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February 16, 2008

Universal Music Group Sued for Royalties

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz music news

Lawsuit Alleges Universal Owes Artists Over 6 Million

Universal Music Group has come under fire in a lawsuit launched by over a dozen recording artists, who’ve alleged the music giant has withheld royalty payments owing to them.

The artists, including the estates of jazz legends Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan and Benny Goodman, allege the company has “pervasively and systematically breached” agreements with the musicians by using false accounting to conceal their true earnings dating back to at least 1998.

Many of these artists signed with recording companies whom were later purchased by Universal. The lawsuit, filled in New York State Court in Manhattan, alleges breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty on the part of Universal.

Universal, which is owned by the French company Vivendi, denied the allegations in a statement released this week. “We believe that these claims are baseless, and we are confident that we will prevail in court,” the company said.

Other artists included in the lawsuit, either individually or through their estates, were Les Brown, Richard Hayman, Dick Hyman, Woody Herman, Kitty Kallen, Frankie Laine, Tony Martin, John Mills, Jerry Murad, Patti Page, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Sarah Vaughn.

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