This morning at the Law courts in London the Appeal Court judges handed down their ruling on the Whiter Shade of Pale case
Gary Brooker and Onward Music have been successful on their appeal concerning the copyright in the 1967 Procol Harum hit A Whiter Shade of Pale.
The Court of Appeal today overturned the High Court’s 2006 decision under which Matthew Fisher, former organist with the band, was awarded 40% of the musical copyright in the song.
Following the appeal court ruling, the full copyright in the song remains with the original writers Gary Brooker (music) and Keith Reid (lyrics) and their publishers. Fisher, who played the organ on the Procol Harum recording, will get joint authorship for his contribution to the work. However he is not entitled to a copyright interest in the song, royalties whether past or future, and has no control over its exploitation.
Gary Brooker commented “For nearly three years this claim has been a great strain upon myself and my family. I believe the original trial was unfair and the results wrong. Justly, the decisions of the Court of Appeal have gone some way to putting this right and I would hope that, now, we can all get on with our lives.”
Gary Brooker MBE
More about the AWSoP lawsuit | The full judgment here