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Wednesday, 28 March, 2001, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Springsteen faces fresh court battle
Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen said the album attacked his artistic integrity
An album of early songs recorded by Bruce Springsteen was at the centre of a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Wednesday.

Masquerade Music, a London-based company, is returning to the courts to challenge a legal victory won by Springsteen in 1998.

Springsteen
Springsteen: In 1998 was awarded legal costs of 500,000
Ronald Winter, of Masquerade Music, says a High Court judge who granted an injunction banning the album from being released allowed inadmissable evidence and applied the wrong standard of proof.

In 1997, the company imported 75 copies of a CD, Before the Fame, with 19 songs written by Springsteen between 1972 and 1974.

The judge in the original hearing, Mr Justice Ferris, heard that Springsteen wanted to prevent further copies of recordings being distributed because they had never been legitimately released.

Springsteen accused the company of pirating the music he first recorded in 1972, before his first album, Greetings From Astbury Park.

Artistic integrity

The singer said Masquerade's attempt to claim ownership of the copyright was an attack on his artistic integrity.

At the time Springsteen said he was simply defending his music.

Mr Justice Ferris banned further distribution of the CDs and told Springsteen he was entitled to damages for breach of copyright against Masquerade and a second company, Flute International Ltd, which is not appealing.

The appeal hearing, which is expected to last two or three days, will centre on detailed evidence of assignments of copyright.

Springsteen's original High Court victory also included an award of 500,000 legal costs against Masquerade.

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