Musician serenades UK judge, wins court fight - EMusician

Musician serenades UK judge, wins court fight

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - A British musician and Clark Gable look-alike who enlivened the austere surrounds of London's High Court by serenading the
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LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - A British musician and ClarkGable look-alike who enlivened the austere surrounds of London'sHigh Court by serenading the judge from the witness box wasrewarded on Tuesday with victory in a copyright tussle.

Violinist Bobby Valentino was claiming copyright in Scottishband the Bluebells' chart-topping hit, "Young At Heart," whichtopped the UK charts nine years ago after being used as backingfor a Volkswagen TV advertising campaign.

The moustachioed musician, who was session violinist on therecording, successfully claimed that he was joint author andcopyright owner because he wrote a violin riff for the song.

"The court was the oddest venue I've ever played in but Ithoroughly enjoyed it -- the acoustics weren't bad," saidValentino, who stands to gain 100,000 pounds ($153,000) inroyalties as a result of the decision.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the outcome. It is probablyfair to say this is my biggest ever payday," he added.

Valentino, who works part-time as a look-alike for Hollywoodmovie star Clark Gable, had earlier treated the judge to a liveperformance from the witness box, playing parts of the song on violin and acoustic guitar.

The song was originally released by girlband Bananarama inthe 1980s but reached number one in 1993 after being re-releasedand reworked by the Bluebells and used in the Volkswagencampaign.

Valentino had sued former Bluebells member Robert Hodgensand Bananarama member Siobhan Fahey who co-wrote the song. Universal/Anxious Music Ltd, Clive Banks Music Ltd,Universal Music Publishing Ltd and London Records 90 Ltd werealso defendants but the court award only related to Hodgens andthe Bluebells' version of the song.