The Beatles Being Sued Over Use of Shea Stadium Footage
A company that represents Sid Bernstein, the man who promoted the Beatles' concert at New York's Shea Stadium, is suing Apple Corps Ltd and Subafilms Limited, claiming ownership of the rights to the Shea Stadium show. The Beatles have used footage from the Aug. 15, 1965 performance in several projects over the years, including their new movie Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years.
Billboard is reporting that Sid Bernstein Presents, which handles the affairs of the promoter, who died in 2013, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York. They are challenging the legality of a 1965 agreement made by Brian Epstein and Ed Sullivan Productions that gave Subafilms the copyright to the audio and video from the concert.
"By reason of being the producer of and having made creative contributions to the 1965 Shea Stadium performance," the suit reads, "as well as being the employer for hire of the Beatles and the opening acts, who performed at his instance and expense, Sid Bernstein was the dominant, and hence sole, author of the copyrightable work embodied in the Master Tapes, and the sole owner of all exclusive rights therein."
In July, Sid Bernstein Presents had attempted to lay claim to the tapes with the U.S. Copyright Office, when it was rumored that the Beatles were planning a theatrical release of the concert. However, it was rejected on the grounds that they were not in possession of the master tapes.
Sid Bernstein Presents is seeking sole or joint ownership of the concerts, with previous times the Beatles have used the footage -- such as the Anthology project -- to be declared copyright infringement.
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