BOSS BACK IN COURT

Bruce Springsteen claims a small New Jersey record company obtained fraudulent copyrights to some of his earliest recordings. The allegation is in a counterclaim filed last month in federal court in response to a lawsuit filed by Pony Express Records Inc. Pony Express accused Springsteen of using his influence in the music industry to keep the recordings off the shelves by spreading word that they are bootleg material. Pony Express and a publishing firm, JEC Music USA Inc., claim that they purchased rights to more than two dozen songs the Boss composed and recorded as a solo artist before his rise to stardom in the early 1970s. In the counterclaim, Springsteen asks a judge to grant him $1 million in damages and bar the companies from making and selling the discs.

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