Times pays damages to Hendrix estate over covermount

By | Published on Monday 9 August 2010

Times newspapers will have to pay the Jimi Hendrix estate a reported £150,000 in damages over a covermount CD given away with the Sunday Times back in 2006.

The free CD, given away with the Sunday paper in 2006, featured ten tracks from a live performance by Hendrix and his band recorded at the Albert Hall in 1969. Although the paper licensed the music from what they assumed were legitimate content owners, the Hendrix estate, represented by the company Experience Hendrix, said the CD infringed their copyrights.

Complicating things somewhat, Team Hendrix argued that some of the recordings on the free CD were due to appear in a then in-development concert film and on an accompanying CD, and once the Times disk was out they had to delay that project. They also said they warned the publisher that the CD was not properly licensed ahead of its release in the paper.

The Times, while seemingly conceding their CD supplier may not have properly licensed the music on the disk, claimed that by the time they were made aware of the copyright issue the CD had already been bagged with the Sunday paper’s supplements and pulling it at that stage would have been incredibly costly.

Experience Hendrix’s lawsuit, filed in 2008, sought damages for the losses incurred by the delay in the film project, and on Friday a High Court judge ruled in their favour. He said that by delaying the Hendrix concert film a year, The Times should pay the guitarist’s estate a year’s worth of interest on the $5.8 million profit they earned on the movie (and would, in theory, have earned a year earlier had it not been for the covermount).

The two parties are currently working out what that interest payment would have been, though The Guardian reckons it could cost The Times up to £150,000.