- Film & TV
- 23 Aug 21
Lydon previously branding the series "disrespectful" in an interview with The Sunday Times.
Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has lost his legal action taken against his bandmates today over the use of licensed music from the band appearing in a new Danny Boyle TV show based on the iconic punk group
Integral members of the band, including guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, had granted Pistol permission to use their music.
Their lawyer cited an agreement in 1998 between all Sex Pistols members that licensing decisions could be made on a "majority rules" basis.
Citing this, UK High Court judge Sir Anthony Mann found that Jones and Cullen were entitled to invoke "majority rules" against Lydon.
Another former member of the band, bassist Glen Matlock, and the estate of late bassist Sid Vicious, had both favoured using the Sex Pistols' music in the show.
Lydon had argued that it should not be used without his consent, hence the legal action.
His lawyers told the court that the agreement had never been used and that he considers it a “nuclear button” for the claimants and their manager, Anita Camerata, to “impose their wishes” on him.
They said he had a “deep-felt and passionate aversion to becoming a ‘prisoner’ of a hostile majority” and in his evidence to the court, Lydon said the agreement “smacks of some kind of slave labour”.
Lawyers for Cook and Jones argued there should not be any dispute about whether the agreement allows licensing decisions to be made “by a majority”, also saying that the court could not accept his evidence as true because it was a “straightforward lie”.
Sir Anthony Mann said: “Mr Lydon must have been fully advised about the BMA and its consequences.
“On his side he had an English lawyer, a US attorney and his manager … it is impossible to believe that he did not know what its effect was and I reject the suggestion made by him that he did not really know or appreciate its effect.
“That piece of evidence was a convenient contrivance. It is highly likely that, even if he did not read it himself, it will have been explained to him and he will have understood its effects.”
The judge added: “The inherent likelihood of that is reinforced by his own evidence about his concerns to protect the Sex Pistols’ legacy. A man with those concerns, which I accept he had, would expect to be made to understand important documents that he was signing. He would not have been cavalier about that.”
Cook and Jones later praised the ruling, stating: “It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making.
“It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”
Pistol, directed by Danny Boyle of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire fame, will star Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams and Toby Wallace in a six-part series based on Steve Jones' memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol.
The six-part drama is being made by Disney and is due to air next year.
The Sex Pistols were formed in 1975 and disbanded in 1978, but have performed live shows together a number of times since then, most recently in 2008.