LONDON (Reuters) - The British 1980s pop band “Duran Duran” will not be able to reclaim the U.S. copyrights to some of their most famous hits, an English court ruled on Friday.
Songs including “Rio”, “Girls on Film” and “A View to a Kill”, a James Bond theme tune, were among the copyrighted tracks that the court ruled should remain with Gloucester Place Music, owned by Sony/ATV, and not with the band.
“We are shocked that English contract law is being used to overturn artists’ rights in another territory,” founder Nick Rhodes told the BBC.
“We signed a publishing agreement as unsuspecting teenagers, over three decades ago, when just starting out and when we knew no better.” He said the ruling would set a bad precedent for other songwriters.
The band had served legal notices on Gloucester Place Music citing U.S. copyright laws, which they argued gave them an “inalienable right” to call for the copyright of their own works to revert to them after 35 years. But the judge ruled that English contractual law barred them from doing so.
Duran Duran were formed by Nick Rhodes and John Taylor in the late 1970s, and found their greatest fame with Simon Le Bon as lead singer. Reportedly a favorite of Princess Diana’s, they went on to sell over 60 million records and win Grammy, Brit and Ivor Novello music industry awards.
Reporting by Adela Suliman; Editing by Kevin Liffey