t.A.T.u’s Producer Loses Copyright Lawsuit (MosNews.Com)

Time of publication: 08.06.2004
Russian pop duo t.A.T.u has lost a copyright lawsuit against Yelena Kiper, a woman who wrote the superstar duo’s greatest hits, and the Neformat company that produced them will now have to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles (nearly $20,000).

“This is an unprecedented fine,” Yelena Kiper told MosNews. The company Neformat, which produced the girl duo, had bought the rights to the song five years ago. “Since then, they have not paid me royalties,” Kiper said.

The duo — consisting of Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina — sparked controversy in Russia and abroad after their producer, Ivan Shapovalov, presented the girls as a lesbian couple. t.A.T.u’s first single, All the Things She Said, was a smash hit abroad after it was translated into English and accompanied by a steamy video.

Yelena Kiper co-wrote the lyrics to All the Things She Said and They’re Not Gonna Get Us and sued Neformat for royalties after the world circulation of t.A.T.u albums topped 7 million. Experts say the missing royalties gross hundreds of thousands of dollars. The conflict, which has stretched for a year, reached a conclusion with the court ruling in favor of Kiper.

The girls, meanwhile, have reassured fans that their group will continue to perform despite a recent falling-out with producer Shapovalov, and that fact that Yulia is expecting a baby. t.A.T.u plans to record the album this summer.

Kiper, meanwhile, may produce the group’s upcoming album. “I have been offered a deal to produce the album, and I have not declined the offer,” she told MosNews. The songwriter, however, hopes to be savvier this time, and tread the rough waters of Russia’s music industry with more care.

Kiper is herself a lead singer for the female vocal group Ni Chya. Instead of writing songs for other groups, however, she says she hopes to start another music group of her own.
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