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November 8, 2016IM -
The Beatles and their codefendants are slapping back at a lawsuit claiming that Ron Howard’s new film Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years uses copyrighted footage of the group’s 1965 Shea Stadium concert without permission.
The Beatles’ Apple Corps Limited and Subafilms Limited have filed a motion to dismiss the suit. Heirs of concert promoter Sid Bernstein, who died in 2013, claim the Shea Stadium show was Bernstein’s idea and that he “planned, managed, and paid for virtually every aspect of the production.” The defendants contend Nems Enterprises, controlled at the time by The Beatles manager Brian Epstein, contracted for the “sole and exclusive right” and that Bernstein “never asserted any claim of authorship or copyright ownership in the film of the concert.” Bernstein merely “observed the filming and recording.” In this new claim, Bernstein’s heirs say he “made independent copyrightable contributions to the work embodied in the master tapes” and that “Bernstein was the employer for hire of The Beatles and the opening acts performed at his instance and expense.”
The US Copyright Office previously rejected an application by Sid Bernstein Presents last year to claim copyright over the master tapes.