Apple Corps, the company founded by members of The Beatles, on Wednesday won the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking the rights to the master tapes of the band's celebrated 1965 concert at New York's Shea Stadium.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said Sid Bernstein Presents LLC, named for the concert's promoter, failed to show it deserved sole control over the Aug. 15, 1965, footage and deserved damages reflecting its many subsequent uses.
Daniels said the company, which said it had been assigned Bernstein's rights, could not claim to be the "author" of a copyrightable work even if Bernstein were the driving force behind the sold-out concert because he did not film it.
"The relevant legal question is not the extent to which Bernstein contributed to or financed the 1965 concert; rather, it is the extent to which he 'provided the impetus for' and invested in a copyrightable work - e.g., the concert film," Daniels wrote. "The complaint and relevant contracts clearly refute any such claim by Bernstein."