LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Two Cuban-based record labels got the better end of a court decision last month. The litigation was a six-year-old dispute over who controlled the rights of some old Cuban songs that had come to renewed popularity through the efforts of Cuban musicians The Buena Vista Social Club, local media reported.
The decision came against claims that had been presented by U.S. company Peer International, who wanted sole ownership of 13 songs, a number of which were included on part of Buena Vista's recent album. The suit alleged that the Cuban government had illegally expropriated the rights of 600 songs when Castro declared the contracts void. They asserted that they were entitled to ownership of numerous variations on these songs which have been subsequently performed by artists such as Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez, Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa.
Conversely, lawyers for Termidor Music Publishers and Editora Musical de Cuba (EMC) argued that the original composers had received virtually no payment at all, often a token amount, or even in some instances, rum. The high court sided effectively sided with the Cubans, noting that no one should own copyrights on these songs as it would set an "dangerous precedent." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers