Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) Wins Case against a Beatles ‘Lost’ Concert Documentary

A UK judicial ruling was made in favor of Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) in its attempt to stop a documentary maker from airing a film showing the first Beatles Concert in the US.

Sony had taken the fight to court against WPMC Ltd. concerning the 11964 concert. The film is called “The Beatles: The Lost Concert.” Sony claims that airing the film goes against its copyrights in the U.S. and the U.K. The judicial decision was made in a court ruling on Wednesday.

Judge Richard Arnold was the presiding judge. He justified his decision to Sony’s copyrights that give the company ownership to more than eight songs that were played in the concert. Some of the songs on the list include “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” and “From Me to You.” The copyrights mean that Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) has express rights to the songs and thus has the power to authorize their use or even deny it.

The film is a 90-minute account of the Beatles concert showcasing performances from Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys. The concert took place just a few months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It also gave “Beatlemania” a significant boost in the United States. The film had aired in theaters and Cinemas all over the U.S. but Sony’s victory means the film will not receive airplay in the UK. Judge Arnold also said that the whereabouts of the master tapes remain unknown.

“The songs are reproduced in their entirety; the extent of the reproduction is excessive having regard to the transformative purpose; and the permit such use would likely damage the market for, or potential value of,” said the judge.

The case marks increased attention in the music industry especially after the launch of the Apple Music, the new streaming service from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Such attention signifies a lot towards the future of the music industry. There was also a lawsuit against SiriusXM for royalty violation.

About the Author

Sally joined the US Markets Daily News Team in April 2011 as a Multimedia Journalist.

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