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Copyright squabble over rare John Lennon tapes

Copyright squabble over rare John Lennon tapes

RARE FOOTAGE of John Lennon’s private life is about to become subject to a very public struggle in the Boston courts. The 24 video tapes contain nine hours of raw footage of Lennon and his…

RARE FOOTAGE of John Lennon’s private life is about to become subject to a very public struggle in the Boston courts.

The 24 video tapes contain nine hours of raw footage of Lennon and his partner Yoko Ono, and are rumoured to feature the former Beatle smoking pot, writing songs and discussing putting the hallucinogenic drug LSD in Richard Nixon's tea.

World Wide Video reportedly paid more than $US1 million ($1.05 million) for the footage after legal costs and other expenses, and now wants to release the black-and-white footage as a two-hour film titled Three Days In The Life.

World Wide Video said it bought 24 original videotapes and their copyrights in 2000 from Anthony Cox - Ono's husband before her marriage to Lennon in 1969.

Yoko Ono has filed a claim against the Massachusetts-based company World Wide Video which claims ownership of the footage. World Wide Video has claimed that shortly after purchasing the videotapes, along with 10 copies, they were stolen in 2000.

The company filed a separate civil suit a year later against a New Hampshire man who agreed to return the copies and locate the originals.

The original videotapes are now held by Ono, whose lawyers claim in a countersuit that she purchased them legally from World Wide Video through a Florida man, who has been named as a defendant in the Massachusetts company's suit.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 30.

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