Lana del Rey vs Radiohead


Yeah, I understand that far but why is it that a publisher that holds the rights to the recording not the artist?


Historically it was a matter of leverage - that was just the deal you got. If you want access to the recording studios, producers, marketing heft of the record company, then it’s a condition of the record contract that you assign the publishing rights.

I suspect that might have changed in recent years given that you don’t need some of those things from a record company any more, but I’m out of my depth now.


Didn’t realise Ed played on Bittersweet Symphony.


All the stories say Radiohead are doing it not Warners/EMI but that seems to be because this is what Lana del Rey has said so maybe she is wrong.


Wouldn’t trust non-specialist sources to be accurate either way, tbh, but I don’t think the names of the parties necessarily tell you who’s pulling the strings anyway.


She’s just said “their lawyers” which is the simplest way to put it


OK, understood. Thanks.


No worries. It’s also cleaner from a chain of rights perspective - can’t imagine a publisher wanting to get written permission from an artist every time they want to print a fresh run of an album.


True, he sued for ‘mechanical rights’ it seems (which I didn’t know until I just checked) as it was his recording that was sampled but it was Allen Klein who initially sued as he owned the publishing rights from the Stones’ early recordings.


My view is that quite clearly Radiohead aren’t doing this for the money. I think Theo is right in that they own their publishing rights now and so this is from the band and their management/advisers rather than the publishing company.

I think instead Radiohead are pursuing this because the want the acknowledgement that Creep has influenced this song (which is clearly has, the lyrics, lyrical flow and chord progression are very similar). The comments from Lana Del Rey is that it hasn’t influence the song is complete crap - therefore Radiohead are taking it the legal/financial route and hoping the courts agree.

I don’t know why she doesn’t just agree to an acknowledgement or credit. Radiohead were open about lifting that Air that you breathe line and putting it in Creep so it wasn’t devious necessarily, and the agreement that was reach was a songwriting credit.


i miss hipster runoff


She has agreed though, she says they offered radiohead 40%


I believe XL (Beggers) bought the publishing rights for the old albums rather than Radiohead themselves. Warners/EMI sold a whole load of rights in 2015/2016 post takeover.

Makes sense as XL deal with the publishing of all the newer albums as well (although Radiohead own their own rights in those cases). Whether there’s some kind of gentleman’s agreement or something more formal between XL and Radiohead regarding the old material or not is something that I don’t think has made it into the public domain though.


That’s just a financial agreement, it doesn’t say how they would be credited in terms of songwriting authorship or whatever


I thought if you got royalties related to the songwriting then you got a writing credit, I assumed they go hand-in-hand.

Doesn’t explain why they’ve allegedly rejected 40% and are pushing for 100% either (how can you even ask for 100% when you’re obviously not 100% responsible for writing the song?)


You’d think that wouldn’t you but that’s exactly what happened in the Bitter Sweet Symphony case. It depends on how good your legal team is I guess.


True but in that instance the orchestral refrain they cadged from The Stones for Bittersweet Symphony is 100% of the music of the song. They looped it for the entire piece of music.

If you think about it all too much you get down into a phenomenological rabbit hole of “what makes a song a song?” which no-one wants, quite frankly.


There’s still the lyrics and melody (or was that pinched as well?) that Ashcroft wrote that means Jagger and Richards were not 100% respnsible for writing the song which was @SenorDingDong’s point I think.

I’d actually forgotten how the original Stones’ version of The Last Time goes. Just listened to it. You’d never guess the was the ultimate source of Bitter Sweet Symphony would you?


The courts have dealt with this before. The main case law relates in England & Wales is about Spandau Ballet. Obviously.


Yeah, like even if I took the music and most of the lyrics from Creep, but changed the word “creep” to, say, “freak”, then Radiohead haven’t written 100% of my version (they’ve done 99.99% instead).