Copyright’s Byzantine Ways [9:07 am]
They are rare, intimate images of John Lennon just before the breakup of the Beatles: He’s hunched over a piano writing songs, smoking pot, joking about putting LSD in President Nixon’s tea.
Almost four decades after the footage was shot at Lennon’s estate in England, his widow is in court, fighting to keep the images private.
World Wide Video LLC, a Lawrence, Mass.-based company, claims it owns the 10 hours of raw footage, but Yoko Ono claims she is the rightful owner. World Wide Video has filed a federal lawsuit against Ono, claiming Ono’s attempts to stop the company from publicly showing the footage is a copyright infringement.
[...] In court documents, Ono said she had a “clear and absolute” agreement with Cox when he shot the footage that it would never be “commercially exhibited, commercially exploited or released.”
And Ono said she purchased all rights to the videotapes for $300,000 in 2002 from a broker, Anthony Pagola.
But the principals of World Wide Video _ John Fallon and Robert Grenier _ say the sale to Ono was invalid, and that it owns the videos and copyright after buying them from Cox for $125,000 in 2000.