The Jesus and Mary Chain File $2.55 Million Lawsuit Against Warner

The band are seeking seeking statutory damages for willful copyright infringement

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Jun 14, 2021

The Jesus and Mary Chain have filed a lawsuit against Warner Music Group for copyright infringement and declaratory relief.

As a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California today outlines, the band are suing the label for refusing to "allow JAMC to terminate grants of copyright interests 35 years after the initial release of the JAMC's albums," a press release sent by the band explains. This includes the band's 1985 classic Psychocandy.

The lawsuit against Warner is seeking statutory damages for willful copyright infringement in the amount of $2.55 million USD, and you can view the suit in full over here.

As the band's press release explains, "Under § 203 of the Copyright Act, enacted in 1976 and commonly known as the '35-year law,' recording artists have the right to terminate old grants of rights to record labels, generally, 35 years after the release of those works. In drafting the law, Congress intended that songwriters and recording artists must have a 'second chance' to own the US rights in and to their works."

In a statement, the band's lawyer, Evan S. Cohen said the following:

Our copyright law provides recording artists and songwriters with a valuable, once-in-a-lifetime chance to terminate old deals and regain their creative works after 35 years. This 'second chance' has always been a part of our copyright law. In this case against WMG, the label has refused to acknowledge the validity of any of the Notices of Termination served by the Jesus and Mary Chain, and has completely disregarded band's ownership rights. Despite the law returning the US rights to the band, WMG is continuing to exploit those recordings and thereby willfully infringing upon our clients' copyrights. This behavior must stop. The legal issues in this suit are of paramount importance to the music industry.

JAMC's last album was 2017's Damage and Joy.

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