MOSCOW, November 1 - RAPSI. On December 18, the presidium of the Supreme Commercial Court will hear an appeal by the Russian Authors' Society against a lower court ruling in favor of Melnitsa XXI Vek, a concert promoter. The ruling stated that Melnitsa was not liable to pay royalties to the society after the English rock band Muse held a concert in Moscow, a court spokesperson told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
Melnitsa filed a lawsuit with the Moscow Commercial Court against the Author's Society seeking to declare its license contract with the society null and void. Under the contract the agency was granted the right to use the society's songs at the concert.
On October 21, 2011, Moscow Commercial Court Judge Tatiana Vasilyeva sided with the agency and declared the license agreement between the society and the agency null and void. The agreement was signed just two days before the concert.
Melnitsa argued that at the time the contract was signed, they could not have predicted which songs the musicians would play at the concert. During the performance, the groups only played their own songs and that therefore, the agency was not liable for royalties. Melnitsa added that the performers were paid for their work directly after the concert.
The judgment states that the agreement should be deemed invalid because the subject matter was not clarified.
Melnitsa lawyer, Anatoly Semyonov, claimed the concert managers signed direct license contracts with both the bands and then paid them after the performance.
Founded in 1999, Melnitsa has organized performances by ZZ Top, Placebo, Gogol Bordello, Marylin Manson, Iggy Pop and BB King.