Over the past few days, you might have noticed a story going around about Daft Punk’s 2000 release “One More Time”. The song is built heavily around a few chopped up samples of a 1979 record called “More Spell On You” by Eddie Johns.
Well, Mr Johns has never been paid any royalties for the use of his music. This story broke late last Friday, and in the style of journalists desperate to go home at the end of the working week, they’ve chosen the easiest, most sensationalist way possible to cover it.
They’d have you believe that those cruel millionaires in Daft Punk have deprived this man of his money for over two decades. The truth is rather more boring, but is now in the process of being fixed.
The Eddie Johns song in question came out on Président Records in 1979. The catalogue for the label was purchased by GM Musipro in 1995. Virgin Records, who released “One More Time” in 2000 pay GM Musipro royalties every six months, something which has been confirmed by their boss.
So what’s the problem? Simple. They haven’t been able to contact Eddie Johns. They lost contact with him a long time ago and were never able to trace him. This is a much more common problem than you’d imagine.
In truth, this is actually a good news story. Johns has been found and will soon receive a pay cheque. It could be quite a hefty one – enough to get him back on his feet with a good standard of living. And this story being shared means another burst of popularity for both songs, which means more money in the future.
Not exactly the bad news that journalists would have you think…