Classic FM fights copyright ruling

Classic FM says it will appeal against a High Court judgment which ruled the station had infringed the copyright of one of its consultants, the writer and broadcaster Robin Ray.

Ray won his battle against his former employer last week and it is believed the decision could leave Classic FM with a bill for legal costs and damages of up to 1m.

Ray is a broadcaster who has presented TV shows like BBC TV’s Face the Music and Film Buff of the Year and various music shows for Radio 3.

The case revolves around a 50,000-strong catalogue of popular classical recordings that Ray had developed for the station between December 1991 and April 1997.

As the station grew to become the largest commercial station in the UK, with just under 5 million listeners, it began to sell its database, which includes the catalogue, to radio stations in Holland, the US, Japan and South Africa.

Ray wanted a cut of the profits from these sales. Classic FM refused.

In a prepared statement Classic FM said that it had developed a similar system to Ray’s some time ago. It added: “Mr Ray has not made any meaningful contribution to the company since 1993, and any claim by him to have devoted eight years to making it a success was untrue.”

Ray says: “I will fight any appeal right the way through to its conclusion. The remuneration they offered me did not in any way reflect my professional standing.”

Classic FM’s appeal will be heard at the Court of Appeal next month.

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