Los Angeles – The estate of late funk musician Rick James
has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against major label Universal Music
Group, claiming unpaid royalties from the sale of digital songs and ringtones,
according to The Hollywood Reporter. The suit follows the Supreme Court’s
refusal to hear an appeal of a ruling that found Eminem’s early producing
partners were owed additional digital royalties.
In that case, the court found
digital music should be seen as "licensed" rather than
"sold," meaning that copyright owners should receive a 50%, rather
than 12%-20%, cut of profits.
For its part, Universal Music told The New York
Times that the ruling in the Eminem case "has no bearing on any other recording
agreement and does not create any legal precedent."
filed by the Estate of Rick James suffers from many infirmities, not the least
of which is that the claims asserted are not appropriate for class treatment. We
intend to vigorously defend against it," Universal Music told THR in a
(DMW previous coverage)