Page last updated at 06:47 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

MP William McCrea faces copyright breach claims

 Rev William McCrea - picture from DUP Flickr photostream
Rev William McCrea faces legal action over an alleged copyright breach

DUP MP and gospel singer Rev William McCrea is facing legal action over an alleged copyright breach.

A writ has been issued by Mark Carmichael against South Antrim MP Rev McCrea and Ian McDowell, trading as record label Daybreak Recordings.

Mr Carmichael claims copyright on the musical work 'Just a Breathe Away' was infringed and is seeking damages.

Rev McCrea declined to comment on the case, but his lawyers said the claim was being defended.

The legal action began in 2008, and the case is due for mention in the Chancery Court in Belfast on Friday.

The plaintiff is a musician who writes gospel music in the Ulster Scots dialect.

His Ballymena-based lawyer was not available for comment.

On his register of members interests, Rev McCrea lists a directorship of Daybreak Recordings.

The recording company has been going since 1980 and the Rev McCrea is the main artist on its roster.

The Rev McCrea has long combined a successful musical career with his political role.

He has been performing since the 1970s, regularly travelling to Nashville to record albums.

DUP electoral triumphs have often featured impromptu musical performances from the Rev McCrea.

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