Yoko Ono wins lawsuit to own rare John Lennon footage

Yoko Ono wins lawsuit to own rare John Lennon footage


BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Yoko Ono is the rightful copyright holder of rare movie footage capturing intimate moments of singer John Lennon and his family in London in 1970, a U.S. federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel last week ruled that Lennon's widow was the rightful copyright holder, according to her lawyer Jonathan Albano.

"Our client is very happy," said Ono's lawyer, Jonathan M. Albano of Boston, who declined to comment on whether the videotapes would ever be released publicly in their entirety.

World Wide Video LLC, a consortium of collectors of Beatles memorabilia based in Massachusetts, sued Ono in March 2008, accusing her of copyright infringement and of wrongfully interfering with its personal property. Ono countersued, saying she is the rightful owner and that World Wide Video has no rights to the material.

World Wide Video claimed it owns the raw footage. The company produced a two-hour documentary, "3 Days in the Life," using the footage, and planned to show it at a private school in Maine in 2007. The screening was scrapped after the company received a stop order from Ono's lawyers.

According to those who have seen the footage, the footage captures Lennon at age 29 and in one of the most creative periods of his life. Lennon had recently written "Instant Karma" and is seen practicing the song "Remember." He is also seen smoking marijuana, talking about how he kicked a heroin habit, and joking about spiking Richard Nixon's tea with LSD.

World Wide Video claimed it had bought the rights to the footage from Ono's previous husband, Anthony Cox, in 1970.

"Our film allows a new generation to share with those who lived through those times, a deep and penetrating look at the many sides of the man who set new standards in art, music, fashion and politics," World Wide Video executive producer Ray Thomas said in filing the lawsuit.

                                                                                                             Source: Xinhua

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