toggle

AAPL Stock: 113.29 ( + 0.37 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Weird Al sues Sony for $5m over lost digital royalties

updated 08:40 pm EDT, Tue April 3, 2012

Weird Al claims Sony underpaying on Internet music

"Weird Al" Yankovic accelerated a trend that may see musicians get better pay for their Internet content after suing Sony Music Entertainment for at least $5 million. The suit, filed in New York City on Friday, followed a similar pattern to the Eminem dispute, where the Straight Outta Lynwood producer and his company Ear Booker alleged that Sony had deprived him of sales revenue at iTunes and elsewhere by counting them as sales rather than licenses, which would give him a 50 percent cut of what the publisher receives. He also argued that fiscal stake in YouTube Sony has in return for its content deal also means he should get a proportionate amount of money for plays on his videos.

Peer-to-peer settlement money from cases against app providers like KaZaA also didn't end up going to musicians, the lawsuit stated. Ear Booker had conducted an audit that had revealed the gap across multiple sources.

Yankovic may stand a good chance of winning the case based on precedent. In Eminem's case, the federal Supreme Court upheld a view that his contract gave him license-level royalties for digital music, not the 12 percent normally limited to physical copies. Just in March, Sony chose to settle a class action lawsuit for $8 million over similar terms.

The issue of digital revenue has become important over the changing nature of the sales themselves. While 12 percent was a relatively large amount when CDs dominated and prices were typically $15 to $20, the drop to $10 for a typical album and the much wider availability of by-the-track sales has reduced the amount they might take in. Streaming service like Spotify and Rdio have reinforced this further, as the revenues for each play are lower even relative to pay-to-own stores. [via New York Times]




by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Weird Al Rocks

    Great music, great person.

  1. burger

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Appropriate!

    At least he's suing the correct company, and not Apple.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    hard to argue

    If I'm not allowed to give or sell my copies of the music to another party, then I don't own it, I'm licensing it. Thus, cha-ching!

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook

toggle

Most Popular

Advertisement

Recent Reviews

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Home theaters are becoming more and more accessible these days, but maybe you've been a bit wary about buying a home projector. And h ...

MSI Geforce GTX 970 100ME

When Nvidia announced a new line of video cards in September 2014, many people thought things would continue to be business as usual i ...

Wren V5US Wireless Sound System

If you're a music fanatic, chances are you are, by extension, a bit fanatical about what you listen to your music on. If you're like ...

toggle

Most Commented