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Bands sue Sony for massively underpaying music-download royalties

by Bob Crabtree on 2 May 2006, 10:58

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qafkk

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Having hacked off consumers by its use of security-flawed CD copy-protection, Sony, it would seem, is potentially at legal odds with most of its recording artists for massively underpaying royalties on tracks being sold by legal download.

Two groups, the Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick, have started a class-action suit against Sony Music in a Manhattan federal court that will, they hope, draw in up to 2,500 other artists. The suit claims that Sony Music is deducting costs that should only apply to the physical sale of CDs and not downloads. Sony, the suit states, is deducting for packaging, breakages and stock returns! As a result, the bands say, they're getting less than five cents per track instead of the near-30 cents they're due.

What's not clear is whether Sony Music is alone in the way in which it pays band-royalties for download-music sales or whether other labels do things the same way. Doubtless, though, musicians around the world - irrespective of who they're signed to - will now be taking a close look at their contracts and the paperwork relating to past royalty cheques and talking to their accountants and lawyers.

Music labels, don't ya love 'em? Tell us your thoughts in the HEXUS.community.



HEXUS Forums :: 23 Comments

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This could go either for or against music buyers. On the one hand record companies start to force increased prices to cover their losses. Alternatively some companies could cut out these fees so that the consumer gets the saving rather than the money going to artists.

We can only really wait and see what's going to happen.
I love how Sony tries to play the guilt card, telling consumers that they need to pay for music to support the artists and then pulls this crap.

I don't understand how anyone can continue buying Sony products. Even at Hexus, I see a bunch of retards talking about how they want a PS3. This article is the public face of a huge problem at Sony. It's not wise to buy from a company that tries to screw over everyone it does business with.
Totally agree smtkr. They seem to screw us with their DRM, their prices and then screw their artists with this crap. Sooner or later, we're going to say no thanks to buying Sony goods and sooner or later bands will stop signing up with them.

And downloads hardly cost the earth do they? Its like the new movie downloads from *damn forgot studio name* where its £19.99 for 2 downloads and no back-ups. Why is the price so high? Preferto buy a DVD make a HDD back-up and save myself money as well.
Sony stink - period!

:(
smtkr
I don't understand how anyone can continue buying Sony products. Even at Hexus, I see a bunch of retards talking about how they want a PS3. This article is the public face of a huge problem at Sony. It's not wise to buy from a company that tries to screw over everyone it does business with.
Because they understand sony as a company, and see the destinction between sony electronics and sony records?

Remeber sony records was just set up to make sure they would have enough launch titles for the audio CD. Think back to betamax, it lost out to VHS, even thou betamax was better. Why? Sony thought because of lack of titles, so when they and phillips launched the audio cd, they bought up some record labels, to make sure they would have launch titles.

now sony records makes a sinful times more money than sony electonics. But sony electronics are still very good.