Beatles have secret weapon in EMI lawsuit.

Do The Fab Four have a WMD?  Do they possess super powers?  No….apparently the devil is in the details.  It’s in the paperwork.  Here’s what we’ve heard.

The Beatles have a secret weapon that could be vital in their bid to sue record label EMI – a top secret document showing how the label distributes its income. The band have filed a GBP10.5 million ($19 million) lawsuit in Britain for alleged lost earnings and are planning to sue the company in the US courts also. The Beatles’ legal team are believed to have access to a document that details how EMI and its sister companies distribute worldwide income between each other. The Inter-company matrix agreement (MEA) will reveal how the band’s revenues are distributed and the profits are shared.

It will play a vital part of The Beatles’ case, as the legendary group claim a recent audit showed that EMI reneged on its deal to grant increased royalty rates in 1989. According to the band, EMI and Capitol falsely classified many copies of Beatles recordings as destroyed or damaged, before selling them in secret. The dispute around the audit relates to the period 1994 to 1999, a time that would have been particularly lucrative to both parties because it included the CD release of Greatest Hits albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 and the release of the three double Anthology albums. The Beatles and company Apple Corps are also now suing – in the US court – for the return of their master recordings. The record company will file its defence, providing there is no appeal, before the end of the year (06) in the US action, while the legal process in Britain has already begun, with an amended defence to be lodged on 3 November.

Source: Contact Music 


One Response

  1. Here, then, is the nightmare scenario for EMI:

    The Beatles request return of master recordings, given that EMI ostensibly cannot handle the royalty agreement appropriately.

    At the same time, Sony steps up, offering to return ATV Music (given Jackson’s inevitable forfeiture of his loan with Sony) to McCartney and the Lennon estate if the Beatles sign with Sony, perhaps even leasing the master recordings to the multinational corporation in the process.

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