Tony Seddon defeats claim by Musicial Youth

April 2012

Music Publishing

Former members of a child reggae band Muscal Youth, who had a big hit in 1982 with Pass the Dutchie, have lost a legal battle with their former lawyers Woolf Seddon (which no longer exists) who they said gave them bad advice over royalties they might receive from the song. Pass The Dutchie was an adaptation of Pass The Kouchie (recorded by the Mighty Diamonds) and the relationship between those two songs formed the background to the legal proceedings with the band claiming their version should have attracted a new copyright. The High Court ruled in favour of partners in the law firm, dismissing the claim by Dennis Seaton, Michael Grant, Kelvin Grant, Frederick Waite Junior – aka Junior Waite – and a representative of the estate of the late Patrick Waite saying the claim had no merit. Mr Justice Roth said that the ex-members began legal proceedings in 2004 claiming that solicitor Tony Seddon – and other partners in Woolf Seddon – had “been in serious breach of their duties” by failing to “protect a distinct copyright” held by Musical Youth. Mr Seddon and former colleagues argued that the claim was an abuse of process” at a High Court hearing in London in November, and asked for it to be struck out and Mr Justice Roth ruled that Mr Seddon and his ex-partners were entitled to summary judgment, saying: “I regard the claim as wholly without merit.”

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