Musicians Not Jazzed About Universal Music Accounting

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Musicians Not Jazzed About Universal Music Accounting

Tue Feb 19, 2008 @ 10:18AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Vaughansarah Many of the swinging jazz era's most popular musicians are suing Universal Music Group over failure to account and pay proper royalties.

The lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court late last week. The 53-page complaint is very long on the biographies of the plaintiffs and somewhat short on the specifics of the allegations. Nevertheless, jazz greats including William "Count" Basie, Sarah Vaughan (left), Benny Goodman and others claim that UMG has improperly accounted, issued false statements, and has failed to pay full shares to plaintiffs for compilations, digital distribution and remuneration from industry legal settlements with file-sharing entities such as Napster.

The plaintiffs say they hired an auditor who calculated more than $6 million owed, an amount that the plaintiffs seek in court, plus punitive damages.

Representing the plaintiffs is Oren Warshavsky of Troutman Sanders.


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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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