Johnny Rotten Loses Court Case Over Use of Sex Pistols’ Music in Danny Boyle Series ‘Pistol’

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London judge upheld a 1998 agreement that allowed licensing requests to be authorized on a “majority rules basis”

The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones and Paul Cook have bested their former bandmate, John Lydon (better known as Johnny Rotten), in court and will be allowed to license the Sex Pistols’ music for Danny Boyle’s upcoming series, Pistol, Variety reports.

A judge in London’s High Court upheld a 1998 agreement that gave band members the power to authorize licensing requests on a “majority rules basis.” Pistol has the support of both Cook and Jones, as well as the band’s original bassist, Glen Matlock, and the estate of late bassist Sid Vicious — more than enough to override a Lydon veto.

“We welcome the court’s ruling in this case,” Jones and Cook said in a statement. “It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making. It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”

A lawyer for Lydon did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

Cook and Jones brought their lawsuit against Lydon back in July, after the frontman refused to grant FX permission to use the band’s music in the show. Lydon had reportedly referred to the series — which is based on Jones’ 2018 memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol — as “disrespectful.” An early filing by Lydon’s lawyer also objected to Lydon’s depiction in the book, saying it presented him in a “hostile and unflattering light,” and highlighting a description of Lydon as “the annoying little brat with the great bone structure who’s always asking for more.”

Pistol was announced earlier this year, with Boyle tapped to direct and executive-produce the six-episode limited series. The show will star Anson Boon as Lydon, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as the Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren, Toby Wallace as Jones, Loui Partridge as Sid Vicious, and Jacob Slater as Cook.