Artist News Business News Legal

Former Journey frontman settles legal dispute over 1991 demos

By | Published on Wednesday 19 February 2020

Former Journey frontman Steve Perry has reached a tentative settlement with a musician he collaborated with all the way back in 1991 after a dispute over the rights in some demo recordings.

Perry sued musician Phil Brown in 2018 arguing that he owned the copyright in the 1991 demo recordings outright and accusing his one time collaborator of trying to release those tracks. The latter claim seemed to be based on social media posts Brown had made following the 2018 release of Perry’s third solo album ‘Traces’.

The Journey man added that he never intended for the 1991 demos to be released because he didn’t believe they were good enough. Although, for his part, Brown alleged that Perry had, in fact, expressed an interest in releasing their collaborations on various occasions in the past.

As for the 2018 social media posts, Brown argued that he never directed or authorised any communications to be made that mentioned the old demo recordings. He added that his girlfriend made the offending posts without his knowledge, and that he had not been aware of them at the time because he rarely uses the internet.

Although Perry had decided to go legal over the dispute, the judge hearing the case urged the two musicians to reach a settlement, reckoning that neither side had anything really to gain from the litigation. He suggested the two men sit down for an hour to see if a tentative settlement could be reached, and seemingly that’s exactly what happened.

According to Law360, having heard a deal had been done, the judge said “I am absolutely delighted the case has settled”, before stepping away from the bench to shake hands with the two musicians. It’s thought the settlement basically says that neither man will seek to release the demos without the other’s approval.