Legendary producer PHIL SPECTOR does not have to pay his one-time proteges THE RONETTES $3million in royalties, NEW YORK’s highest court has ruled.
The finding overturns two earlier hearings, which found in favour of the all girl group. It ends one of the longest running royalty feuds in music, dating back to 1988.
The Ronettes had been seeking money they said was owed for use of their songs in films and in advertisements. Two years ago, a lower court ordered Spector to pay almost $3million in damages and interest, a judgement later upheld by a State Appeals court.
In its ruling, the State Court Of Appeals last week (October 17) said it found The Ronettes’ plight sympathetic, because they have earned less than $15,000 in royalties from songs that topped the charts and made them famous – such as ‘Be My Baby’.
However, the court decided that a contract The Ronettes signed with Spector and his Philles record label in 1963 gives him the right to sell the songs for use as background music. The court also substantially reduced the amount they stand to gain from royalties on sales of records and compact discs.
Spector is understood to be delighted by the ruling.