The claim by two original members of boy band Busted, Ki McPhail and an Owen Doyle, that they were forced out of the band and made to sign away lucrative intellectual property rights in songs has finally reached court. The action, dating back to the early days of Busted in 2002, has come about as McPhail and Doyle say that before being pushed out they co-wrote some of the hit songs that appeared on Busted’s eponymous and very successful debut album. As a result they want a cut of the royalties those songs have generated. Both claimants signed an agreement on their departure giving up all claim to the band’s intellectual property, but both now claim that agreement should be set aside for various reasons, including the fact that they allegedly weren’t told of Universal’s interest in the band and their music before entering into the agreement and
that their management owed them a duty as their managers to not let them sign such a foolish contract. It appears that their then managers not only let them sign the agreement but actually wrote it too. There is a further allegation that the contract was signed under duress. McPhail and Doyle began their legal action in 2005, and the case finally reached the High Court in London yesterday. The original litigation named five defendants, the band’s former manager Richard Rashman and his company Prestige, record producer John MacLauchlan, and Bourne and Willis.
Rashman, Prestige and MacLauchlan have all reached out of court settlements though, meaning the court case will only involve the original remaining band members James Bourne and Matt Willis.
see CMU Daily 27th February 2007