Heirs of Jimi Hendrix Experience bandmates sue Sony Music U.K.
The heirs of Jimi Hendrix’s former bandmates are suing Sony Music U.K. for millions over copyright issues and streaming royalties.
As reported by Variety, the heirs of bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell have filed a lawsuit against the music company for alleged copyright infringement, while they’re also seeking royalties.
The filing was made in the High Court in London. It follows an application for a legal declaration that was made by Sony Music and the Hendrix estate in a Manhattan federal court last month that would pre-emptively exonerate them of all legal claims.
Redding and Mitchell joined Hendrix to create the Jimi Hendrix Experience in the 1960s. They split in 1969, with Mitchell reuniting with the legendary guitarist a few months before his death in August 1970. The pair’s heirs believe they are due a stake in the group’s music, including from their classic album Electric Ladyland.
Sony Music received a letter in December which stated that they owed Redding and Mitchell’s estates performance royalties for around three billion streams of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s songs.
A lawyer for the label and Hendrix’s estate disputed this, alleging that Redding and Mitchell both signed away any claims to the music in the early 1970s. Their lawyer, Lawrence Abramson, however, argued that “none of the parties would have been able to foresee or contemplate” the digital media revenue at the time of signing.
Now, the new lawsuit wants a declaration of copyright ownership in the sound recordings and performers rights. It’s also seeking damages and an account of profits plus interest on that figure.
According to the lawyer representing their estates, both Redding and Mitchell “died in relative poverty having never received their true entitlement from their works, performances, and founding membership of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.”
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for further updates.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.