Friday, April 4, 2008

Legal news

Matthew Fisher, onetime organist of the rock band Procol Harum, will not get a share of the royalties as co-composer, with singer Gary Brooker, of the band’s 1967 chart-topper "A Whiter Shade of Pale," a British appeals court has ruled.

"Despite Mr. Brooker’s counter-arguments that the song was written before Mr. Fisher joined the band and that anyway the organ line was cribbed from Bach’s ‘Air on a G String,’ Mr. Fisher won his point at trial in 2006, when a court ruled that he was indeed a co-composer of the hit song’s music," Patrick J. Lyons reports in The New York Times.

"Matthew Fisher is guilty of excessive and inexcusable delay in his claim to assert joint title to a joint interest in the work. He silently stood by and acquiesced in the defendant’s commercial exploitation of the work for 38 years," Judge John Mummery said.

Bach, who has been in the hereafter for 258 years, could not be reached for comment.