Toronto – The major record labels have agreed to pay $45 million
to settle claims they failed to pay songwriters and music publishers while
including their works on compilation albums. Warner Music (NYSE: WMG), EMI, Universal Music
and Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG (the former fourth major, before Bertelsmann exited) were sued in
2008 in a class action by Canadian songwriters and music publishers.
Generally, labels had established a
practice of including songs on compilations for which they had not yet secured proper rights,
placing them on a "pending list" for later payment.
noted that the pending list for unpaid tracks had reached 300,000 just in
In addition to the $45 million to be paid by the labels to artists, the
proposed settlement "also establishes a new mechanism that will expedite
future payments of mechanical royalties to music rights holders."
agreement with the four major labels resolves all outstanding pending list
claims," said David Basskin, president and CEO the Canadian Musical
Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA).
"EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner are
ensuring that the net result is more money for songwriters and music