- Karoline East
Warner/Chappell: return The Wolfhounds’ copyrights & reinstate their songwriting credits
Publishing company Warner Chappell have illegally held on to copyrights and failed to collected monies for The Wolfhounds early back catalogue, despite being informed by solicitors that they have been in breach of contract. They also erased the songwriting credits of David Callahan and Andrew Golding from the band’s most well known song, The Anti-Midas Touch, and six other songs without informing any of the writers, and have refused to reinstate them. This petition aims to right these wrongs.
In 1987, The Wolfhounds signed their first publishing contract with the now-defunct Working Music Ltd. By 1989, the company had gone bust and its property – the songs of its contracted artists – were subsumed into Warner Chappell, its parent company.
However, none of The Wolfhounds ever received any payment or statement from either Working Music or Warner Chappell, and instructed their solicitors at the time – Stevens Innocent – to give notice of termination for breach of contract, and to have their song copyrights returned to the authors. Through their own solicitors, Warner Chappell claimed that none of our songs had ever earned any money, despite the fact that we had received payments from the Performing Rights Society for the songs, been played on the radio numerous times and played hundreds of gigs, all of which meant that royalties were coming in. The band has irrefutable documentary proof of this.
Warner Chappell refused to accept these facts and point blank refused to let us out of the contract and return our copyrights. The band could no longer afford a solicitor to pursue their interests, and shortly after broke up.
The band then reformed in 2005, and the question of the unlawfully withheld copyrights (for which none of the band had received a penny from Warner Chappell still) arose again, with the prospect of several reissues, which have now come to fruition. Singer David Callahan began to contact Warner Chappell by phone and email in June 2013, receiving nothing but delays and obfuscation from the publishers. He then took on the services of Independent Music Law Advice in June 2015, and the publishers have even now failed to respond, preferring to hope we will go away, if they’ve paid any attention at all.
This petition aims to have The Wolfhounds’ early songs (that is, all those released on the Pink Label and Idea between 1986 and 1988) returned to their rightful owners; have David Callahan and Andrew Golding’s writing credits reinstated on the songs The Anti-Midas Touch, Sandy, Rule of Thumb, Another Hazy Day on the Lazy 'A', Midget Horror, One Foot Wrong and Restless Spell; and to collect outstanding royalties which Warner Chappell have so far refused account properly for or to pay.