Producers of Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles File Copyright Infringement Suit Against Broadway's Let It Be
By Michael Gioia
Producers of the 2010 Broadway concert Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles have filed a copyright infringement suit against the producers of Broadway's Let It Be — the Beatles concert experience which began life in London and starts New York City performances July 16 at the St. James Theatre — according to the New York Times.
The creators of Rain, which played on Broadway October 2010-July 2011, filed suit last month against Let It Be producers Jeff Parry and Annerin Productions, among others, asking for a 50-50 split of the revenue from Let It Be.
The suit also asks that the Rain Corporation, which has represented the tribute act since 2001, be listed as a joint author of Let It Be.
The suit claims that Let It Be pulls much of its material from Rain, including musical arrangements, songs used in the show, artwork, staging, costume styling and more.
According to the lawsuit, the Rain Corporation and the defendants originally agreed to create a theatrical production in 2005. In 2009 the agreement was modified as a "50-50 percent partnership." The 2009 agreement expired two days before Let It Be began previews in London last September, and according to the lawsuit, producer Parry sent an e-mail stating that the 50-50 partnership agreement no longer pertained and that Rain creators were now entitled to 7.125 percent of the revenue.
The Rain Corporation's lawsuit seeks to maintain the original percentage for the Broadway and any subsequent productions of Let It Be.
Representatives for the Broadway production did not respond to Playbill.com for comment.
A publicist for the West End production said to Playbill.com in a statement, "Let It Be is produced in the West End by Jamie Hendry Productions, Annerin Productions and others. JHP is unable to comment on the ongoing lawsuit between Rain Corp and Annerin Productions, which is taking place solely in the USA and, regardless of the outcome, will have no impact on the West End production, which was granted the Grand Theatrical Rights to the Beatles catalogue when it opened in the West End last year. Let It Be continues to play in the West End at the Savoy Theatre and will open on Broadway on July 24."
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