Universal Music Prevents Popular Play From Showing In Stockholm, Despite Not Having The Legal Rights
from the copyfraud... dept
In one case, Universal Music (I assume its publishing arm...) threatened a theater because a popular play (that had toured without incident all over Europe) included a part where a Simon & Garfunkel record was playing in the background. The theater owner actually wrote a letter to Paul Simon to find out what his complaint was -- and received a response saying that Universal does not represent Paul Simon's music in theater contracts. Now, it's possible that there was some misunderstanding (language, cultural or legal), but this sort of thing seems to be happening more and more. When the theater owner informed Universal of this, Universal apparently retracted its demands for payment -- but the theatre company putting on the performance had already decided not to risk doing the play.
It's difficult to see how anyone comes out ahead in such a scenario. The Swedish public doesn't get to see the play or hear the music. Paul Simon doesn't get to attract new fans. Universal Music doesn't get anything other than a lot of ill will from the theater community. Why even bother at all?