The Beatles Being Sued Over Use Of Concert Footage

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Sid Bernstein Presents, which represents Sid Bernstein, is suing  Apple Corps Ltd and Subafilms Limited over footage from the band’s 1965  New York concert.

The footage, which has been used in several features over the years, is from the band’s performance at Shea Stadium in New York on 15th of August 1965. The company representing Sid Bernstein, who promoted the New York concert and died in 2013, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court in New York.

Sid Bernstein Presents are challenging an agreement made in 1965 by Brian Epstein and Ed Sullivan Productions, which gave Subafilms Limited the copyright to the footage and audio from the concert.

The suit states “By reason of being the producer of and having made creative contributions to the 1965 Shea Stadium performance,” it continues, “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, the same company had attempted to stop the footage being used in a rumored theatrical release by claiming ownership to the tapes in the U.S. Copyright Office However, their request was turned down due to them not being in possession of the master copies of the tapes.

Sid Bernstein Presents is seeking sole or joint ownership of the footage, with previous use of the footage to be declared copyright infringement.

Photo Cred: Stijn Vogels