Weird Al Yankovic sues Sony Music for $5 million
Sony Music Entertainment already caught some heat for their ill-timed price hike for Whitney Houston's albums, but now Weird Al Yankovic is suing them to the tune of $5 million. That would pay for a lot of accordions.
Yankovic's suit says the company underpaid him royalties for download sales, YouTube plays of his song White & Nerdy and shares of settlements from websites Napster, Kazaa and Grokster. Billboard says part of the problem is that Sony paid Weird Al a regular royalty fee instead of a licensing cut for downloads, which apparently net him less money. A licensing deal would require Sony to pay him 50 percent of the sale price.
Yankovic's Ear Booker Enterprises is using a Nashville, Tenn., law firm called King & Ballow as part of its legal team. Partner Richard Busch won a lawsuit against Universal Music Group in the past over download royalties, netting Eminem half of all download fees, the site says. Busch also has filed suits over the same issue for Peter Frampton, Kenny Rogers and late Knack drummer Bruce Gary, Billboard says, so Al just may be onto something here.
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