Songwriter Takes His Own Publishers To Court Over Alabama Rip Off

15 May 2012 | 2:20 pm | Dan Condon

Aussie songwriter Allan Caswell is taking Sony ATV to court for, essentially, not doing their job.

After years of alerting the world to what he believes has been the theft of his 1979 chart-topping hit On The Inside, Australian songwriter Allan Caswell's case has finally reached the New South Wales Supreme Court. But, rather than attacking the band he alleges stole his song, Caswell has lodged the lawsuit against his own publishing company Sony ATV.

As reported on Today Tonight almost exactly two years ago, Australian songwriter Caswell alleges his 1979 number one single On The Inside, which was the theme song from the hit TV show Prisoner, was essentially ripped off by US country music giants Alabama for their US hit Christmas In Dixie. When the allegations were made public in the 2010 Today Tonight story, Caswell spoke about a conflict of interest he believed Sony was facing with regards to his case.

“That's the problem, I'm signed to Sony ATV… they're signed to Sony Music, so it's all in house,” he said. “There's no incentive for them to take action; they basically can't take action, they'd be suing themselves.”

As such, Caswell has launched a suit against Sony ATV who he believes haven't done their job claiming they should have collected royalty payments for him from the American band.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The matter went to court late last week for the first time and will be back in session next month, it is believed the court will require evidence subpoenaed from Sony's New York offices and next month's session should update the court as to whether it can be found.

Watch the 2010 Today Tonight report below:

The two songs:

Does Caswell have a case?