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

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicola Sturgeon could have considerable influence over David Cameron in a hung parliament  

General Election 2015: What if Cameron were to end up in hock to the SNP?

Steve Richards
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before