LONDON • British 1980s pop band Duran Duran will not be able to reclaim the United States copyrights on some of their most famous hits, an English court ruled last Friday.
Songs including Rio, Girls On Film and A View To A Kill, a James Bond theme track, were among the copyrighted songs that the court ruled should remain with Gloucester Place Music, owned by Sony/ATV, and not with the band. "We are shocked that English contract law is being used to overturn artists' rights in another territory," its founder Nick Rhodes told the BBC. "We signed a publishing agreement as unsuspecting teenagers over three decades ago, when just starting out and when we knew no better."
He said the ruling would set a bad precedent for other songwriters.
The band had served legal notices on Gloucester Place Music citing US copyright laws, which they argued gave them an "inalienable right" to call for the copyright on their own works to revert to them after 35 years. But the judge ruled that English contractual law barred them from doing so.
Duran Duran were formed by Rhodes and John Taylor in the late 1970s and found their greatest fame with Simon Le Bon as lead singer. Reportedly favourites of Princess Diana's, they went on to sell more than 60 million records and win Grammy, Brit and Ivor Novello music awards.