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Royalties battle ends with defeat for band

2nd April 2012

A royalties battle over hit 1980s song ‘Pass the Dutchie’ has ended in defeat for the reggae band Musical Youth.

Five one-time members of the group had launched a claim against their former lawyer, Anthony Seddon, falsely accusing him of fraud and negligence in relation to use of the track in 2000 film The Wedding Singer.

Making the ruling, Mr Justice Roth said that it was unreasonable for Musical Youth to have claimed that Mr Seddon and his now-defunct legal practice, Woolf Seddon, were attempting to defraud them, just because they did not receive the royalty fees expected.

The band based the song on 1981’s ‘Pass the Kouchie’ by Jamaican trio The Mighty Diamonds and were denied payment because of this, despite Musical Youth claiming that their version was sufficiently original to qualify for distinct copyright.

The five claimants blamed Seddon and others with solicitor jobs in his firm for the situation, which Roth dismissed, also adding that it was inexcusable for Musical Youth to submit the claim in the hope that evidence against the defendant would arise as proceedings continued.