Duran Duran Loses Case, Brought In Britain, Over American Copyrights
A decision from the UK High Court of Justice today has ruled against Duran Duran over the band’s attempt to reclaim, stateside, the publishing copyrights on over three dozen songs including some of their most well-known hits, “Hungry Like the Wolf.”
United States copyright law allows for the authors of works to terminate copyrights they had assigned, usually to a publisher (in Duran Duran’s case the company Tritec Music Ltd., now Sony/ATV) after a period of 35 years, a provision designed to give artists a stab at receiving payment in the late life of their work. In 2014, Duran Duran attempted to take advantage of that provision, which in turn generated a lawsuit against them and the band members’ various holding companies.
Sony Music, which refused to comment to Billboard on the decision, argued that the original publishing agreements between the band’s members and their publishing company made those agreements subject solely to British law, and that the contracts also reverted any…