Organist wins share of 'Whiter Shade of Pale' royalties


June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM EDT

The organist who wrote the haunting intro to the 1960s pop classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale" on Thursday won the right to a share of the song's royalties.

Matthew Fisher, who is now a computer programmer in Croydon, south London, had demanded his share of the profits from Procol Harum lead singer Gary Brooker.

Fisher, 61, had already secured a 40 percent share in a High Court ruling in 2006. But two years later the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment, saying he had taken too long to stake his claim over the 1967 hit.

On Thursday the Law Lords, Britain's highest appeal court, ruled in his favour again, albeit only granting him the right to a share of future royalties.

The organist said he was "delighted," adding: "This was never about money. There will not be a lot of that anyway. But this was about making sure everyone knew about my part in the authorship.

"A win without money was never going to be recognised as a win at all".

Lawyers said the ruling could set a precedent for other musicians and artists seeking to assert their legal rights.

Fisher's lawyer Hugh Cuddigan added: "I am delighted his claim has succeeded. This result should reassure composers that their rights will be acknowledged and upheld by our courts."

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