According to Blabbermouth, Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, has lost a legal court case over the licensing rights of the band’s repertoire after denying the use of the band’s music for a miniseries called Pistol, about the band’s guitarist Steve Jones. According to Jones and drummer Paul Cook, they filed a lawsuit against Lydon due to him refusing to license the music for the miniseries.
Jones and Cook argued that the band had established a contract in regards to licensing the band’s discography that followed a “majority rules basis.” While Lydon claimed that the 20-year-old contract followed a “unanimous” voting system instead of a majority vote.
In the end, the judge presiding over the case ruled in favor of Jones and Cook. Furthermore, the judge also stated that Lydon’s licensing and publishing rights are controlled by Warner Chappell Music and BMG.
“It may be that those companies, for their own reasons, chose to seek his permission from time to time, but ultimately they could act as they saw fit,” said Sir Anthony Mann, the judge presiding over the case.
Jones and Cook have previously commented on their difficult relationship with Lydon. However, Cook claimed that the band members had “always wanted to work harmoniously” with Lydon, including on the miniseries project.
“We welcome the court’s ruling in this case,” revealed Jones and Cook in a statement in the Press Association, following their victory. “It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making. It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”
Photo credit: David Uzzardi