Richard Ashcroft making up with Mick can’t change the mould | Rebecca Nicholson

The Verve frontman has settled his dispute over Bitter Sweet Symphony but this won’t be the last row over songwriting royalties

Richard Ashcroft received an outstanding contribution to British music accolade at the Ivor Novello awards last week, and took the opportunity to confirm that the rights to the Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony had been transferred back to him after a 22-year dispute with the Rolling Stones.

Famously, the soaring strings that propel the song are a sample of an orchestral version of the Stones’ The Last Time, and the Verve had been granted permission to use part of it in return for 50% of the track. However, the Stones’ late manager Allen Klein eventually sued, claiming a larger portion than agreed had been used, and royalties and joint songwriting credits were passed to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

“As of last month, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony, which was a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do,” said Ashcroft, who had to relinquish credit for the melody and lyrics. “Of course there was a huge financial cost, but any songwriter will know that there is a huge emotional price greater than the money in having to surrender the composition of one of your own songs. Richard has endured that loss for many years,” a spokesperson for the Stones told Music Week. It is a good look for both parties: the Stones appear generous and gracious (though I can’t imagine the loss of these particular royalties will do much to dent their bank balances), and Ashcroft gets the satisfaction of a wrong being publicly righted, at last. But this looks like a rare moment of optimism in an increasingly thorny and overgrown field.

The OneRepublic frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder, who has created monster hits with and for Beyoncé, Adele and Ariana Grande among others, told the BBC of his concerns about copyright lawsuits. “It’s a conversation in every writing session,” he said. “The odds of getting sued in this day and age are so high, we’re going to get to a point where nobody can write anything, because everything will be derivative of something else.”

Once again, the damage caused by the Blurred Lines case, in which Marvin Gaye’s estate successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, radiates outwards.

The blurring of lines between what is considered to be inspiration and what is deemed intentional copying is dangerous, and contradicts the generosity of spirit that often motivates artistic endeavours in the first place. It is a bizarre state of affairs, surely, when Jagger and Richards prove to be the voices of reason and common sense.

Linda Hamilton, will be back with Arnie – and so will I

Linda Hamilton in Terminator: Dark Fate.
Linda Hamilton in Terminator: Dark Fate: ‘I did not know that the sight of a grey-haired 62-year-old woman firing a machine gun could bring such joy.’ Photograph: PR

My relationship with the Terminator films resembles a long, troubled marriage. The early days were heart-stopping, thrilling and eye-opening. The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day are responsible for any number of terrifyingly vivid post-apocalyptic dreams – and yet the three following films proved to be po-faced, crushing disappointments.

But I feel we’re about to get back on track. The trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate has been released, and the signs are tentatively conciliatory. Dark Fate does the decent thing and pretends that Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys never really happened. Just as Will & Grace was forced to ignore its original ending, which saw the pair separated for decades, in order for the comeback to make any sense whatsoever – never complain, never explain – this is a chance for the Terminator franchise to make amends. It worked for Halloween, the continuity of which has always been haphazard, so I look forward to seeing what the clean-slate approach does here.

Crucially, though, the band are back together. Like me, Arnie has been unable to walk away, so of course he’s there, but the real news is that James Cameron has produced it, and the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton, seems to have a significant role. How wonderful that she’s back and at the centre of it.

I did not know that the sight of a grey-haired 62-year-old woman firing a machine gun and then a rocket launcher at an evil killing machine could bring such joy until this trailer showed me the light.

Quentin Tarantino, not exactly on a charm offensive

Margot Robbie and Quentin Tarantino at the Cannes film festival
Margot Robbie and Quentin Tarantino at the Cannes film festival Photograph: Benainous+Catarina+Perusseau/REX/Shutterstock

Quentin Tarantino showed off his petulant side at the Cannes film festival, where he was promoting his latest movie, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. A journalist from the New York Times asked him why Margot Robbie, who plays Sharon Tate, did not get more dialogue, given Robbie’s high billing and star status. “Well I just reject your hypothesis,” replied Tarantino curtly, leaving Robbie to answer the question with tact, while the director appeared to visibly stew.

Tarantino had not been stopped in the street or caught off-guard on his doorstep. He was being pressed about his film at a press conference where journalists had been invited to ask him questions. He may not have agreed with the point, but to sulk, rather than refute it with eloquence or analysis, is beneath him, and that’s to say nothing of the irony in letting Robbie pick up the slack on his behalf.

But he has form in this area. “I’m here to sell my movie, this is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake,” he told Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 News in 2013, when promoting Django Unchained. If that is his sales approach, he might consider rethinking the creative brief.

• Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist


Rebecca Nicholson

The GuardianTramp

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