Scientist, born Overton Brown in Kingston, Jamaica, 1960 (and also known as Hopeton Brown), was a protégé of King Tubby (Osbourne Ruddock), one of the originators of dub music. He left King Tubby’s studio at the end of 1970 and became the principal engineer for Channel One Studio when hired by the Hoo Kim brothers.
He came to prominence in the early 1980s and produced many albums, his mixes featuring on many releases in the first part of the decade. In particular, he was the favourite engineer of Henry “Junjo” Lawes, for whom he mixed several albums released on Greensleeves Records. He also did a lot of work for Linval Thompson and Jah Thomas. In 1982 he left for Tuff Gong to assist Errol Brown. He then emigrated to Washington in 1985, again to work in studios as a sound engineer.
Many fans came to know his music due to half of his album 'Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires' being used on the soundtrack for the popular videogame Grand Theft Auto III. The tracks on the fictitious radio station 'K-Jah' are composed entirely of songs from this album. However, Scientist received no royalties for this and sued Rockstar Games unsuccessfully in a US court. The court ruled that according to precedent a recording mixer was not considered the author of a musical work, and so Rockstar were correct to treat the producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes as the copyright holder of the album. This ruling could be argued to neglect the fundamental difference betweeen dub-reggae and other kinds of music - afterall the album is marketed as 'Scientist rids the world of the evil curse of the vampires': so the publishers and self identified licensors are prepared to attribute authorship to Hopeton Brown when it suits them, but not when it comes to paying him royalties. It can, however, be argued that Scientist was introduced to a much larger audience as a result of the licensing of his album to Rockstar, in which case he may have sold more albums as a result.
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