Back in 1987, young, fresh-faced band The Wolfhounds signed a deal with Working Music for their publishing. What happened next is a common story of young people being screwed over by a multinational:
By 1989, the company had gone bust and its property – the songs of its contracted artists – were subsumed into Warner Chappell, its parent company.As if that wasn't shitty enough, WC have also taken the songwriters' individual names off the copyright.
However, none of The Wolfhounds ever received any payment or statement from either Working Music or Warner Chappell, and instructed their solicitors at the time – Stevens Innocent – to give notice of termination for breach of contract, and to have their song copyrights returned to the authors. Through their own solicitors, Warner Chappell claimed that none of our songs had ever earned any money, despite the fact that we had received payments from the Performing Rights Society for the songs, been played on the radio numerous times and played hundreds of gigs, all of which meant that royalties were coming in. The band has irrefutable documentary proof of this.
Because WC don't seem capable of doing the right thing - why would they want to hang so desperately on to publishing rights they claim have never earned a single brass tuppence anyway? - there's a petition calling on them to talk to the band.