Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day [case postponed now]

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Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day [case postponed now]

Post by Chris Abbott » 20/04/2010 - 8:50

Hi guys,

Tomorrow (21st April) is the first day of the trial against Florian Seftner, a.k.a. Zombie Nation in order to re-establish David Whittaker as the owner (and therefore the only person who can grant covering rights) of the now-infamous Lazy Jones "Stardust" tune.

This is an extremely important case, so wish us luck :)

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by DHS » 20/04/2010 - 9:13

good luck!
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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Dr.Future » 20/04/2010 - 9:38

Sure. Keeping my fingers crossed!
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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Doddsy » 20/04/2010 - 11:20

I thought this case was done and dusted about 10 years ago with Zombie Nation paying Whittaker a substantial sum for the use of the riff?

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Chris Abbott » 20/04/2010 - 11:48

Doddsy wrote:I thought this case was done and dusted about 10 years ago with Zombie Nation paying Whittaker a substantial sum for the use of the riff?
(a) Not a substantial sum, but that's besides the point.

(b) David agreed they could pay him for use of the riff, which was originally used illegally. What he didn't agree to do was for them to use that gracious permission to claim to own the piece, deny authorship or royalty rights, and claim sole right to grant covers based on the tune (and threaten legal action if David granted rights on his own tune).

Basically, it's like renting someone a room, and then coming back from holiday and finding they've claimed the house, and will sue you if you come anywhere near it. Also they got the licence under false pretences.

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Doddsy » 20/04/2010 - 14:38

I see said the blind man!

If David loses then Zombie Nation stand to make more money from compilations/publishing/songs in films/tv PRS/ MCPRS rights.

I hope David wins if only to prove that it was his idea in the first place!!

I think they will have to share the copyright though as it wasn't sorted out good enough in David's favour the first time around.

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by dan gillgrass » 20/04/2010 - 16:32

I can't see how they can get away with it, even after admitting they nicked it... oh well, such is the weird world of copyright we live in... best of luck!
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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Chris Abbott » 20/04/2010 - 16:39

dan gillgrass wrote:I can't see how they can get away with it, even after admitting they nicked it... oh well, such is the weird world of copyright we live in... best of luck!
They tried to claim there was no proof David wrote it, or that it was original. They claimed lots of other false things too. I'm glad I don't have to read the 24 page piles of house manure submitted by ZN's lawyer.

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Doddsy » 20/04/2010 - 17:41

My guess is that Zombie Nations publishers are suspending any royalties owed to them as its their most successful track until this is sorted out which is why they are so keen on owning it.

I think David's got a good case though, in that his version was done first on a C64 commercial game and although the software company no longer exists its still not PD as copyright lasts for 50years in the UK. Also it can be proved that Zombie Nation had access to his work for them to copy it. The only problem I can see is that several Lazy Jones tunes are borrowed from well known records and this could work against him as the soundtrack is not 100% original.

The court might favor Zombie Nation by granting them a separate copyright license as in the KWS case for their version of Please don't go.

Keep us informed Chris. This case is important to the c64remix community and its also a case of early Game Soundtracks V Commercial Records.

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Chris Abbott » 20/04/2010 - 18:50

Doddsy wrote:My guess is that Zombie Nations publishers are suspending any royalties owed to them as its their most successful track until this is sorted out which is why they are so keen on owning it.

I think David's got a good case though, in that his version was done first on a C64 commercial game and although the software company no longer exists its still not PD as copyright lasts for 50years in the UK. Also it can be proved that Zombie Nation had access to his work for them to copy it. The only problem I can see is that several Lazy Jones tunes are borrowed from well known records and this could work against him as the soundtrack is not 100% original.

The court might favor Zombie Nation by granting them a separate copyright license as in the KWS case for their version of Please don't go.

Keep us informed Chris. This case is important to the c64remix community and its also a case of early Game Soundtracks V Commercial Records.
Well, Florian S. lays claim to the publishing rights to Kernkraft 400, so effectively we're taking action against both the artist and the publisher. And GEMA suspended his royalties a while back until this is sorted out. The software company Terminal didn't go bankrupt but just wound up, which meant the copyright reverted to Dave 100%. I signed the publishing rights in 2002. The covers in the game (and you're right that ZN's lawyers tried to claim that because the game contained covers that none of the other music was) were all iconic pieces and paid for appropriately at the time to the copyright agencies. The lawyer will be fairly easily able to dispose of that argument now.

In terms of other arguments about the case, I don't think the lawyers are arguing that there was no contract with Zombie Nation: the argument is that the licence allowed them to release that single, and that's it: not any publishing rights, and certainly not authorship rights.

The case at the moment is asking for a declaration from the court that Lazy Jones Stardust is David Whittaker's property. Once that's granted, then Dave (and thus me) will be able to exercise the right to create covers without fear. Second, a case will probably be opened against Florian S. for damages and royalties due on Kernkraft 400.

Our lawyer is one of the finest music lawyers in Germany, so I'm hopeful that he'll continue being masterful :)

Tomorrow is the day when there's the initial clash when both sides put their sides: at the end of that initial skirmish, each side will decide which areas are the main areas of concern for them (based on the other side's rantings and the judge's initial comments, I guess), and which witnesses to call to best confirm their case.

Then the case will be adjourned until maybe May/June, when the witnesses will take the stand.

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by beyond » 20/04/2010 - 19:21

Hope David gets what he's entitled to: the whole lot!

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Chris Abbott » 20/04/2010 - 20:17

Case postponed, due to the ash. I can't see the connection myself, but there you go...

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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day [case postponed now]

Post by trace » 20/04/2010 - 20:39

Good luck on the case.
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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day [case postponed now]

Post by Vosla » 20/04/2010 - 21:01

All the best to your case, David & Chris!!!
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Re: Tomorrow is Zombie Nation day

Post by Analog-X64 » 21/04/2010 - 1:05

Chris Abbott wrote:Case postponed, due to the ash. I can't see the connection myself, but there you go...

Chris
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