The Jesus And Mary Chain Sue Warner Music For Copyright Infringement
The Jesus And Mary Chain have filed a lawsuit against Warner Music Group for copyright infringement to the tune of $2.55 million. Jim and William Reid, the leaders of the Scottish band, say that the label has refused to relinquish its copyright ownership of the band’s catalog, which includes 1985’s Psychocandy, 1987’s Darklands, 1989’s Automatic, 1992’s Honey’s Dead, the 1988 compilation Barbed Wire Kisses, and their early singles and EPs.
Their lawyers cite Section 203 of the Copyright Act Of 1976, also known as the “35-year law,” which says that artists have the right to terminate grants of ownership to record labels 35 years after they were released. The 35-year law is also the crux of two pending class action lawsuits filed against Sony and Universal in 2019. The JAMC are being represented by Evan S. Cohen, who is also spearheading those class actions, and he had this to say in a press statement:
Our copyright law provides recording artists and songwriters with a valuable, once-in-a-lifetime chance to terminate old deals and regain their creative works after 35 years. This ‘second chance’ has always been a part of our copyright law. In this case against WMG, the label has refused to acknowledge the validity of any of the Notices of Termination served by The Jesus and Mary Chain, and has completely disregarded band’s ownership rights. Despite the law returning the US rights to the band, WMG is continuing to exploit those recordings and thereby willfully infringing upon our clients’ copyrights. This behavior must stop. The legal issues in this suit are of paramount importance to the music industry.
The lawsuit, which was filed in California court, is viewable here.