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Pink Floyd kids get IP education

30 November 2004

A group of former Islington schoolchildren who sang on Pink Floyd's anthem ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ have lodged a claim for unpaid royalties.

Reuters  reports that twenty three teenage pupils from Islington Green School secretly recorded vocals for the song’s famous chorus " We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control, no dark sarcasm in the classroom -- teachers leave them kids alone." The single became a number one in both the UK and US, racking up over 12 million album sales.

Royalties expert Peter Rowan stated that under the 1996 Copyright Act, the ex-pupils are due royalties from broadcasters every time the song is played on the radio or television.

Rowan said he was appealing to a music royalties society on behalf of one former pupil and was working with other members of the class. He will receive 15% of every successful claim.

"They are owed their money and we lodged the first claim last week," Rowan told Reuters. "I've been working on it for almost two years."

The school’s music teacher, Alun Renshaw, took the schoolchildren to a nearby recording studio without the permission of the headmistress after being approached by Pink Floyd’s management. On hearing the song, the school’s headmistress banned the pupils from appearing on television or video -- leaving them no evidence and making it harder for them to claim royalties -- and the local school authority described the lyrics as "scandalous."

The school was paid 1,000 pounds and later given a platinum record of the song but the pupils were paid nothing.

Rowan said the money would come from a music royalties society and not Pink Floyd. He expected the 23 pupils to receive up to 300 pounds each. The then headmistress, Margaret Maden, has subsequently supported their application by providing evidence that the kids had been part of the song.

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