Busted Duo Lose Court Battle Over Unpaid Royaltiesby Contributor | 06 June 2008
Two of the original members of former boy band Busted have lost their court battle to win £10 million in unpaid royalties.
Ki McPhail and Owen Doyle allege that they wrote a number of songs for the band with James Bourne and Matt Willis in 2001.
However, Mr Justice Morgan today dismissed all their claims to unpaid royalties.
The pair claim they co-wrote some of Busted's biggest hit singles including Year 3000, What I Go To School For, Sleeping with the Light On and Psycho Girl.
Mr McPhail and Mr Doyle say they were then forced out of the group in March 2001 when the band changed its name from The Termites to Busted, and were replaced by Charlie Simpson.
After the band signed a record deal with a professional management company, Mr McPhail and Mr Doyle alleged they were forced into signing an agreement releasing their claim on the songs.
During the court battle, Tim Penny, who represented the two former members, said pressure placed on the claimants "consisted of repeated advice and threats."
He also suggested that threats were made on Mr McPhail's parents' home if the pair failed to sign the agreement.
"Unless they released their claims in relation to the group members' songs and in particular four songs, they would be sued, Ki McPhail's parents would lose their home and the claimants would never work in the industry again," Mr Penny said.
However, Mr Justice Morgan today criticised the evidence the duo gave in court.
Describing Mr McPhail, the judge said: "If he did believe the evidence he gave to the court, it can only be because he has indulged in very extensive self-serving reconstruction in the period between the relevant events and the time of the trial and has now convinced himself that his reconstructed version of events really happened."
He also described Mr Doyle as "not a reliable witness either."
"He manifested a high degree of confusion and a failure to grasp the detail in relation to many of the significant events," he said.
Busted achieved eight top 10 hits between 2002 and 2004, before splitting in 2005.