Photographer: Kyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Sony Blocks Beatles ‘Lost’ Concert Film in U.K. Copyright Case

Sony Corp. won a U.K. court ruling blocking a documentary-maker from showing a movie about the Beatles’ first concert in the U.S.

The film by WPMC Ltd. about the 1964 performance in Washington called “The Beatles: The Lost Concert,” infringed Sony’s copyrights in the U.K. and the U.S., according to a ruling in London Wednesday. Sony owns the worldwide copyrights to eight songs in the concert, including “From Me to You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” Judge Richard Arnold said.

The concert, shown in cinemas and theaters across America as part of a 90-minute package with performances by the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore, took place a few months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and helped spark “Beatlemania” in the U.S. What happened to the master tapes after the show “is unclear,” Arnold said.

The songs “are reproduced in their entirety; the extent of the reproduction is excessive having regard to the transformative purpose; and the permit such use would likely damage the market for, or potential value of,” the songs, Arnold said in the ruling.

Calls to Sony and lawyers for the company and WPMC weren’t immediately returned.

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