Monday, October 24, 2005

WOMACK WOES

Bobby Womack appears to have - perhaps unwittingly - ruined a bloke's life. Mark Cronton wrote a song back in 1985 while he was a member of largely forgotten souse band 2am. He was surprised to discover pretty much the same song turn up on a 1992 Bobby Womack album. The name of the song had been changed, but the high Court agreed that Womack had lifted the track from Cronton, and ordered a £57,000 payment. Trouble is, Womack hasn't put his hand in his pocket to pay up, and so if Cronton wants to see any of the cash, he's going to have to sue the man all over again, this time in America.

Only he doesn't have the cash to do that, and his pursuit of his money this far has left him with a broken marriage and, says Cronton, "every aspect of my life has been affected by fighting for what I deserve."

It's curious that the RIAA is happy to pursue kids for a few ill-gotten downloads - in the name of ensuring artists get their fair rewards, of course - and yet seem unwilling or unable to get involved in cases like this. Surely, what with their belief in justice, they should be able to ensure that any artist who has an outstanding judgement against them in a court in one territory should be forced to make good that payment before they receive their royalties in another? Or is that guff about caring about artist's copyrights a thin veneer they use to try and justify corporate greed?

Rhetorical question.


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