» Los Angeles Entertainment Litigation Attorney Notes Uptick in Digital Music Revenue Disputes

Los Angeles Entertainment Litigation Attorney Notes Uptick in Digital Music Revenue Disputes

Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) April 30, 2012 – A substantial amount of money may soon be tendered to pay for the outstanding claims made by recording artists for monies owed to them from digital sales of their music.

Sony BMG has agreed to a settlement of $7.95 million for musicians such as Cheap Trick, The Allman Brothers, and The Youngbloods along with thousands of other class members. This deal will also give a 3 percent increase to their artists’ royalty rates for digital income.

Anthony Spotora

Anthony Spotora

“The courts have determined that digital downloads should be recognized as a license, not a sale,” said Los Angeles entertainment litigation attorney Anthony Spotora. “It took five years for this Sony BMG battle to reach a potential settlement and other upcoming cases will bring this issue of digital downloads even further to the forefront.”

If the settlement is approved, Sony will give a large portion of it to musicians who had 28,500 or more downloads from iTunes. Class members could go into the thousands as the settlement covers musicians who signed contracts from 1976 to 2001, and some monies will even go to artists that do not have significant downloads. Many of the older musicians do not have express rates, or contract clauses for digital downloads. When the judge approves of the settlement terms, it will legally bind qualifying Sony BMG recording artists unless they choose to expressly opt out.

“iTunes has sold multibillions worth of downloads and that is just a part of the digital download revolution,” said Spotora. “These cases could get the artists a fairer share of what is owed to them. But in entertainment litigation, the wait can be long and an uphill battle, and thus the need for aggressive legal representation to uphold your rights.”

In April, a district court will hear the case that was handed back to them from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding F.B.T. Productions, Eminem’s producer, to determine what is owed by Aftermath Records, a Universal Music Group subsidiary. The record label treated Eminem’s music as a sale, not a license, and Aftermath could be on the hook for more than $3.8 million.

Other music artists such as Rob Zombie, Sister Sledge, and Kenny Rogers have alleged they have been underpaid substantial amounts due to improper revenue calculations. When digital music purchases are treated as licenses, artists can get a 50-50 split rather than sales that typically give them 10 to 20 percent of the revenue.

“All these cases have big implications for musicians and the industry,” said Spotora. “Digital downloads are here to stay, so everyone is keeping tabs on how this will all shake out.”

To learn more about the Los Angeles trademark lawyer or The Law Offices of Spotora & Associates, visit http://www.spotoralaw.com/.

Law Offices of Spotora & Associates, P.C.
1801 Century Park East, 24th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90067-2302
Call: (310) 556.9641


View Larger Map

  • Whiskey Giant Jack Daniel’s Sues Popcorn Sutton’s Over Alleged Trademark Infringement
    Last month, whiskey giant Jack Daniel’s sued small distiller Popcorn Sutton’s claiming trademark infringement.  Popcorn Sutton’s whiskey, which had originally been packaged and sold in Mason jars, has switched to a square-shaped bottle that according to officials at Jack Daniel’s is a bit too similar to their own bottle. Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey gets […]
  • Marlin Equity Partners to Acquire Network Services Provider for $891 Million
    Recently it was announced that Marling Equity Partners in Los Angeles would acquire Tellabs, a company specializing in telecom and optical networking equipment during the 1990s networking boom.  News reports indicate Marlin will pay $891 million in cash, what some call “nickels and dimes” compared to the sales Tellabs enjoyed in a single quarter during […]
  • Dispute Between McIlroy and Agent Demonstrates Potential Representation Agreement Dangers
    On October 9, Rory McIlroy, two time winner of major golf tournaments, sued Horizon Sports Management in an effort to bring an end to what McIlroy called an “unconscionable” contract that ultimately cost the popular golf pro $6.8 million in fees.  McIlroy signed with Horizon, a Dublin-based company, in December of 2011.  McIlroy said that […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required