Italian music composer Ennio Morricone can now reclaim the rights to six Italian film scores he made throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, thanks to Appellate Court ruling in his favor.
Morricone is best known for composing the classic film scores for many spaghetti westerns, most notably the Dollars Trilogy, which included the films: A Fistful of Dollars. For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Most recently the director has been best known for working with Quentin Tarantino on the film The Hateful 8.
In November 2016, Morricone the famed composer sued the Bixio Music Group who he originally made a deal with, during the late 1970s. The group gave him an upfront payment, but limited his royalties and music rights in for those films. Morricone sent termination notices pursuant to the 1976 Copyright Act, which allows authors to reclaim rights 35 years after their publication.
In 2017, this case hit a roadblock however,with a judge ruling that his scores were “works for hire,” meaning that the group had the right to preclude Morricone’s termination rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reversed this earlier decision, stating that socres aren’t considered works for hire under US or Italian law.
This is not the only recent lawsuit he has been involved with. Late year, Morricone refuted claims that he “trashed” Tarantino in an interview, and stated his intention to sue Playboy Germany, who wrote the original piece.
“It has come to my attention that Playboy Germany has come out with an article in which I have called Tarantino a cretin and consider his films garbage. This is totally false,” Morricone explained. “I have not given an interview to Playboy Germany and even more, I have never called Tarantino a cretin and certainly do not consider his films garbage. I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action.”