Friday, May 19, 2006


When they're not suing other people, record companies fill the time suing each other.

Universal Music have the rights to release the soundtrack to overwrought potboiler The Da Vinci Code. When they heard that Sony BMG had had the temerity to release an album called Music Inspired By Da Vinci, their lawyers swang into action - "they're trading on the name of the film featuring the bloke from Big, and the director of Parenthood, apparently unaware that Da Vinci is the name of an artist and pioneer engineer rather than the name of a book.

Sony insisted it had simply seized a marketing opportunity.

It said Universal's rights were limited to the film's official soundtrack and did not extend to associated promotional material or general religious themes and imagery explored in the book.

Universal, though, smelled a rat:

ome of the tracks featured on Music Inspired by Da Vinci, by composer Jan Kisjes, had titles which had no connection with the artist Leonardo Da Vinci - the supposed inspiration for the work - but featured prominently in the novel.

These included two churches which appear in the book - Eglise St Sulpice and Rosslyn Chapel - and The Story of Sarah, said in the book to have been the daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

("and who wasn't", by the way)

Sadly, rather than suggesting that the book was inspired by the book Dan Brown used for his "research" - something Universal could hardly have refuted - the two sides have settled out of court.

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