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Springsteen Wins Early Songs

U.S. judge rules that album of earliest recordings belongs to Bruce

A U.S. District Court Judge awarded Bruce Springsteen copyright control of an album of songs he composed and recorded between 1970 and 1972, dismissing a suit filed against Springsteen by Pony Express Records, who attempted to gain control of the songs’ rights.

The songs were held for two decades by a former Springsteen manager. In the early Nineties, he sold them to Pony Express, without the artist’s permission; the songs were subsequently licensed to a British label. Pony Express released the songs as an album titled Before the Fame.

In 1998, Springsteen won a court battle that granted him control of the album in the U.K., a ruling that helped helped shape the new ruling, by U.S. District Court Judge Harold Ackerman in Newark, N.J. As a result of Ackerman’s ruling, Pony Express has been ordered to stop selling the recording and to destroy existing copies. Springsteen still plans to seek damages based on court costs and copies already sold.


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