People were understandably upset that director Todd Phillips chose Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” in his film “Joker,” given that Glitter is serving a 16-year sentence for child sexual abuse.
But those who currently own the rights to the song insist that Glitter will not benefit from the song’s inclusion in the film.
In January 1997, just before Glitter’s legal troubles began, Snapper Music – which is a record company in England – bought the rights to all of Glitter’s master recordings. A Snapper spokesperson said that not only did they not pay Glitter for the use of “Rock and Roll Part 2”, which appeared in numerous films, but that they had “no contact with it. “.
Snapper also notes that it does not sell physical Gary Glitter records. His songs are only available through streaming services and downloads.
In the United States, the writing rights to “Rock and Roll Part 2” belong to Universal Music Publishing Group, which represents Glitter, and BMG, which represents the estate of the late Mike Leander, who co-wrote “Rock and Roll. Roll Part 2”. .” According to Universal, they own all of Glitter’s publishing interests regarding the copyrights of her songs. Therefore, they don’t pay him for the use of his songs.
What the statements leave out, however, are the huge sums likely paid to secure ownership of Glitter’s recording and publishing rights. These payments were made for the purpose of exploiting lucrative songs like “Rock and Roll Part 2″, which means Glitter has already benefited greatly – but not directly from Joker and other current and future investments.
And make no mistake: both companies are making big money from “Rock and Roll Part 2.”
According to Billboard, in 2014 the song earned a quarter of a million dollars each year in royalties. It is believed that producers of Joker paid somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 for the rights to the song, which was roughly split between Universal and Snapper.
In 1997, authorities in England arrested Glitter for child pornography and he was eventually convicted. Later, he spent time in a Vietnamese prison for sex crimes. Finally, in 2015, a London court sentenced him to prison, where he is expected to remain for another 12 years.