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Lew Bundles

Is This Dissimilar from Wally’s GATW Claim?

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I wonder if this court case from a few years ago, is basically, similar to Wally’s claim for songwriting royalties on GATW...I know this is a British court decision, but is Fisher’s claim have the same validity as Wally’s assertation?

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Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher wins share of A Whiter Shade of Pale royalties 

Organist Matthew Fisher has won a share of the royalties of the Procol Harum song A Whiter Shade of Pale, 42 years after the record became one of the biggest hits in pop history. 

Lawyers said the ruling from the House of Lords could cause a copyright headache for major artists—with musicians who performed on successful recordings lining up to bring claims for their contributions. 

Mr Fisher, 61, from Croydon, south London, who now works as a computer programmer, launched his claim against the lead singer of Procol Harum, Gary Brooker, in 2005. 

The group's record was released in 1967 and became the anthem of the Summer of Love. It was recently named as the most played tune in public places. 

But from 2005 it was the subject of a bitter legal battle between Mr Brooker, who owned the copyright to the music, and Mr Fisher, who wrote the haunting organ introduction and counter melody. 

Mr Fisher successfully claimed a share of the royalties from the tune after winning his claim in the High Court in 2006. He was awarded 40 per cent of the music royalties. 

But two years later Mr Brooker was successful at the Court of Appeal where judges said Mr Fisher, although a co-author, had no right to royalties because of the time that had elapsed before he made his claim. 

The Law Lords however reinstated the High Court decision, ruling that the delay in bringing the claim had not caused any harm to Mr Brooker, who had benefited financially from the delay. 

However, Mr Fisher can only claim future royalties from the record. 

Iain Purvis QC, who represented him, told the panel of five Law Lords at the two-day hearing in April that his client had established co-authorship but had not benefited because the Court of Appeal had ruled that he had waited too long to make his claim. 

"We say for all practical purposes the appeal court confiscated his share of the copyright and awarded it to the defendants."

Mr Fisher had brought the proceedings, said Mr Purvis, firstly to be recognised as the joint author and owner of one of the "most famous and popular works of the 20th century, and that he has achieved". 

"But secondly, to receive the income to which he says he is entitled as the co-owner of the musical copyright," he went on. 

The Law Lords said the music for the song in its original form was composed in 1967 by Mr Brooker around lyrics written by Keith Reid, the band's manager. 

When Mr Fisher joined the band later, he composed the organ parts and the song was released, selling six million copies.

Solicitor Lawrence Abramson, who represented Mr Brooker, said copyright in the record will last 70 years from the death of the writers but was likely to be swallowed up paying the legal costs of the case. 

He said there would be a future hearing to decide on costs.

"The ruling will encourage a lot of other claims but it will not mean that they will all succeed. They will have to be determined on the facts but everyone in the same position as Mr Fisher will have a go." 

Baroness Hale, 62, one of the five Law Lords hearing the case at the highest court in the land, said in her contribution to the rulings: "As one of those people who do remember the Sixties, I am glad that the author of that memorable organ part has at last achieved the recognition he deserves." 

The organist, who ran his case on a no-win, no-fee arrangement, watched the judgment being delivered from the Strangers Gallery overlooking the Chamber at the House of Lords. 

He said he was "delighted" with the result and he had now won the recognition he believed he deserved for his part in the record. 

"This was never about money. There will not be a lot of that anyway. 

"But this was about making sure everyone knew about my part in the authorship.

"A win without money was never going to be recognised as a win at all."

—The Telegraph, Jul 30, 2009

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Kirk   

It is dissimilar in that the musician 'wrote' the organ part and played it. Eric wrote GATW.

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Not to open the can of worms, but what part of GATW did Wally claim he actually wrote?...Or is he just basing it on the erroneous songwriting credit on one of the lps?...Does he actually contend he wrote the opening guitar intro?...If he did, the comparison would be valid...

 

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The bottom line is this. Wally was a decent guitar player and made mild to moderate contributions the Raspberrie.

Eric was the major impact in the band. He wrote 95 per cent of the material and sang 95 per cent of the songs.

In the end...the only unreplaceable member of the Raspberries was Eric Carmen.

The only member to have success after the Raspberries was Eric Carmen.

legal battles or not I will never reunite with the Raspberries. There will be no further reunions.

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Batman   

The opening guitar riff on GATW has always sounded to me just like the opening to Free's "All Right Now", but syncopated differently. 

 

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Dwayne Allman wrote the intro to "Layla"—one of the greatest riffs in rock and roll history, yet he is not credited as a songwriter. Why? Songwriting is essentially words plus chords/melody. The intro is icing on the cake. And unless the band has an agreement that everyone shares in the royalties, intros are usually not considered something a musician gets songwriting credit for. Eric Clapton proved pretty conclusively with his unplugged version of "Layla," that you can play the song without the intro. If musicians got songwriting credit everytime they added an intro, George Harrison would have co-written a bunch of Lennon-McCartney Beatles songs. Is it inherently better for band chemistry to give everyone a credit on every song they play on? Some bands do this, so the answer for them would be, "yes." For Raspberries, it was a different story.

Bernie

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Here's a clip of the Killers saying a lot of nice things about Eric Carmen and playing a snippet of "Go All The Way" on stage in Cleveland...without the intro.

Bernie

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By the way Raspbernie you comments are spot on regarding who should be getting credit for songwriting.

Ginger Baker also thought he deserved songwriting credit for White Room

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 We are talking legally speaking because Lennon and McCartney wrote as individuals for 85 per cent of the Beatles catalog. and had an agreement to take credit for each others work.

The heard rock group Van Halen  gave songwriting credit to all band members even though only two wrote the songs. This way all money was spit evenly.

Today one would have to be on the road for 250 shows a year to make money from music anyway!

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Here's another great example. George Harrison wrote the intro guitar riff of "You Can't Do That," a song written by John Lennon and credited to "Lennon–McCartney." According to Tom Petty in Rolling Stone. When asked by Petty how he came up with it, Harrison recalled "I was just standing there [in the studio] and thought, 'I've got to do something!'"

Bernie

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"McCartney credits George Harrison with composing the signature guitar riff, saying it 'made a stunning difference to the song.'"

Even with that admission, "And I Love Her" was credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Bernie

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51 minutes ago, Raspbernie said:

"McCartney credits George Harrison with composing the signature guitar riff, saying it 'made a stunning difference to the song.'"

Even with that admission, "And I Love Her" was credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Bernie

And that's my point!!  and yours..

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Ohio Express "Sausalito (Is The Place To Go)" (released as MONO 45 single) which went to # 86 (Hot 100) in September 1969. Graham Gouldman (later of 10cc) on lead vocals. (audio only) This song at the beginning reminds me of KISS "Firehouse" (from their 1974 debut album): 

 

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