Duran Duran attend court hearing over US copyrights

Members of Duran Duran, (left to right) Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and Roger Taylor, as they leave the Rolls Building in central London after attending a US copyright hearing. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Members of Duran Duran, (left to right) Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and Roger Taylor, as they leave the Rolls Building in central London after attending a US copyright hearing. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

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Members of pop group Duran Duran are involved in a critical legal battle over US copyright in their first three albums.

Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor were at London’s High Court on Monday to assert their right to end agreements with major publishers Gloucester Place Music - ultimately owned by US business Sony/ATV.

A fourth group member, John Taylor, is in the US. Former member Andrew Taylor is also involved in the case but did not attend court.

Lawyers for Gloucester Place, which is part of EMI Music Publishing, are asking a judge to declare that the group members have breached music publishing agreements by serving notices to terminate the grant to the company of US copyrights in Duran Duran works.

Under US law, songwriters have “an inalienable right” to call for a reversion of copyright after 35 years.

But Gloucester Place says the agreements with the group members are governed by English laws of contract which prevent them seeking to take back copyright in their first three albums - Duran Duran, Rio and Seven And The Ragged Tiger - plus A View To A Kill, the only Bond film title track to go to the top of the charts.

Rhodes said: “We sincerely hope that this cynical attempt to deny us the opportunity offered to all songwriters in the US, to reclaim their copyrights after 35 years, will be dismissed outright by the British courts.”

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