Joe Gibbs legal problems - Charlie Pride tune

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Joe Gibbs legal problems - Charlie Pride tune

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:44 pm

Can anyone shed some more light on these legal problems which led to the demise of Joe Gibbs' musical empire?


'Unfortunately, a protracted lawsuit regarding unpaid royalties generated by the Mighty Two's hit reworking of Charley Pride's Someone Loves You Honey with June Lodge resulted in the closure of Gibbs' studio. Thus, for the better part of a decade, Thompson was chiefly employed at Gibbs' large grocery store. Then, in 1993, Gibbs reopened the facility at Retirement Crescent, and thereafter, Thompson divided his time between managing the supermarket and engineering recordings by veteran artists and new talent alike. '
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Postby Professor Mushtaq » Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:07 pm

For those who believe in karma - I once heard Alice Cooper on a TV chat show relate the tale of how he used to store his snake in the bath of his hotel room, half filling the bath with water, and making sure to shut the lid on the toilet. He returned one day to his suite, checked on his snake and found it missing from the bathroom and the toilet seat raised. Being a rock and roll wildman he didn't tell anyone just got another snake. A few weeks later he read in the paper how another celebrity staying in same the hotel was somewhat "alarmed" to spot in the bottom of his suite's toilet bowl, the business end of a live boa constrictor. The victim: Charley Pride.
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Postby Ital Dokta » Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:01 am

Prof - just out of curiousity - funny story but why do you consider this an example of karma? It would seem that if Joe Gibbs released an unauthorized cover of a Charley Pride song, Charley Pride is in the legal right to be a little PO'd about this and seek recompense. Versioning and outright "borrowing" of other's lyrics, songs, etc. may be practically an institution within the reggae world but the western music industry doesn't work this way and can't be expected to just accept these practises (though I'm sure in 99% of cases it still happens, just nobody in authority in the international music industry notices, or perhaps cares). Just some food for thought...
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:27 pm

No one has any info?
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Postby Ash » Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:32 pm

Lord...i'd av thought Charley Pride was ok for cash....
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Postby Professor Mushtaq » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:31 pm

Dok - It was merely a throwaway line to allow me the opportunity to tell the story. I don't know the story of the court action, but I would have thought Platinum-selling Charley would have had better things to do than chase down and seemingly destroy lil' ol' Joe Gibbs. If every American artist who had a tune nicked by a JA producer did the same we would all be the poorer.
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Postby Ital Dokta » Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:33 am

Fair enough - Mr. Pride has had platinum records to be sure, still as a black man trying to make a living singing traditional country music in the southern U.S. during the 60's and 70's, I doubt it was always an easy road to fame and fortune for him, or that he got there by having an easygoing attitude toward being ripped off...still as you say, reggae music would be much poorer if the producers played by the rules all the time.
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:04 am

If we are talking legal actions re copright infringement, plagarism etc. usually its not the artist themselves who are behind actions or even support them (think U2 vs Negativeland where the band was embarassed by Island's legal action against Negativeland but couldn't stop them) - typically its the label who owns the rights or publishing company that launches the actions .

In the case of unpaid royalties it likely would be more the actual artists.

But does anyone know about these legal problems Joe Gibbs had?
I mean was it even to do with the Charlie Pride side of things or was it June Lodge's side suing for the royalties? If someone does a cover version of a tune the original writer / publishing company is due a share of royalties but so is the artist that did the new version..

Cheers,
CS
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Postby dogwarbossanova » Tue Dec 14, 2004 8:08 pm

Well at least Mr. Pride merely "spotted" the snake. I mean, there are worse ways to discover a boa constrictor in your toilet, no?
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Postby jb welda » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:30 pm

i think the problem here was that june lodges version got big outside jamaica and therefore came to the attention of charlie pride, his label, one or another of hungry lawyers etc. it really doesnt matter if charlie pride is swimming in money; the smart artist protects his assets and does that by demanding no one get a free ride on their back. when the typical ja producer "nicks" a song, a phrase, or whatever, it usually doesnt come to the attention of anyone because it usually sells such small numbers as to make it a non-starter. i think i read somewhere that june lodges somebody loves you honey started hitting it big in the ny discos and on the radio charts and that draws attention. at that point, "lil' ol' Joe Gibbs" sort of deserves to be "destroyed"...he was trying to pull a fast one and got caught. im sure if he were on the other end of it he would be ruthless in trying to collect his share, whether by lawyers or by some other perhaps less legal methods. these people aint angels.

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Postby freewheeling frankie » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:31 am

<If every American artist who had a tune nicked by a JA producer did the same we would all be the poorer.>

If every American artist who had a tune nicked by a JA producer did the same there would be very little JA music industry left. Period.

Perhaps it's time JA producers started giving credit where it's due. After all, if they sell so few records, the royalties can hardly be so huge, and if they sell a lot, they can afford it...

Clearly vast quantities of uncredited JA cover versions
are ignored by the global/western record industry, even when they're released here, either credited to the producer and/or artist or to the ubiquitous "adapted". For one instance in hundreds, I've lost count of how many times Trojan have issued The Upsetters' "Medical Operation" with a composer credit for Lee Perry, when any fule kno that it's actually "Sophisticated Cissy", composed by The Meters. Often sleeve notes even acknowledge the true provenance of a tune, and yet they're still given a JA credit.

Anyone noticed that "Mojo Rocksteady" is based on "25 Miles" by (if I remember correctly) Eddie Floyd?
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Postby Professor Mushtaq » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:32 am

Fair enough Bill - I didn't realise it was a hit overseas, but it still seems to me a very high price to pay for a single cover version, given the amount of musical larceny that has occurred over the years in JA. When was the concept of copyright introduced there? probably when Charley's lawyers came calling eh?
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Postby jb welda » Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:18 am

prof i dont think it had to do with ja copyright...when it started selling in the usa then youre talking USA copyright. and thats probably what they sued based upon. but im not a lawyer nor am i especially intimate with this case, though i sort of followed it while it was happening.

and im not really sure about this but i bet what really hurt were punitive damages (an award made because the defendant should have known what he was doing and did it anyway despite legal ramifications) that would probably (and usually do) far exceed the income from the action itself.

just my .02

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Postby Professor Mushtaq » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:01 am

Yeah Bill - i'd gathered it was a US action, I was just referring to late arrival of the concept and law of copyright to Jamaican shores. I thought I'd read somewhere that legislation wasn't put in place until the 70s or 80s.
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Postby Chocolate Soldier » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:55 am

<(an award made because the defendant should have known what he was doing and did it anyway despite legal ramifications) that would probably (and usually do) far exceed the income from the action itself. >

Indeed..
Then what you do is sell the studio, pressing plant, limo and other assetts etc to the wife or some trusted person for $1 , declare bankruptcy and disappear for a while so as to avoid paying the cash..
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