Legal action is one of the avoidable perks of being a rock star just like with any other business which involves a huge amount of money. Here we look back at the 5 Of The Most Infamous Rock Lawsuits:
John Fogerty v Fantasy Records
Saul Zaentz, the owner of CCR’s former Fantasy Records label, also owned the copyright to ‘Run Through the Jungle.’ Zaentz felt that ‘The Old Man on the Road’ was simply ‘Run Through the Jungle’ in different words. . In other words, John Fogerty had plagiarized a John Fogerty song that he was not copyrighted to. Zaentz felt he had a case, so he sued Fogerty in federal court for copyright infringement. So John Fogerty was sued for being John Fogerty.
Bright Tunes v George Harrison
George Harrison was found guilty of having “unconsciously copied” his “My Sweet Lord” from a Ronnie Mack song called “He’s so Fine”, which had been a hit on the female vocals of The Chiffons. George Harrison apparently had to pay five million dollars to be able to own the Mack song. Even as revenge, the Chiffons recorded a mediocre version of “My Sweet Lord” in 1975, when George Harrison had already bought the song and all its rights for a fortune.
Metallica v Napster
Over the decades, the group has won several awards and some controversies, one of the most important being the one it maintained with Napster, the classic P2P program that allowed you to download and share songs in MP3 format. The conflict arose when the band learned that a version of “I Disappear,” which was still in the works for the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack, had been leaked on Napster and was already being heard on some radio stations. This caused annoyance among the members of Metallica that led to a lawsuit against the platform in a California court on April 13, 2000.
McCollum Family v Ozzy Osbourne
“Suicide Solution” was one of the songs on the album “Blizzard of Ozz” and for which, in 1986, a family sued Ozzy alleging that the influence of the song caused the suicide of their son. At the time, McCollum’s parents blamed the artist, as in some parts of the song there were lines that incited the teenager to commit suicide. For example, one of the phrases in “Suicide Solution” is: “Where to hide, suicide is the way out. Don’t you know what it’s really about? “, Which in translation says something like:” Where to hide, suicide is the only way out, don’t you know what it really is?”
Roger Waters v Pink Floyd
After 30 years, the bassist admitted in an interview he was wrong to sue David Gilmour and Nick Mason over the use of the name in 1985. In 1985, the bassist left the London ensemble, which followed a legal dispute that began with the lawsuit of David Gilmour and Nick Mason (Richard Wright was no longer in the group) for the use of the name, which eventually remained resolved two years later between both parties. However, Waters confessed that it was a mistake to have sued his former bandmates during an interview with the BBC.