Ex-classical label gets hit in huge court loss

Ex-classical label gets hit in huge court loss


norman lebrecht

November 27, 2015

Pickwick Group, once a major distributor of classical recordings and still a player in the field, has been hammered in a court defeat over its show-tunes releases. The damages could be as much as £300,000 ($500,000).

peter katin



Here’s the victorious lawyers’ press release:

Producer of the Birdie Song secures a win in legal battle over rights to well-known show tunes

The Henry Hadaway Organisation, in conjunction with media disputes expert Lawrence Abramson of Keystone Law, has claimed victory in court against Pickwick Group Limited in a copyright dispute over the highly regarded Gordon Lorenz Shows and Musicals productions.

Well-known songwriter and producer Gordon Lorenz died in 2011 leaving behind to Henry Hadaway the rights to these recordings. Tracks included arrangements of renowned songs from West End hit musicals such as Les Misérables, Cats, The Lion King and West Side Story amongst others. However, after Pickwick compiled and released a series of titles featuring these famous productions, veteran producer Henry Hadaway decided to launch a High Court legal battle for infringement of copyright. Mr. Hadaway argued that a personal agreement between himself and Mr. Lorenz meant that Mr Hadaway’s company owned the exclusive rights to distribute these recordings. Pickwick Group responded by contesting Mr. Hadaway’s ownership of these songs.

Following a two day hearing, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court ruled that Henry Hadaway did indeed own the recordings, and that by releasing this large collection of valuable recordings, Pickwick was indeed in breach of copyright. The Court awarded Mr Hadaway damages and an injunction to stop any further use of these recordings. Pickwick Group was also ordered to pay £48,500 in costs.

Henry Hadaway commented:

“It’s been a long battle and I’m glad we have prevailed. I don’t like to see infringement – it’s not good for the industry, and it’s inexcusable to monetise on other people’s rights. I’m just content we have safeguarded our rights and achieved an outcome which is fair.”