New Order lawsuit: Band releases statement
New Order has released a statement about a lawsuit filed by former bassist Peter Hook, who is suing the band for unpaid royalties.
“Obviously the band are disappointed that Peter is pursuing this claim in this particular way,” the band said in a statement to EW. “The reports so far take a number of things out of context. Peter still, for instance, receives his full share of all back catalogue royalties. This dispute relates only to the share of income he takes from our work without him since 2011.”
The statement continues: “Not much more we can say as nothing has been decided by the court on the facts other than he has a right to proceed with the claim, so this matter is still in play. We’re getting on with life and concentrating on touring and promoting our new album.”
Hook split from the band in 2007, but kept a 25 percent stake in Vitalturn Company Ltd, which New Order created after Factory Records disintegrated. In Hook’s deal, he says he was supposed to make 12.5 percent of royalties.
“It was as though George Harrison and Ringo Starr had got together at George’s house one Friday night and had acted together to divest Paul McCartney of his shareholding in the Beatles, and didn’t tell Yoko about it either,” Hook’s lawyer Mark Wyeth said in court, per the Guardian.
But after Hook left, founding members Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris created a new company, New Order Limited, to house the band’s assets and trademarks. Hook attests this deal left him out of the loop for royalties.
Now, Hook alleges that the band has only paid him 1.25 percent of royalties and he’s owed approximately $2.3 million. The judge presiding over the case allowed it to go forward in a judgement, but suggested Hook and the band reach an agreement outside a trial.
“I’m naturally delighted with the decision made on my application to the High Court in London last week,” Hook said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “It found in my favor and justifies the stance I have taken. The Judge made a number of important points when giving his judgment and rejected a lot of the Defendants’ submissions. Both sides’ costs in this case are very substantial. I was obviously pleased that the Judge ordered the Defendants to pay mine. I’m very happy with the outcome and it bodes well for the future. I am grateful to my legal team for the hard work which went into achieving this judgment.”
The band recently returned from a hiatus and released Music Complete in September. The collection was New Order’s first without Hook.