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Iron Maiden Settles Copyright Dispute Over "Hallowed Be Thy Name"

posted by Andrew Magnotta @andrewmagnotta -

A legal battle to determine writing credit for Iron Maiden's classic song "Hallowed By Thy Name" is near its conclusion. 

At the same time, Maiden bassist and chief songwriter Steve Harris might be the defendant in another upcoming lawsuit.

The fan-favorite song, from the band's groundbreaking 1982 album The Number of the Beast, was dropped from the band's live setlist while attorneys litigated the case, reports Ultimate Classic Rock.

"Hallowed Be Thy Name" bears musical similarities and several of the same lyrics to a song called "Life's Shadow" that was released in 1974 by a band called Beckett.

Harris and Maiden guitarist Dave Murray are the credited writers on "Hallowed Be Thy Name." 

Bob Barton and Brian Quinn are credited on "Life's Shadow."

Similarities between the songs have been previously addressed by Barton. But lyricist Quinn says the previous deal cut him out of the publishing. 

According to Quinn's lawyer, Barry McKay, the matter is being settled, but the fight isn't wholly over.

"The defendants [Steve Harris and Dave Murray] have paid all of the plaintiffs considerable legal costs as well as their own legal costs and six figure damages," the lawyer said.

Iron Maiden says it settled because of escalating legal fees. In a statement, the band said it still disputes Quinn's claim that some of his lyrics were stolen. 

"We do not believe that Brian Quinn was the one who wrote these six lines in question over 40 years ago as was claimed by Barry McKay," the band said in an official statement. "However, due to escalating legal fees and the potential huge costs of a court case it was pragmatic to reluctantly settle this action with McKay for £100,000, a fraction of what he brought the action for. A serial litigator like Mr. McKay would have foreseen this."

McKay has all-but-promised another lawsuit against Harris. 

The lawyer says Harris' had a "lame excuse" for stealing lyrics to "Life's Shadow," and that he is preparing to "commence a brand new legal action for copyright infringement" against Harris, Murray and Iron Maiden's publishing company.

Photo: Getty Images



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