even more science
(scientist, jammy, and tubby in the lab)
from a colleague who was at the trial [with some comments by me]:
"The trial was interesting. [Michael] Veal's job was basically to prove that what Scientist did was actually original music (the dub remixes etc). He was very persuasive, and is a very sharp guy in general. [note: Veal is currently working on a book on dub and has published a bio of Fela] The judge then ruled that the jury accept that what Scientist did was original music. [word.] Then it boiled down to who owned it, and that was where it all foundered. No written records, several key figures murdered (Junjo Lawes, King Tubby...). Greensleeves brought up King Jammy...to testify that Scientist wasn't the owner...a lot of nit-picking -- who owned or provided the blank tapes that were used in such-and-such a remix session? Who had the keys to the studio, Scientist, or Junjo, or Jammy? Was Scientist remixing on his own that day in 1980, or for hire, for Tubby? In the end the jury must have decided that Scientist couldn't prove he owned the dubs. Junjo had 'sold' the rights (probably without ever owning them) to Greensleeves."
well, that answers a bunch of my questions. and it seems reassuring, in some sense, that the court was able to recognize scientist's crucial, original musical contributions. too bad that it comes down to a bunch of nit-picking and legal wrangling. the jury was left to decide the issue without regard for musical contribution, which seems wrong to me--let's not forget that the greensleeves guys attempted to argue that scientist's claims on the material as an "engineer" were "ridiculous." but that's the system we're stuck in.
just another reason to chant down babylon.