EMI dispute George Martin royalty for Fab Four Rock Band video game

December 2010

Record labels

According to the Daily Mail, EMI and Chrysalis could be about to commenced battle in court over whether legendary Beatle’s producer George Martin is due his usual 1.5% producer royalty on The Beatles catalogue in relation to the Fab Four edition of video game ‘Rock Band’, which released last year. Music publisher Chrysalis represents Martin’s producer Martin’s copyrights, including the 1.5% record sales royalty he is due, a right stemming from a 1965 agreement. However, it seems that EMI is arguing that its 1965 royalty agreement with Martin doesn’t apply in the case of the ‘Rock Band’ video game, because such a product does not come under the definition of ‘record’ in that contract. Needless to say, Chrysalis does not concur. In a letter included in a High Court submission, seen by the Mail, EMI’s legal beagles claim “[The] concept of a music video game neither then existed nor could be said to be in the contemplation of the parties”, and therefore the royalty payment did not cover such things. But Chrysalis argues that is irrelevant because “it was plainly the parties’ intention that the 1965 agreement would extend to cover formats and technologies which had not then been invented or developed”.

CMU Daily  22nd November 2011 www.thecmuwebsite.com

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