Rick James Estate Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Universal Music Over Digital Revenue

In Legal News, Music Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

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“The estate of Rick James, best known for his song “Super Freak,” filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Friday against Universal Music Group over money owed from digital downloads and ringtones.

The new class action lawsuit comes in wake of the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision not to review a case initiated by Eminem‘s former Detroit-based producing partners, F.B.T. Productions, which won a lower 9th Circuit ruling last September deeming digital music to be more akin to a license than a physical sale of music. The distinction is important: Copyright owners get a 50% share on royalties from licenses but only about a 12-20% royalty rate from sales.

UMG hoped the Supreme Court would reconsider one the first published appellate decisions to discuss how traditional music recording agreements should be interpreted with respect to the treatment of digital music distribution, and after the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on the topic, speculation turned to how much record labels would now owe artists. The Future of Music Coalition estimated potential unpaid royalties to artists from just iTunes sales would be around $2.15 billion.” ~Full Story on THR.Esq.

Photocredit: Notd.net

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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