Smashing Pumpkins sue Westwood One

Like any self-respecting rock 'n' roll band, the Smashing Pumpkins are taking pointers from the illustrious Fab Four. This time, however, the Beatles are teaching their Chicago progeny a lesson in law rather than music.

Billy Corgan, James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky filed a $1 million lawsuit against Westwood One, Inc. yesterday in an artists' rights case much like the Beatles' recent London litigation. The multi-platinum band claims that Westwood One illegally sold a seven-year-old Smashing Pumpkins interview to Sound and Media, Ltd., which has distributed the interview to such big-name music stores as Tower Records.

"When someone takes something that doesn't belong to them, it's stealing. Whether it's a recording or a purse, it's still stealing," Berlinersaid. "Anyone with a rational view would see this was wrong."

Following an in-house recording session in 1992, Smashing Pumpkins granted Westwood One a long, exclusive interview after the radio company agreed not to license copies of the recording, Jill H. Berliner, the band's lawyer, told JAMTV on Tuesday. Without notifying the group, Westwood One supposedly licensed a copy to Sound and Media, which never obtained Smashing Pumpkins permission to distribute the disc, she said.

Corgan and company have also filed a cease and desist order against Sound and Media. Neither court date has been set at this time, but Berliner said the band will likely testify if litigation goes that far.

This court case comes on the heals of the Beatles recent court victory over a 36-year-old live concert recording made and sold without the band's permission. After a four-day High Court hearing that relied heavily on testimony from George Harrison, the former Beatles and Yoko Ono won a settlement that forced Lingasong Music to hand over all copies of the 1962 recording and halt sales of it immediately. (Anni Layne)

Source: Jam TV!