The “Irish government” has been cited to give evidence as a witness in a forthcoming federal court case in the USA. Downloading (Sindo today) is merely a diversionary tactic, with Hot Press in particular refusing an Eamonn McCann article on FF theft of copyright - the only McCann article they ever turned down;
RFCExpress - Melanie O'Reilly v. Valley Entertainment, Inc. et al
For some years now, the works of dozens of Irish musicians has been sold, mainly through WalMart in the US. The total royalties stolen is in the tens of millions, as attested by Soundscan, and possibly more. Most of the musicians have received no royalties; these instead are being given to companies that were struck off as long as 13 years ago. Appleby has refused to act. Here is an account of what has happened;
Sequence: 1. Late 1980's/ early '90's.Shay Hennessy is fired as head of
K-Tel Ireland. His
company Crashed Music Ltd is struck off, despite his prominence as Fianna
Fail appointee to many
State boards over 30 years to date. The Taxing master later pronounces a
judgement of 100,000 pounds
against him after his unsuccessful appeal to the EAT.
2. Early 1990's : Oliver Sweeney sets up CBM Ltd. and later its publishing
Dog Music Ltd. He signs
a multitude of artists to CBM Ltd., including Sean Keane, Cran,Barry Ronan,
Melanie O'Reilly. Melanie does not sign a publishing deal, and signs
of agreement for one
CD recording, as Sweeney himself admits in writing.
3. Mid-1990's : Hennessy claims copyright on Melanie's
compositions at MCPS London through the trader name Crashed Music.
The Gardai are later sent a file of some of these spurious claims,
anonymously, though MCPS is
itself a possible source.
4. Dec. 1996: CBM Ltd is struck off just as a High Court case taken
against it by Sean Keane is
about to proceed. CBM Ltd. trades openly after dissolution, until 1998 at
least. Files are sent
to Dept. of Ent. Trade & Employment proving this. Paul Vickers, Harney's
secretary writes to
Melanie stating the precise documentation required for a prosecution. When
this is supplied, Dete
phones to say that prosecution of CBM Ltd and record services can take
place. Other companies are
also implicated. No prosecutions have occurred 6 years later.
Other complaints were lodged at that time concerning Dog and Ecellent Ltd.
5. Record Services Ltd. , struck off in 2000, continues to trade openly,
even after losing
lawsuits and after complaints to DETE. Paul Mc Guinness is listed as one of
6. IMRO gets the unambiguous right to collect for broadcast music in bars
and arts centres in
7. Hennessey becomes Chair of IMRO in 1997.
8. Musicians transferring their works to IMRO from the British PRS in the
publishers like Dog Music Ltd , Crashed Music Ltd. and Gael Linn Teoranta
9. Melanie O'Reilly finding the same illegal transfer of her copyright,
goes through the MCPS/PRS
Alliance duplicate claims procedure, a procedure accepted by IMRO.
10. Dog Music publishing Ltd. who claim Melanie's/Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill/David
works on Melanie's
album "Tir Na Mara", are written to: -C/O Crashed Music -their common
address. Neither reply and
copyright is returned to Melanie, Nuala, and David in 2001.
Dog Music publishing Ltd. Have already been dissolved
Mysteriously, Hennessy's illegal claims are done t/a Crashed Music, versus
using his company Crashed Ltd. However, only Crashed Ltd, which was
reinstated under the auspices of then Minister Bertie Ahern in 1992 is
registered to trade as Crashed Music.
11. Matheson Ormbsby Prentice, acting on behalf of IMRO, vociferously
deny Hennessey has any
beneficial interest in Melanie's works other than the slight amount
associated with Dog Music Ltd.
This is untrue, as proven later in written correspondence from MCPS.
MCPS do not pay Melanie at any stage until threat of legal action in 2006.
12. 2003: MCPS in correspondence with Melanie, mediated by the British
categorically state that contrary to MOPS repeated objections, Hennessey's
Crashed Music had
actually claimed Melanie's works. The 250,000 euros, or so , due to
Melanie for the illegal
licensing of her works as well as the 60,000 euros of legal fees and
considerable damages, are
therefore due to Melanie.
