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John Lydon loses Pistol lawsuit


John Lydon has lost his lawsuit against his Sex Pistols bandmates.

The punk band’s former drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones were locked in a High Court battle with Lydon – who performed in the group under the name Johnny Rotten – to be allowed to use their songs in TV drama ‘Pistol’, which is being directed by Danny Boyle and made by Disney.

Lydon, 65, had claimed that they could not use the tracks without his consent, however, Cook and Jones argued that an agreement formed in 1998 – a band member agreement (BMA) – means that a majority basis settles any decisions regarding licensing of The Sex Pistols mu.

In a ruling on Monday (23.08.21), Sir Anthony Mann said the pair were entitled to invoke majority voting rules against the singer in relation to the use of Sex Pistols material in the series, under the terms of that band member agreement.

Lydon had appeared in court on July 21, in which he argued that the BMA had “never been applied in anything we have ever done since 1998”, whilst also branding the Disney mini-series as “the most disrespectful s*** I’ve ever had to endure”.

He added: “I don’t understand how Steve and Paul think they have the right to insist that I do something that I so morally heart and soul disagree with without any involvement.”

However, Edmund Cullen QC – representing Cook and Jones – accused Lydon of giving “false evidence” which prompted him to retort: “False evidence? I’m sorry, how? Where?”

Cullen also told the court during the week-long hearing that Glen Matlock – an original member of the band – supported their position and backed the series and that written submissions from the late Sid Vicious’ estate were also in support of Cook and Jones.

The six-part drama – which is due to air in 2022 – is based on a 2016 memoir by Jones titled ‘Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol’.

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