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In a new written statement, John Lydon reacted with concern and dismay after losing a lawsuit over the Sex Pistols’ use of music in an upcoming TV series, directed by Danny Boyle.

Lydon, known as Johnny Rotten when he was the head of the punk band, had been sued by drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones after Lydon blocked the use of Pistols songs in the Pistol series. Lydon lost the case as a judge ruled Jones and Cook were allowed to overturn it using a majority rule created under the terms of a band agreement.

Lydon had claimed he was not aware of the scope of the deal, but Judge Sir Anthony Mann said: “I reject the suggestion he made that he did not know or appreciate not really its effect. This evidence was a convenient trick. It is very likely that, even if he has not read it himself, it will have been explained to him and he will have understood its effects.

A statement was posted on Lydon’s website. He claims Lydon was only made aware of Pistol’s announcement a few hours before it was made, and was not told how the group would be represented in it. The statement continues:

For over 23 years, the Sex Pistols have operated on the basis of unanimous decision-making. The Disney production is the first time the unanimous approach has been ignored. It is disappointing that a High Court judge has ruled that John Lydon is bound by an undated agreement signed in 1998, which imposes majority rule on the Sex Pistols in place of the unanimous decision process that has been followed for 23 years. Looking ahead, there is great uncertainty as to what the majority rule approach might do to dilute and distort the true history and legacy of the Sex Pistols. Time will tell us.

Lydon also commented directly, saying the court ruling was “so destructive to what the group is and so I’m afraid the whole project is overwhelmingly negative.” How can anyone think that this can happen without consulting me and dealing with my personal life and issues about it, without any meaningful contact with me before the project is announced to the world. “

Pistol is based on Steve Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol. Filming began in March and no broadcast date has yet been announced.


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