Germaine Smith, Staff Reporter
REGGAE GIANTS Greensleeves Records recently won a copyright infringement case brought against them by one of Jamaica's leading mixing engineers.
Hopeton Browne, known in the business as the 'Scientist', lost his bid after an approximate two-year fight in U.S. courts. Browne had challenged Greensleeves for the recording and composition copyrights of five tracks which he worked on for the video game, 'Grand Theft Auto 3.'
A release from Greensleeves stated that the tracks come from the album Scientist Rids The World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires, which was released in 1981, and which is now available as part of the Greensleeves Reggae Classics series.
The tracks were produced by the renowned Henry 'Junjo' Laws, and had been reportedly licensed by him to Greensleeves. All five tracks, Dance Of The Vampires, The Mummy's Shroud, The Corpse Rises, Your Teeth In My Neck, and Plague Of Zombies, were mixed at King Tubby's Studios back then.
Both Lawes and King Tubby are deceased, so that meant that Browne's claims could not be validated.
According to Greensleeves Records, the court found that Browne was not the owner of either the recording or composition copyrights. Greensleeves' Managing Director, Chris Sedgwick, claimed that the company went to trial because Browne's claims were unreasonable.
DISMISS THE COMPLAINTS
"Basically, Scientist was claiming to own copyrights in songs and recordings as a result of being the mixing engineer. Although we always felt these claims were ridiculous, we had to defend ourselves all the way to trial and are delighted to have got the right result," he said in a release.
The case was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, located in Manhattan, and was presided over by U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbau.
Checks with the records office of that court confirmed the judgement made against Browne. A clerk there stated that the judge ordered that the plaintiff (Browne) dismiss the complaints against Greensleeves.
Others who reportedly testified at the trial include King Jammy's, who worked with King Tubby's at the time, and Chris Cracknell, Greensleeves' artist and repertoire director.