Vienna Court Rejects Copyright Lawsuit From Jerry Scheff

A court in Vienna, Austria, has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Elvis Presley's former bass player against a European musician. The suit claimed Wolfgang Hahn violated copyright law when he recorded and performed an instrumental version of one of the last song's Presley worked on. Hahn is the lead singer and guitarist in an Austrian band that performs Elvis covers and plays at Elvis festivals around Europe under the stage name "Wolf Memphis." Jerry Scheff filed the suit over the tune "Fire Down Below," which he wrote for Presley in 1976. The Rock 'n' Roll king toyed with it in a studio, but never recorded it. Presley died in 1977 in Memphis and Hahn recorded the tune about 25 years later. Scheff's lawsuit had argued that as the author of the lyrics and composer of the music for "Fire Down Below," he held the exclusive rights to the song and its unauthorized use or interpretation by other musicians. Vienna's Commercial Court, however, said it found no evidence that Hahn's version of "Fire Down Below" broke any laws. It ruled that Hahn did not break any laws by recording and performing an instrumental version of one of the last songs Presley worked on. The court noted that Hahn and his manager had applied for permission to legally record Hahn's version.
Source: Various / Updated: Jan 5, 2006 
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