Lydon Loses Danny Boyle Biopic Case

The BBC reports

John Lydon has lost a High Court battle to stop the Sex Pistols music from being used in a new TV drama.

Former drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones had sued Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, after he tried to veto the use of the punk group’s songs in a show directed by Danny Boyle.

The pair argued that the group had an agreement that such decisions could be taken on a “majority rule basis”.

In court, Lydon said he rejected that deal, likening it to “slave labour”.

The singer said the band member agreement (BMA) had never been adhered to and that requests for licences had previously been subject to individual members’ vetoes.

However, a judge ruled on Monday that the contract was valid and active, and that the majority of the band could overrule any individual member’s veto.

The judge, Sir Anthony Mann, also noted that Mr Lydon “had actually signed away his power to control the use of music rights” to publishing and music companies such as Warner Chappell Music and BMG.

Lydon retained “only qualified rights of approval which could be overridden if he was being unreasonable”, the judge said.

“It may be that those companies, for their own reasons, chose to seek his permission from time to time, but ultimately they could act as they saw fit.”

In a joint statement after the ruling, Jones and Cook told the Press Association: “We welcome the court’s ruling in this case. It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making.

“It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”