Ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer Wins Lawsuit Over Plane Crash Movie

Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle has just won a ruling that will allow him to distribute his documentary about the legendary Southern rock band's tragic 1977 plane crash. 

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned a previous injunction against the film, reports Rolling Stone

The estates of three deceased members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as the band's lone remaining member from the band's '70s-era, Gary Rossington, had sued to prevent the release of the film, titled Street Survivors.

Pyle says the film is based partially on his recollections from his time in Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The crash killed five passengers, including co-founding Skynyrd front man Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines

Street Survivors' release has been held up since last June when a lower court judge ruled the project violated a 1988 agreement by the band members not to exploit the band name or the story about the crash.

But the new ruling says Pyle is only blocked from making a film about Lynyrd Skynyrd's history; he is permitted to make a film focusing on his own experiences within the group — that includes the plane crash.

"That crash is part of the history of the band, but it is also an 'experience' of Pyle with he band, likely his most important experience," says part of the ruling

A lawyer for Cleopatra Records Inc., which produced the film, called the ruling "a victory for filmmakers, artists, journalists, readers, viewers and the marketplace of ideas."

Photo: Getty Images

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