite clearly see that the signature in this letter has been smudged. My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink. If you’re writing to The Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don’t want the ink to be smudged.

“This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to The Queen.”

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Sgt. Pepper cover artist Sir Peter Blake will decorate a pair of boats for London's Grand Union Canal.
Westminster City Council gave planning permission for the boats, which will be moored opposite the Hammersmith and City line entrance to Paddington Station and decorated by the artist best known for created the album cover for The Beatles’ St Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
One boat will be used as a cafe with an exhibition space and additional seating on the roof, while the other will have a dual retail and restaurant use with tables and chairs on the roof.
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Paul McCartney has contributed a new song to the soundtrack of the upcoming animated feature "Ethel and Ernest," adapted from Raymond Briggs' 1998 storybook of the same name, The Telegraph reports.
McCartney's new song, titled In the Blink of An Eye, plays over the end credits of the movie.
Getting one of the most famous names in pop music to write a track for your film might sound like a bit of a daunting challenge but Ethel and Ernest director Roger Mainwood says he had an advantage: McCartney was already a fan of Briggs's work
"I knew that Paul McCartney was a big animation fan and I knew that Raymond Briggs's book Fungus the Bogeyman had influenced Paul's 1980s track Bogey Music," he explained. "So I asked Raymond if he might write a letter to Paul to see if he was interested in composing a track for Ethel and Ernest,  which he did on Fungus the Bogeyman headed paper!"
The soundtrack is available for pre-order via Amazon UK, but not yet in the U.S.

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Here's nice shot of Paul McCartney and daughters Stella and Mary taken during Paul's recent Desert Trip appearances:


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The Beatles' attorneys are moving to quash a "meritless" lawsuit filed by the estate of promoter Sid Bernstein over rights to a film documenting the band's famed 1965 performance at Shea Stadium.
Michael A. Kolcun, of law film Robins Kaplan, calls the suit “frivolous” and “entirely meritless” and says Bernstein “had no control over or input into the filming of the concert or in the production of the resulting film, The Beatles at Shea Stadium“, which was first shown in 1967.
The original complaint, by Sid Bernstein Presents, claims Bernstein retained the copyright to the the footage, despite The Beatles’ film-distribution company, Subafilms – with Apple Corps, one of two defendants in the case – obtaining a copyright registration in 1988.
“This case is an entirely meritless attempt by the corporate successor of the promoter of The Beatles’ celebrated concert at Shea Stadium, Sid Bernstein, to claim over fifty years after the fact that Bernstein was somehow an author and copyright owner of the film of that concert,” reads Robins Kaplan’s statement. “This is in spite of the following facts: 
“First, Bernstein’s contract with The Beatles’ management company, Nems Enterprises Ltd (the predecessor-in-interest of defendants Apple and Subafilms), explicitly provided that: ‘[Bernstein] agrees to exclude from the premises and particularly from the immediate vicinity of the stage and the backstage areas all TV cameras, and/or photographers with motion-picture cameras and/or tape recorders unless specifically authorised by [Nems] […] [Nems] shall have the sole and exclusive right to photograph, film, videotape and/or record the performance of THE BEATLES and the entire supporting show during this engagement and any receipts derived therefrom shall belong exclusively to [Nems].
“Second, plaintiff admits that Bernstein had no control over or input into the filming of the concert or in the production of the resulting film, The Beatles at Shea Stadium.
Finally, plaintiff admits that Bernstein, throughout the nearly fifty years after the Shea Stadium concert until his death in 2013, never asserted any claim of authorship or copyright ownership in the film of the concert – which first aired nationally in 1967 – despite the consistent, notorious and exclusive claims of ownership by Nems, Apple and Subafilms, all of which excluded Bernstein from any receipts from their various exploitations of the film.
“As a matter of simple contract law, copyright law and the application of the statute of limitations, plaintiff – claiming to have received a general grant of Bernstein’s intellectual property rights – has brought an utterly frivolous claim for rights Bernstein never had. The complaint should be dismissed in its entirety with prejudice.”
A response to the motion for dismissal is due Nov. 2.

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Phil Collins and Paul McCartney are feuding - at least according to Phil.

Collins, in an interview published earlier this month, said Macca acted arrogantly during an encounter 14 years ago, when Collins asked Paul to autograph a copy of Hunter Davies' Beatles biography.
According to Collins, McCartney -- then with second wife Heather Mills -- said, "Oh, Heather, our little Phil's a bit of a Beatles fan," which Collins took offense to.
“He has this thing when he’s talking to you, where he makes you feel [like], ‘I know this must be hard for you because I’m a Beatle. I’m Paul McCartney and it must be very hard for you to actually be holding a conversation with me.’”
Now Collins said Paul has contacted him about the comment:
"He's been in touch about it because he was upset," Collins says. "I certainly didn't get any flowers from him; I got more of a 'Let's just get on with our lives.' And I'm sorry he's upset that I kinda said something nasty about him -- well, it wasn't really nasty. If people don't tell people that sometimes their attitude could be a bit better then you're not gonna get any better, y'know?"
No official statement from Paul or his camp, yet.