Phil Collins wins court fight over bootleg recordings

THE European Court of Justice ruled yesterday that the British rock star, Phil Collins, was entitled to stop a German record company selling unauthorised recordings of his works.

Mr Collins, a drummer in the rock group Genesis and a successful solo artist, has been waging a long- running battle to stop Imtrat Handelgesellschaft selling Live and Alive, a bootleg recording of a concert Mr Collins gave in California in 1983.

The European court said EC Treaty rules on non-discrimination meant Mr Collins was entitled to the same protection granted to German performers, who can stop sales of unauthorised recordings of their work under German copyright law.

The court's decision was welcomed by representatives of record companies. Alessandra Silvestro, legal adviser at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said: 'We're very glad, very happy, as we can now fight illegal bootlegs more effectively.'

In a related case yesterday, the European court ruled that recordings by the singer Cliff Richard were also governed by German copyright law, even when imported from Denmark.

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