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Court Victory For Collins

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Phil Collins Wins Royalties Case Against Former Band Members

A High Court judge ruled Wednesday that two members of Phil Collins' former backing band were not entitled to as many royalties as they claimed. Louis Satterfield and Rahmlee Davis had argued they had a right to royalties on all 15 tracks of a live album recorded during Collins' 1990 "Serious" tour. But Justice Jonathan Parker ruled the pair should only have been paid for the five tracks on which they performed.

Davis, 51, a trumpeter, and Satterfield, 63, a trombonist, worked with Collins during the 1980s on several successful albums, including "Face Value" and "... But Seriously." They received only session and touring fees for the albums they worked on, but had a royalties deal on the live album "Serious Hits Live."

The dispute over the royalty payments began in 1997 when the chief accountant of Phil Collins Ltd. wrote to the pair telling them they had been overpaid for album sales and that the company intended to recoup the money by deducting from future royalties earned.

The two first brought an action against Collins in California, claiming they were entitled to the full royalties and damages, accusing the pop star's company of being "oppressive, fraudulent and malicious."

The case moved to London after the U.S. court ruled the pair's contracts were signed under English law.

The British judge ruled Collins had overpaid the pair a total of 244,000 pounds (dlrs 373,000) in royalties. He chastised the singer's company, however, for the abrupt way it had stopped the payments.

Collins was not seeking a repayment of the money through the court case, but wanted a declaration that no more royalties needed to be paid.

© Associated Press Newswires

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