Former Dead Kennedys Singer Must Pay Back Royalties, Damages

By | June 20, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra must pay $220,000 in back royalties and other damages to the other members of his band, an appeals court judge has ruled.

A three-judge panel of a state appeals court in an unpublished opinion Wednesday upheld an earlier ruling against Biafra for breach of contract and fraud.

Telephone calls to Biafra’s manager and lawyer Thursday were not immediately returned.

The panel also decided that the band’s creative output, including songs “Holiday in Cambodia” and “Kill the Poor,” belongs to a partnership formed among the four band members.

But the panel reversed the lower court’s decision to break up the partnership, sending the case back to the trial court to determine whether a partnership among the punks should be dissolved and its assets sold.

“Biafra’s fraudulent actions precipitated the rift in the partnership and made it impossible for the partnership to carry on its business as it had in the past,” Justice Maria P. Rivera wrote for the court.

The San Francisco-based punk band performed together from 1978 to 1986.

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