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Eagles Members Sue Fan Over Screenings of Unlicensed Concert Footage

The Eagles are  taking a fan to court, and a video archive containing more than 10,000 hours of  music footage is at stake.

The Guardian reports that band co-founders Don  Henley and Glenn  Frey have filed suit against William Shelley, a Long Island man who’s hosted  a series of public screenings from his huge collection of unreleased  performances and appearances by a long list of acts that includes the Rolling  Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and  Pink Floyd — and  the Eagles, whose battle with Shelley started when he held an October event  featuring footage of the band.

According to the lawsuit, Shelley — who allegedly refused to honor a  cease-and-desist order prior to the screening — is guilty of violating copyright  and anti-bootlegging laws, as well as trying to “bolster his reputation as a  purported music industry ‘insider’ with close connections and ties to many  classic rock greats.”

Frey and Henley aren’t just trying to seize Shelley’s Eagles footage,  however. The suit asks the court to take possession of his entire collection,  which reportedly includes “more than 100,000 reels of 35mm and 16mm films,  amounting to more than 10,000 hours of rare concerts, television shows, promos,  interviews, outtakes and home movies.” The Guardian’s report quotes the Shelley  Archives’ focus as being on “preservation of films and music clips,” but given  that Shelley’s been charging admission to view footage of artists without their  consent, it isn’t difficult to understand why the Eagles are incensed.

The report goes on to note that Shelley has also recently hosted ticketed  events focused on Fleetwood Mac and the Stones, and adds that these screenings  “usually combined unreleased music footage with Shelley-hosted question and  answer sessions.” The Shelley Archives Facebook page hasn’t published comment on the suit.

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