Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook previously filed a lawsuit against singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) over the right to use the band’s music in “Pistol,” a new miniseries based on Jones’ memoir “Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.” Now, it has been revealed that Lydon has officially lost the legal battle.
Jones and Cook’s lawyer Edmund Cullen previously told a judge at the High Court in London that the band have an agreement that allows them to use songs on a “majority rules basis” and that they have the support of bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of the late Sid Vicious. However, Lydon claimed that the agreement had not been applied since it was signed more than two decades ago and that “all decisions” regarding the band’s music and imagery had to be “unanimous.”
Despite Lydon’s assertions, Judge Sir Anthony Mann ruled that the contract is valid and active. He also mentioned that the frontman “had actually signed away his power to control the use of music rights” to publishing and music companies like Warner Chappell Music and BMG and that he retained “only qualified rights of approval which could be overridden if he was being unreasonable.” The judge also added:
“It may be that those companies, for their own reasons, chose to seek his permission from time to time, but ultimately they could act as they saw fit.”
Jones and Cook also issued a statement to the Press Association:
“We welcome the court’s ruling in this case. It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making. It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”