Peter Frampton is the latest artist heading to court. This time its with Universal Music over unpaid royalties.
A message at his Facebook page says, “I been suing so much today my throat is sore. It’s very tiring doin’ all this suing you know? Don’t I need a pig though?”
More and more lawsuits are being filed against the big record companies by artists who allege that they have been shorted on their royalties. The latest to bring suit is Peter Frampton against Universal Music Group’s A&M Records.
The singer/guitarist is looking for $500,000 in withheld royalties. He is being represented by Nashville attorney Richard Busch who has recently also filed suit for the sister of late Knack drummer Bruce Gary. In both cases, the artists are looking for increased money from digital downloads, which they allege should be considered a license and not a sale, bringing them 50% in royalties versus a percentage in the mid-teens.
Busch told The Tennessean “The issues in these cases go beyond simply breach of contract. The plaintiffs allege the wrongdoing here is a part of deliberate effort to deprive the parties of their royalties.”
Universal Music Group reportedly tried to pull a fast one, sending Frampton a check for $212,000 with no documentation as soon as they received word of the suit, hoping that the deposit of the money would negate any further action. The filed suit by Frampton addresses the check, saying
Many more artists are expected to follow suit based on the September 2010 U.S. appeals court ruling that awarded Eminem 50% royalties on all digital product instead of the 12% that Universal and Aftermath Records were paying. An appeal was made to the Supreme Court that refused to hear the case, thus upholding the appeals court ruling.