Are you experienced with song copyright laws? Let's hope the makers of the Jimi Hendrix biopic are, or the flick starring Andre 3000 as the greatest guitar player who ever lived may fall apart like a castle made of sand.
Following news that All Is By My Side is about to begin shooting in Ireland, the late musician's estate released a statement saying, "No such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without [the] full participation [of Experience Hendrix LLC]."
But fear not, Voodoo Children: This doesn't necessarily shoot down the Hendrix biopic. The statement made sure to add that, "Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, sister of Jimi Hendrix, and the EH board have not ruled out a ‘biopic’ in the future though producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions.”
This means the filmmakers could choose to involve the Hendrix estate in the making of the picture in order to get full use of his music. Or perhaps the film could be made using cover versions of his songs—as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, that was the work-around Showtime's TV movie Hendrix used back in 2000.
Then again, a couple of Hendrix's signature songs aren't originals, so we could get a Jimi Hendrix biopic with newly recorded takes on "Hey Joe," "All Along the Watchtower," "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)" and "The Star-Spangled Banner." But that would be totally underwhelming, so let's hope the filmmakers and Experience Hendrix come to come sort of agreement ($$).