On this day of all days, the estate of “Mary Jane” crooner Rick James and other UMG (Universal Music Group) musicians have yet another reason to celebrate: UMG has agreed to settle a lawsuit which will award $11.5 million in unpaid royalties from the past forty years. The crux of the lawsuit centers on the problem of sales royalties versus licensing royalties, as many UMG artists’ digital downloads were designated as sales instead of licensing, which incidentally cost the artists money (sales royalties are smaller). So yet again, trouble has come up in the legal realm of trying to negotiate standard music royalty practices with modern consumer trends (i.e. digital downloads), an issue that class attorney Len Simon addresses in a statement: “This settlement is a fair resolution of this controversy over how to compensate artists for their valuable work in a new medium which we believe was not contemplated by their contract.” While UMG still admits no wrong doing, the company is happy to get this lawsuit over with and musicians who file a claim will be happy to get the extra cash for their hard work.
Check out the full article here: UMG Must Pay Musicians $11.5 Million
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