SYDNEY — Three-years of legal battles for “Shine” producer Jane Scott finally ended last week, after a Paris court dismissed a copyright and moral rights case brought by the estate of late composer Serge Rachmaninoff.
Alexandre Rachmaninoff, grandson of the composer, whose Piano Concerto No. 3 features heavily in the film, and other heirs of the late composer’s estate sought damages for alleged breaches of copyright and moral rights, claiming the composer’s music is insufficiently credited in the 1996 film.
“I had believed Alexandre Rachmaninoff was thrilled with the use of his grandfather’s music in the film and he had taken out a large advertisement in Variety after the Academy Awards in April 1997 congratulating Geoffrey Rush for winning an Oscar and each member of the team,” Scott said.
After the Oscar-winning movie took more than $83 million at the worldwide box office, Scott had to fight several lawsuits which is unusual in the normally litigation shy Oz film sector.
Last December, Scott, with the backing of Oz government film agencies, won a bitter $1.3 million, two-year battle in the British courts against the film’s Paris-based sales agent Pandora.
“Often when a super successful film is made anywhere, these sorts of things happen,” an Oz film maven said. “It’s just that in Australia, there’s rarely much money left to fight over.”