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

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Chancellor George Osborne got a standing ovation from the Tories for a package of tough measures  

The Conservative party would have us believe that the poor deserve to be punished

Andreas Whittam Smith
Tim Bell has lamented the fact that people don't do what they're told any longer  

Do what you’re told…or else. Now that rings a Bell

Simon Kelner
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?