Duran Duran continuing High Court battle over US copyrights

Members of pop group Duran Duran are continuing their court battle over the rights to some of their most famous songs.

Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor were at London’s High Court on Monday to assert their right to end agreements with major publisher Gloucester Place Music – ultimately owned by US business Sony/ATV.

A fourth group member, John Taylor, is in the US. Former member Andrew Taylor is also involved in the case but did not attend court.

The band released a string of hits, including Girls On Film, Rio and Hungry Like The Wolf, following the release of their debut self-titled record in 1981.

Lawyers for Gloucester Place, which is part of EMI Music Publishing, are asking a judge to declare that the group members have breached music publishing agreements by serving notices to terminate the grant to the company of US copyrights in Duran Duran works.

Under US law, songwriters have “an inalienable right” to call for a reversion of copyright after 35 years.

But Gloucester Place says the agreements with the group members are governed by English laws of contract which prevent them seeking to take back copyright 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.

Nick said: “We sincerely hope that this cynical attempt to deny us the opportunity offered to all songwriters in the US, to reclaim their copyrights after 35 years, will be dismissed outright by the British courts.”

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