Litigation Writs 8/2/99

Four members of the band the Pulkas are being sued for damages for allegedly refusing to make a follow up to their album Greed. Nottingham based Earache Records have issued a writ seeking court orders aimed at forcing the band members to comply with their alleged obligations, and banning them from entering into recording agreements with other companies. Julian McBridge, Martin Bourne, Robert Lewis and Luke Minton are also being sued for damages, specific performance of their obligations under the recording agreement, and a declaration that the agreement has not been terminated. The writ claims that in October 1996 the four agreed to provide recordings exclusively to Earache. It says that in accordance with that agreement they delivered a commitment master for an album called Greed, and that Earache exercised its option to extend the agreement until October 1999. However, it claims that in September and October 1998 Lora Richardson, acting for the band, wrote to tell Earache the Pulkas would not co-operate in making a second album, and asking for payment of royalties.

Writ issued by Goldsmiths, London

Simon Slater, musician, recording artist and record studio boss, is heading for a High Court showdown with two record companies over his hit single Passion. Slater has issued a writ against Big Life Records (1994) and Big Life Music accusing it of breach of contract. The writ claims that Big Life Records owe Slater more than u230,000. It also alleges that both companies failed to produce royalty statements and that Big Life Music failed to account for advances and income from overseas and for the use of Passion for television and soundtrack advertising. Now, Slater – of Worcester Park, Surrey – is suing both Big Life companies for accounts and inquiries, and payment of sums due. He also seeks declarations that a record and music contract has been lawfully terminated by him, that he owns the copyright in the single Passion and is entitled to recover money due on sub licences. He additionally seeks a court order banning Big Life from demanding payment from third parties of royalties, or other payments due on the single.

Writ issued by Bower Cotton, London EC

Film star Roger Moore is taking the ITC Entertainment Group over what he claims was unauthorised screening of one of his first hit TV series, The Persuaders last year. Moore is claiming damages of up to u100,000 from the company. He alleges that he entered into a deal with ITC's parent company, Polygram, under which he was to be paid u100,000 for further screening of his other TV hit The Saint. However, he claims that no deal was reached in respect of The Persuaders, but that ITC went ahead last year and allowed the screening of episodes on Granada Sky Broadcasting. The writ says that an actor of Moore's standing would have been able to command a u100,000 fee for such repeat screening and seeks damages from ITC for the unauthorised screening. It says that when the programmes were originally made the deal was that they could be screened three times. However, all have been shown three times and last year's screening went beyond the original deal.

Writ issued by Harbottle & Lewis, London