PASS THE DUTCHIE: Musical Youth loses copyright battle

According to the British website, a high court judge has ruled in favour of partners in the now defunct law firm Woolf Seddon, saying a claim by Dennis Seaton, Michael Grant, Kelvin Grant, Frederick Waite Junior – aka Junior Waite – and a representative of the estate of the late Patrick Waite, had no merit.

In their suit, ex-members of the Birmingham-based Musical Youth claimed that solicitors gave them bad advice about royalties they might make from Pass The Dutchie which topped the British national chart 30 years ago.

According to the article, legal proceedings began in 2004 with the claim that solicitor Tony Seddon — and other partners in Woolf Seddon — had ‘been in serious breach of their duties’ by failing to ‘protect a distinct copyright’ held by Musical Youth.

However, judge, Mr Justice Roth ruled that Mr Seddon and his ex-partners were entitled to summary judgment, saying: “I regard the claim as wholly without merit.”

The Mighty Diamonds’ version was originally released in 1980. Produced by Augustus ‘Gussie’ Clarke, it was based on an instrumental, Full Up, first done at Studio One and featuring bass player Leroy Sibbles and saxophonist Headley Bennett.

When the Observer contacted Sibbles on the verdict, he seemed surprised.

“I thought the whole issue was settled. Everyone decided on taking a percentage and it was settled,” he said.

On the other hand, Fitzroy ‘Bunny Diamond’ Simpson of the Mighty Diamonds, commented: “If I had gotten a good portion of that I would be living in Beverly Hills now.”

Pass the Kutchie was penned by Simpson and fellow Diamonds Judge (Lloyd Ferguson).

According to Bunny Diamond, the real winners financially in the whole copyright issue are the lawyers.

Musical Youth, who are first-generation Britons born to Jamaican parents, had another big hit in 1983 with Unconditional Love, alongside disco diva Donna Summer. The group quickly faded shortly after.





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