Duo lose Busted royalties claim

Ex-boy band members lose claim to rights over hit singles

Two founder members of former pop group Busted today lost their claim to have written two of the group’s biggest hits, and with it their claim to an estimated £10m in royalties.

Ki McPhail and Owen Doyle, who left the group in 2001 before it became famous, claimed they had contributed to the writing of hit singles ‘Year 3000’, ‘What I Go to School For’ and ‘Sleeping With The Lights On’, as well as another song that appeared on the band’s debut album, but had been forced by threats to give up their rights to the songs.

Mr Justice Morgan comprehensively rejected their claims, finding that there had been no threats or improper pressure put on them to relinquish any rights and that both had been unreliable witnesses. Of Mr McPhail, the judge said:

“He quite plainly exaggerated and distorted the real events. If he did believe the evidence he gave to the court, it can only be because he has indulged in very extensive self-serving reconstruction.”

Two members of the now defunct group issued a statement in which they dismissed the claim as an “opportunistic” attempt to “cash in” on their success. Mr McPhail and Mr Doyle indicated that they would appeal.