Music News from ABC

London court sides with heirs of Jimi Hendrix’s bandmates in royalty dispute with Sony

David Redfern/Redferns

A court in London has ruled that two members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience can sue Sony over the rights to the three albums they appeared on.

According to Billboard, the heirs of Experience bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell claim they are owed millions in royalties for the work the late musicians did on Hendrix’s albums, something they informed Sony about in a letter in 2021.

But Sony disagreed and soon filed a lawsuit in New York aiming to prove the musicians didn’t have any rights to the music because they signed an agreement after Hendrix’s death in which they got one-time payments in exchange for not suing Hendrix’s estate or any labels distributing Hendrix’s music.

Sony’s suit prompted the heirs to file their own suit in England. A judge in London’s High Court ruled that Redding and Mitchell’s heirs can move forward with their lawsuit.

Attorneys for the heirs told Billboard in a statement that with the ruling “we can hopefully obtain some justice for the families.” They noted, “No one is denying that Jimi Hendrix was one of, if not, the greatest guitarist of all time. But he didn’t make his recordings alone, and they could not have achieved any success without the contributions of Noel and Mitch.”

So far there’s no word on when or where a trial may take place.

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