First Eminem’s producers won a lawsuit against the Universal Music Group over how royalties are computed for digital music, Then the state of Rick James filed suit. Now four more musicians with signifigant catalogs - Rob Zombie, White Zombie, Whitesnake and Dave Mason - have filed a class-action suit against Universal in the United States District Court in San Francisco.
The lawsuit hinges on the legailty of a standard industry practice which pays roaylties for digital downloads as licences; which, particularly in older recording contracts, is 50% lower than the 8-15% (after deductions) that most major label aritsts recieve on CD sales.
The new lawsuit claims that UMG “analyzed internally the financial consequences of its misconduct and cast it in terms of the additional profit to be made by UMG by avoiding its contractual obligations.”
In response, a UMG spokesman said in a statement, "“This complaint suffers from serious flaws and weaknesses, not the least of which is that the claims asserted are not appropriate for class treatment. We will vigorously defend against it.”
Several other attorneys including at least one major nation class action specialist are also exploring similar lawsuits.