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Def Leppard re-record own songs to win back digital download revenue

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'80s rockers Def Leppard are re-recording their back catalogue in an attempt to win back royalties from Universal Music.

Def Leppard (credit aresauburn, Flickr)
Def Leppard (credit aresauburn, Flickr)

Sheffield rockers Def Leppard, probably most famous for their 1987 hit "Pour Some Sugar on Me," are going rogue. After lengthy negotiations with Universal Music, the band has been unable to agree a suitable royalty fee for digital downloads of their back catalogue. Instead of giving in, they've taken advantage of a law which protects cover versions from copyright claims, re-recording their own songs and releasing them through iTunes.

Describing the new versions as "forgeries," frontman Joe Elliott explains the band's new arrangement with their label: "Our contract is such that they can't do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. So we just sent them a letter saying, 'No matter what you want, you are going to get "no" as an answer, so don't ask.'" It's certainly an interesting ploy — whether the classics will sound the same after 25 years of touring is another matter.