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Friday, 8 May, 1998, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Beatles win court battle
George Harrison said the recording captured a group of drunken teenagers
A High Court judge has ruled that a music company must stop marketing a CD of a Beatles' show recorded 36 years ago.

The defence had claimed that John Lennon gave permission for the band's performance at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962 to be taped.

But Mr Justice Neuberger said George Harrison had convinced him that Lingasong Music should be forced to stick by an injunction prohibiting it from selling the recording.

He said Lingasong would have to hand over the original tape and pay both sides' costs.

Harrison, 54, told the judge: "One drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute business deals.

"The only person who allegedly heard anything about it is the one person who is dead, who can't actually come here and say it's a load of rubbish."

The three remaining Beatles and Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, brought the action in the name of their company Apple.

Harrison, who spent two days in court, said they had no plans to profit from the tape themselves.

Their motive was to prevent the distribution of a CD of appalling quality, he said.

"Every time it came up we tried to get it stopped. This thing has been floating around for 36 years and it is about time it was resolved."

The judge said he accepted the group's case "with particular reference to the evidence of George Harrison."

Crowds of journalist packed the court to hear arguments the guitarist described as "dead boring".

Much of the interest came from Harrison's tales of life with The Beatles just as they were beginning to become widely known.

He said the recording in question had captured "a lot of teenagers getting drunk playing rock 'n' roll."

Harrison, like all of the former Beatles, is now a multi-millionaire.

But their solicitor, Nicholas Valner, of Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, denied the case was in any way about money.

"The law has changed materially since 1977, and now artists have greater rights to prevent the unauthorised manufacture and sale of their works, including live recordings," he said.

"This case shows that The Beatles are determined to lead the way in enforcing and protecting artists' rights."

See also:

06 May 98 | UK
Beatles bootleg battle
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