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Lennon's Trouble With Levy
Highest Court Second Circuit
Year Ended 1977
Plaintiffs Big Seven Music
Levy, Morris
Defendants Apple Records
Capitol Records
EMI Music
Lennon, John
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description John Lennon and Morris Levy had a very tenous relationship, which arose after Levy accused Lennon of infringing Chuck Berry's song "You Can't Catch Me" in Lennon's "Come Together." In settlement of this dispute, Lennon promised to include three songs for Levy's benefit on his next album, and allegedly orally promised to record an entire album of rock n' roll covers produced by Phil Spector, which was to be released by Levy as a mail-order album. EMI Records, the label to whom Lennon was signed, refused to allow their exclusive artist to release anything through Levy, and when Levy said he intended to release the album anyway, Capitol rushed out their own version and told retailers Levy's version lacked permission. When Levy sued Lennon, Apple Records, and EMI for breach of contract, the District Court found there had never been an oral contract regarding the full album; the terms were only tentatively discussed before EMI issued its decree. The Second Circuit affirmed the judgment. Regarding counterclaims brought by Defendants for copyright infringement, Lanham violation, and various other similar actions (see the list associated with this entry), the appellate court affirmed a finding in Lennon's favor, saying Levy's release deprived Lennon of around $50,000 of royalties (100,000 copies of Levy's were sold) and $35,000 in reputational damages. But because Lennon had legitimately agreed to record three songs for Levy in the settlement over "Come Together," the court also granted Levy royalties of $7,000, which were unpaid on Capitol's legitimate release - LSW

Legal Issues
Alternative Dispute Resolution Settlements Judicial Enforcement
Consumer Protection Federal (Sherman/Clayton Act) Antitrust, Monopoly & Restraint of Trade
Contracts Breach Payment & Performance
  Enforceability Formation Formalities
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Torts Economic Torts Fraud, Misrepresentation & Inducement
    Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy
  Privacy Torts Commercial Misappropriation of Name/Likeness
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Big Seven Music Corp. v. Lennon
554 F.2d 504
Second Circuit , April 13, 1977 ( Nos. 624, 860, Dockets 76-7454, 76-7480 )


Big Seven Music Corp. v. Lennon
409 F. Supp. 122
S.D. New York , February 20, 1976 ( No. 75 Civ. 1116 )


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Related Searches Parties
Apple Records ( Defendant )
Big Seven Music ( Plaintiff )
Capitol Records ( Defendant )
EMI Music ( Defendant )
Lennon, John ( Defendant )
Levy, Morris ( Plaintiff )

Legal Issues
Alternative Dispute Resolution / Settlements / Judicial Enforcement
Consumer Protection / Federal (Sherman/Clayton Act) / Antitrust, Monopoly & Restraint of Trade
Contracts / Breach / Payment & Performance
Contracts / Enforceability / Formation Formalities
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Torts / Economic Torts / Fraud, Misrepresentation & Inducement
Torts / Economic Torts / Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy
Torts / Privacy Torts / Commercial Misappropriation of Name/Likeness
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
Second Circuit (highest court)
S.D. New York


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