Tag Archives: Sony

US Band Sues UK’s One Direction

11 Apr

Credit: Reuters

British boy band One Direction has been sued by a small California pop-rock group for trademark infringement.  The California band is seeking an injunction to prevent Simon Cowell’s entertainment joint venture with Sony Music, Sysco Entertainment,  from using the One Direction name in promotional material.

 The California band began using the name One Direction in 2009 and plays local fairs and bars.  An application to register the tradmark was filed by the California band in Feburary 2011.  The British boy band One Direction was discovered in 2010 on Cowell’s show, “The X Factor.”  Since 2010 the British boy band has enjoyed great success with their first single reaching the top of the UK charts.  The band is followed by 4.2 million fans on Facebook and 2.8 million fans on Twitter.  

“The lawsuit said the continued use by both bands of the same name was causing substantial confusion and substantial damage to the goodwill earned by the California group.” 

The full article from The Baltimore Sun, can be found at this link

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Sony Sued by Weird Al Yankovic for Underpayment of Digital Royalties

3 Apr

Sony Music Entertainment has been sued yet again for underpayment of royalties (see our earlier post entitled Sony Sued by Toto Over Unpaid Online Royalty Payments).  Parody singer Weird Al Yankovic recently filed a $5 million lawsuit against Sony alleging Sony is not paying 50% of revenues per licensing deals as the parties agreed but is instead paying a straight royalty for download sales.  In addition to his underpayment of digital royalties claim, Yankovic also alleges Sony did not give him any money from Sony’s settlements with peer-to-peer music sharing sites  Napster, Kazaa and Grokster.

“The lawsuit filed in Federal court in the Southern District of New York follows a recent federal class action suit against Warner Music Group by band Tower of Power that makes similar claims of underpayment of royalties.

Both Yankovic’s suit and Tower of Power’s class action rely on the famous 2010 appellate ruling involving Eminem. Similarly, the rapper sued his record label, Universal Music Group, for the way royalties are calculated for digital music — whether they are considered a license or a sale.

Ultimately, the court found that digital music should be treated as a license. Like most artists, Eminem signed a contract that specifies he receives 50 percent of royalties for a license as compared to 12 percent for a sale. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the lower court’s decision, so the 2010 appellate ruling stands as the precedent in cases regarding digital royalties.”

To view the full article from The Huffington Post, follow this link.

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Sony Sued by Toto Over Unpaid Online Royalty Payments

2 Mar

According to reports by Billboard.biz and Rolling Stone, the band Toto has filed a lawsuit against Sony for not treating download sales as a license agreement.  In the band’s lawsuit, they argue download sales by a digital store, like iTunes, is a licensed arrangement and should be treated the same as other deals where music is licensed to third parties.  The band argues that digital downloads of their music should be paid as licenses and not as a simple sale as with CDs.  If the digital downloads are paid as licenses, Toto would receive 50% of net proceeds instead of the 12 to 20% of wholeslae for artist royalties for CD sales.  Toto is also alleging breach of contract by Sony for failure to pay the proper royalties.

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