IRON MAIDEN Settle $1.2 Million "Hallowed Be Thy Name" Copyright Lawsuit
Back in 2017, Iron Maiden dropped their 1982 classic "Hallowed Be Thy Name" from their live show. It was later revealed that the song, alongside Iron Maiden's 2000 song "The Nomad" were a subject of litigation with the claim being the lyrics and music were lifted from the song "Life's Shadow."
The song was written by Brian Quinn and Robert Barton, and released in 1974 by the band Beckett. The lawsuit was brought on by manager Barry McKay against Iron Maiden's Steve Harris and Dave Murray, who claimed there was an agreement in place with Barton about the two songs in question, though the outcome of the lawsuit now shows there either wasn't, or the agreement was never formalized.
According to a statement from McKay, Harris and Murray settled outside court and now owe £900,000 in damages. That number may also include legal fees, because Ham & High are reporting that the band has settled outside court for the pricey-but-certainly-less amount of £550,000. McKay also takes issue with Iron Maiden's original statement that Quinn settled for a "fraction of his claim," and that the band stated previously "We do not believe that Brian Quinn was the one who wrote these six lines in question over 40 years ago as was claimed by Barry McKay."
You can read McKay's breakdown of the £900,000 below.
“Brian Quinn did not settle for “a fraction” of his claim. The claim form lodged with the High Court (sent to you yesterday), stated that we were claiming a minimum figure of £200,000. Instead Harris/Murray instructed expensive lawyers who went on to cost them £300,000, as well as having to pay for every penny of my legal costs which were £285,000, on top of which they had already previously paid out £220,000 in damages and costs when they secretly settled with the other co-writer of “Life’s Shadow” Bob Barton.
If Andy Taylor and Rod Smallwood (managers of Harris/Murray/Iron Maiden) had provided accurate earnings figures for the two Maiden songs that infringed the “Life’s Shadow” copyright at the start of the claim (which they did not) and then offered Brian Quinn a fair settlement of around £250,000, Steve Harris and Dave Murray could have saved themselves around £600,000 in legal costs. Instead they wanted a fight and so they got one.”
“To call me a “serial litigant” is sour grapes. Harris and Murray and their managers appear to me to be bad losers. However, I am now also representing three other songwriters who also allege that Steve Harris and Dave Murray have profiteered from lyrics that they wrote. If that makes me a “serial litigant” so be it. Musicians who have their intellectual property exploited by others who did not write or compose it are entitled to professional assistance.”
Well, that certainly sucks for the Maiden duo… but at least fans get to hear the song again live? Hooray?