Patriotism pays in Albania

Related Topics
A MOST extraordinary trial is going on in London at the moment, the outcome of which could affect the playing of all national anthems.

Briefly, Zappo Music of London, in the person of its managing director, Jason Tribe, is being sued for breach of copyright of the Albanian national anthem. It is claimed that 'Don't Love Me Do', a record by the Anoraks on the Zappo label, contains long extracts from the Albanian anthem, on which royalties should be due. Zappo Music counter-claims that even if anyone could recognise the Albanian anthem, it would not materially affect sales of the record.

Yesterday Jason Tribe took the stand for the first time to undergo cross-examination.

Counsel: You are Jason Tribe?

Tribe: Yeah.

Counsel: You made the record called 'Don't Love Me Do'?

Tribe: Yeah.

Judge: If I may interrupt for a moment, I thought that 'Don't Love Me Do' was made by the Anoraks?

Tribe: Nah.

Counsel: I believe, my Lord, that the name of the Anoraks is merely a nom de microphone, as you might say, invented to conceal the fact that nothing on the record is performed live.

Judge: Then who plays on the record?

Counsel: I believe, my Lord, that it is almost entirely composed of small extracts from other records, given computerised backings and interlaced with drum machine tapes.

Judge: Do you understand what you are talking about?

Counsel: No, my Lord.

Judge: Good. Nor do I.

Counsel: Mr Tribe, there are, I believe, about 14 pre-existing records from which you quote in the course of 'Don't Love Me Do' by the Anoraks.

Tribe: 'Bout that.

Counsel: Is one of them the Albanian national anthem?

Tribe: You mean this old record we picked up in a junk store?

Counsel: Yes.

Tribe: Yeah.

Counsel: Could you explain why you chose to include a long section from the Albanian anthem on 'Don't Love Me Do'?

Tribe: Well, it had a nice sort of dreary quality that we thought would provide a counter-balance to the beat. The crackles on the old 78 were something else - they seemed to have their own crazy rhythm, like.

Judge: Can we get one thing clear: is this the anthem of the modern Communist state we are talking about, or the old, pre- Stalinist anthem?

Counsel: The loyalist anthem of monarchist Albania, my Lord.

Judge: Jolly good. Carry on.

Counsel: Now, you should, should you not, pay royalties to the composer of any theme that you borrow? Yet you did not pay any royalties to the author.

Tribe: We assumed the writer was dead.

Counsel: Would it surprise you to learn that Alka Bejaz, the composer of the Albanian national anthem, is still alive and well, at the age of 86, in a

New York retirement home?

Tribe: I don't believe it.

Counsel: Well, perhaps you will when Alka Bejaz himself takes the stand later. (Sensation in court. A telephone rings.)

Judge: For heaven's sake, will you all be quiet? I'm trying to answer the phone. (Silence.) Hello, Court A here. Mmmm . . . Hmmm . . . I see. Thank you. (Puts the phone down.) Well, you're not supposed to know about that phone, really, but it's my hot line to the Home Office, and they've asked me to put one or two questions. Er - this Albanian anthem: is it still in copyright?

Counsel: Very much so, my Lord.

Judge: So every time it is played, it should theoretically earn the composer a small royalty?

Counsel: Yes.

Judge: What seems to worry my friends at the Home Office is the thought that if Mr Bejaz wins this case, then every time a band plays a national anthem, whether for a state visit or at a sporting event, somebody somewhere will be sending a bill in. Of course, many anthems are out of copyright, but many, especially of the younger countries, are not. They don't really want there to be a precedent for royalties to be paid for the playing of an anthem. They also want to know what anthem is currently being used in Albania in these heady days of freedom.

Counsel: I believe there is a move to bring back Mr Bejaz's tune, my Lord.

Judge: Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. They're not going to like this at the Home Office. Well, case adjourned. See you all down the pub.

The case continues.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

Read Next

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower