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Rick Brewsters Angels


By Sally Bailey
Wed, 18 Apr 2012 11:09:36 +1000

It was reported a couple of years ago, that former Guns and Roses manager Alan Niven was suing ex- Angels members John and Rick Brewster for infringement of copyright, breach of contract, violation of moral rights, and for the return of ''a Gibson 335'' guitar.

In a media release isssued on the 16th of April by Karish & Bjorgum, PC attorneys for Niven, the case has been decided by The Hon. Gary A. Feess, Judge of the United States District Court in L.A. Here is the media release in full.

The Hon. Gary A. Feess, Judge of the United States District Court sitting in Los Angeles, California, has entered a default judgment against Rick and John Brewster of The Angels for their wrongful appropriation of eleven songs written by Alan Niven, a songwriter and the former manager of Guns n Roses and Great
White. Niven had also briefly managed The Angels, securing them their last major label deal in the United States. The Court found that the duo's acoustic side project, the Brewster Brothers, had wrongfully used Niven's compositions, some of which were released in three different versions. The judgment also
applies against Flashpoint Music Pty Ltd., a music publisher associated with Harry Vanda, the famed producer of AC/DC's early work.

The Court awarded damages for sales through Apple's iTunes service and issued an injunction against any further sales of the compositions in the United States by the Brewsters. The Court further ordered that Rick Brewster return to Niven two guitars wrongfully in his possession, one of which was used in the Great White video "Once Bitten, Twice Shy." Finally, the Court ordered that the Brewsters and Flashpoint pay attorneys' fees and costs to Niven's attorneys, Karish & Bjorgum, of Pasadena, California.

Niven, who originally hales from New Zealand and now resides in Arizona, said: "I am delighted that the United States Courts have seen fit to recognize and uphold my rights in my songs, and that the Judge has sent the message that it is not acceptable to appropriate the intellectual property of others, or wrongly profit thereby.

I sincerely hope the Court's judgment stands as a warning to the Brewsters as regards their business practices. Dealing with them has caused me, for over ten years, much unpleasantness, stress and strain. I look forward to moving forward and putting them permanently well behind me in the rear view mirror."

Niven's attorney Eric Bjorgum said: "I am very happy that Mr. Niven can put a stop to the distribution of these recordings in the United States and that he can move forward with this unique body of work.
The Court's ruling required that it grapple with some esoteric issues of international law, and we feel the Court struck the appropriate balance between respect for the Defendants' Australian domicile and protection of Mr. Niven's property." END

Important to note that the sales and distribution of The Brewster Brothers recordings that contain Nivens work have only been pulled in the U.S. Niven is no stranger to dealing with musicians gone awry, having been falsely accused of wanting to fire Axl Rose from G n R. As a matter of record, the only time there was any discussion of Rose being replaced in G n R was early in their career after Rose had failed to show for a gig at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Izzy and Slash broached the subject at a post mortem the next day, at which time Niven let them know that he would support their decision to find a new singer, even if that meant they would lose their contract with Geffen. Niven was fired by Axl Rose in 1991 after   Guns and Roses finally reached massive international success, due in great part to Nivens input and hardwork.


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