13. 2000: Melanie, along with other musicians, Maurice Lennon, and Donal
Lunny make detailed
statements to the Gardai about copyright fraud involving Dog Music, Crashed
and Gael Linn. Melanie
finds her compositions and recordings on 8 compilations for which she has
not given permission.
Sales figures indicate total units of at least one million.
14. Garda Mulvey is taken off the case, but Dail questions ensure a smooth
handover to Garda
Mooney. Mooney and Mulvey see preliminary evidence of massive fraud at IMRO,
with bogus song
titles being created, and attributed to musicians without their knowledge,
as well as the theft
15. 2001-2002: Mulvey and Mooney interview all parties concerned in Ireland
and Britain, and find
that all Melanie's, Donal's and Maurice's stories ring true. Mulvey himself
buys one of the
bootleg Cds in Ireland.
16. 1998: Hennessey signs a deal with Labhras O Murchu agreeing that IMRO
can issue a license
for Irish music. As much Irish music is not registered with IMRO, and much
else is public
domain, this is illegal.
While signing, O Murchu denies doing so in the Seanad (see
beyondthecommons.org). Around the same
time Hennessey is made a Peace commissioner
17. The Gardai submit a detailed 120 page file to the DPP who sits on it
for almost 2 years. In
an article appears in the Sunday Independent saying that the DPP declines to
"sources close to the investigation". The Sunday Independent admits IMRO is
18. The Gardai, whose first knowledge of the DPP's decision is the Sunday
of it officially 2 weeks later. The DPP, acting outside his remit,
recommends civil action against
Hennessey and Sweeney.
However, more evidence has since arrived for the DPP's consideration.
19. 2004: Mistletoe Music LLC is reliably informed that Hennessey, back on
the board of IMRO
after a short absence, is working with Gael-Linn, a former employer of
20. 2004-2005: The Arts Council of Ireland criticises the IMRO -Murchu
deal. Una Bhean Murchu
resigns from the traditional committee chaired by Philip King,issues a
minority report from that
committee, and a wholesale campaign contra the Arts Council begins. Una's
Cashel "Bru Boru" centre
has been the major beneficiary of the IMRO deal.
21.Summer 2006; Melanie O'Reilly and Sean O Nuallain meet with Paul Appleby
for two hours, handing him numerous documents that got mislaid on their
passage from dete to him. Appleby promises High court action within two
22.November 2006; Mistletoe music llc receives documents showing that
Hennessy's claim on Melanie's material antedated her legal claim. This is
in contradiction to what both MCPS and IMRO are contending, and MCPS is
reminded of this.
23Dec 2006; following a prolonged silence from Appleby, he confirms that
there is unlikely to be any prosecution after all.
24. Accounts finally arrive from MCPS, showing that, nearly 7 years after
the original complaint against them, both Dog and Excellent are still
trading as limited companies. 11 years after being recorded, Melanie's
compositions are still making 100 sterling or so a week.
25. June 2007; Melanie meets Minister Eamon Ryan, who agrees that her constitutional rights have been violated, and undertakes to contact Appleby
26. August 2007; Appleby writes to rescind his undertaking to proceed with High court action.
Update Feb 27 2008
1. Initial contract whereby the work of up to 50 Irish musicians was pirated is obtained
2. Appleby et al continue to refuse to act
There has still been no enforcement of any of the relevant legislation. In the meantime, for similar reasons as for the failure of the Irish music industry, the Irish banking sector collapses.
Through his British solicitors, Clinton, Hennessey sues O'Nuallain in an attempt to get the content removed. After consulting with our New york lawyer dealing with the case, who points out that truth is the best defense against libel, the site is left as is with only the letter from MCPS acknowledging the defeat of Hennessey's copyright claims added. Clintons are referred to our lawyer in Britain, and discouraged from continuing the long-standing British tendency of interfering in Irish affairs. They are reminded that they have no jurisdiction in Ireland, which like the USA, fought a successful revolutionary war against Britain
Federal case listed. Valley claim that the “Irish government” allowed dissolved companies to trade, violate copyright. Paul Appleby and the DPP's office are confronted about this.