Springsteen pours scorn from the USA

Bruce Springsteen has joined the pop persona currently beating a trail to the High Court. He has launched action over what he claims are illicit recordings of previously unreleased songs presented on a double album, Unearthed.

Springsteen is suing Flute International, based in Clifton, Bristol, and Robert Tringham, of Potters Bar, seeking damages. He is also seeking a court order restraining them from copying or authorising the copying of any part of the musical and associated literary works in 23 of his songs said to be included on Unearthed.

The rock star is also seeking injunctions restraining them from selling, offering for sale, and from parting with posses- sion of recordings of his performances, and from destroying, defacing, hiding, or otherwise dealing with any recordings, labels, inlay cards, display or advertising material offending against the injunction. And he wants any offending material handed over to his solicitor, Laurence Gilmore, of Hamlin Slowe, for destruction.

Additionally he is claiming damages or an inquiry into damages for alleged infringement of copyright in the musical and literary works and sound recordings.

As well as Flute and Tringham Springsteen is suing separately but on a similar basis record manufacturer Mayron (UK), of Greenford, Middlesex,

When the final hearing will reach court remains to be seen but Flute and Tringham have already instigated a preliminary skirmish before Mr Justice Robert Walker where they sought to have the writ against them struck out.

Rejecting that move during a motion heard since the start of the summer vacation, the judge said he did not see how at this early stage in the proceedings it could be claimed that Springsteen's action was so misconceived as to be bound to fail and be an abuse of process.

Gilmor said the album had been released but had not been circulated in the UK. The row now looks set to centre on whether the defendants held a licence to release the record.