High Court swings to rock 'n' roll actions

Even if they have little interest in the music, it seems High Court judges can keep up-to-date with pop's trends by the litigation coming before them.

After a recent hearing before Mr Justice Rattee, counsel Gregory Banner revealed the all-out royalties battle between members of chart-topping group Oasis and their ex-drummer Anthony McCarroll is still 12 to 18 months away.

Also waiting in the High Court wings are Shakespears Sisters Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit who are being sued alongside EMI Music Publishing, Island Music, FFRR Records and Polygram Video International for damages over a 1920s poem by Dame Edith Sitwell.

The action has been launched by Francis Tarjan Sacheverell Sitwell, sole surviving trustee of a trust set up by Dame Edith, who died in 1964. He claims legal ownership of a poem Hornpipe, written by Dame Edith circa 1921 and first published in 1930, and accuses Fahey, Detroit and the music companies of copyright infringement by reproducing eight lines of the poem in the song I don't care released as a single from the LP Hormonally Yours and on a video of the same name.

In another action, former Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison and John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono are hitting the litigation trail over an illicit recording of The Beatles at a Hamburg club in 1962.

They are seeking a court order banning Waltham Abbey-based Lingasong Music from infringing their rights in a performance at the Star Club.