The Boss Beats The Pirates

Bruce Springsteen has won a battle against music pirates in London.

A judge on Thursday blocked the release of an unauthorized collection of songs recorded early in his career. Springsteen had said that the release of Before the Fame would damage his artistic integrity because the songs did not meet his high standards.

The judge says Springsteen owns the 19 songs, and ordered Masquerade Music to pay his legal bills for the case, which total about $825,000.

Outside the court, Springsteen told reporters, "I came to defend the ownership of my music and my work, and I'm happy about the outcome."

Masquerade Music, a British record company, bought the works from one of the artist's early managers. Springsteen argued the stuff wasn't good, and it wasn't theirs to sell, reports CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

The judge's ruling was simple: Since Springsteen wrote it, he owned it.

"It's something I fought for since I was very young, [to be] in control of my music," Springsteen said Thursday. "It's an important issue for me. I'm glad that I came [to court], and I'd do it again."

He may have to. Masquerade Music plans to appeal the decision.

Springsteen reportedly signed the original music deal literally in the dark, on the trunk of a car.

"What he signed gave, by various accounts, either three quarters or 80 percent of his income from his recordings to his managers, producers," says music journalist Phil Sutcliffe.

It was a rough career start that the Boss doesn't want to hear about anymore - any more than he wants his fans to hear those 19 less-than-perfect songs.